Aalto, an online marketplace that directly connects homeowners to buyers, prides itself on speed and scalability, both in its listing process and its website presentation. After consulting its peers, the engineering team chose imgix to compress and cache images, which markedly improved performance and freed up resources for core development needs.

Reduction in image file size
Image delivery success
Monthly image requests

The Customer

Aalto, the first true self-service real estate platform, is modernizing the residential real estate industry by giving buyers and sellers greater access and transparency. Buyers can access exclusive homes and get cash back when they purchase. Sellers can save up to 80% on their sales versus the traditional selling process.

As a relatively young company, Aalto has established a significant customer base in an incredibly competitive industry. Founding Engineer, Evan Hobbs, emphasizes the high-stakes nature of this industry, saying

"Real estate, in general, is highly competitive with many players in the space, including agents, companies like Compass, Redfin, Zillow, and others. So it's important to provide the best user experience possible."

- Evan Hobbs, Founding Engineer at Aalto

Aalto property one for imgix case study

The Challenge

Images, a crucial part of real estate listings, are central to Aalto's platform. The team previously used another solution for image processing and delivery. However, it didn't meet the team's expectations.

"Our previous solution had limited API abilities. It couldn't handle the image variant processing we needed, and it caused delays in our image rendering and delivery."

- Evan Hobbs, Founding Engineer at Aalto

Aalto property two for imgix case study

The Solution

"Many of our news images include headshots, so to evaluate different solutions, we felt the best test was to see how different tools cropped the same picture based on its facial region. imgix clearly did the best work."

-Evan Hobbs, Founding Engineer at Aalto

The company chose imgix for its immediate, flexible resizing functionality and a simple, scalable pricing model that grows with Aalto's increasing business needs. Some of the ways Aalto optimizes images include the following:

  • auto=compress,format automates format conversion and compression, optimizing image quality while minimizing image weight and bandwidth usage.
  • srcset and sizes dynamically adjust the image dimensions based on the browser and viewport. This is especially useful as property photos are viewed across different devices, often by buyers and sellers on the go.
  • fit=max resizes the images to fit within the width and height dimensions without cropping, distorting, or increasing the size of the images.

The Results

"We've seen shorter image load times due to dynamic sizing and caching. Serving images via the imgix also eliminated the stress on our system and reduced significant opportunity costs. Instead of spending months of our time creating and maintaining an image processing system, we've reinvested those resources into growth and feature development."

- Evan Hobbs, Founding Engineer at Aalto

Since implementing imgix, Aalto has reduced image file sizes by up to 95%. In recent months, Aalto has handled over 18 million image requests each month, delivering on average 10 variant renders per image without stressing its web infrastructure.

imgix is a real-time image processing service and CDN. Thousands of companies around the world use imgix to deliver the best images at the perfect sizes to their customers.