Macromedia Launches Entirely New Site

I know it’s old news at this point, but I’ve been so busy today that I haven’t had a chance to write about it here. Macromedia launched their new web site last night, and at the same time launched an amazing reaction from the community. Enough has been said on the forums and lists today that the last thing I want to do is rehash what has already been covered, however I would like to mention two things that I think were largely missed in the community.

One of the biggest complaints about the new site was speed. It’s important to remember, though, that loading a page with an RIA is very different from loading a simple HTML page. The advantage of using an RIA is that although you are loading more data upfront, ultimately you end up loading less, clicking less, and waiting less, because once the shell of the RIA is loaded, you only need to load data from then on as opposed to several kilobytes of HTML tags, JavaScript, styles, images, etc. I’m not saying that parts of the site can’t be optimized; what I’m saying is that a lot of the traditional metrics we use to gauge web site usability need to evolve along with Internet technology.

Another point that I don’t think was adequately covered today is that almost the entire back-end was completely rewritten in ColdFusion. We believe macromedia.com is one of (if not the) largest collections of RIAs in production today, and one of the most visited sites on the Internet. According to Penny Wilson’s article on DevNet, we reach one million customers a day. Additionally, 250,000 people download software from macromedia.com each day, and 4 million people download the Flash player. All that is done with ColdFusion on the back-end. If there was any question whether CFMX was ready for the enterprise market, I think we now have an answer.