To cut out the technical details, the change we did today means that the load time due to Visual Website Optimizer will be drastically reduced as now the code that is needed to run a test is downloaded much faster (our benchmarks and early feedback suggest it is at least 2x-10x faster). Following are some FAQs related to this change.
Basic question: what do I need to do if I am currently running tests?
Yes, we are aware of it and desparately wanted to use a URL http://cdn.visualwebsiteoptimizer.com/vis_opt.js however CloudFront doesn’t yet support custom SSL certificates. That is, sites accessing https://cdn.visualwebsiteoptimizer.com/vis_opt.js would have thrown a certificate error which isn’t nice. We will update the code fragment with a nice URL as soon as Amazon starts supporting it.
First, it is not at all needed now as CloudFront will be faster than hosting the file yourself. Second, if you really want to host the file yourself, please go ahead and do it. Though make sure you keep up to the latest version as we regularly do minor (unannounced) bug fixes. However, whenever there is a major change we definitely announce it on blog and newsletter.
Philosophical question: what’s the answer to life?
To fully convince you how fast Visual Website Optimizer has become, here are some load time metrics from different locations across the world (thanks to WatchMouse).
Load time of previously S3 hosted code snippet (observe that average total load time is about 700-1000 milliseconds).
Load time of new CloudFront hosted code snippet (observe that the average total load time has come down to 50-70 milliseconds – a whopping 10x speed improvement).