Yo'av Moshe

Author Archives: Yo'av Moshe

Open source Managed Components for Cloudflare Zaraz

Open source Managed Components for Cloudflare Zaraz
Open source Managed Components for Cloudflare Zaraz

In early 2020, we sat down and tried thinking if there’s a way to load third-party tools on the Internet without slowing down websites, without making them less secure, and without sacrificing users’ privacy. In the evening, after scanning through thousands of websites, our answer was “well, sort of”. It seemed possible: many types of third-party tools are merely collecting information in the browser and then sending it to a remote server. We could theoretically figure out what it is that they’re collecting, and then instead just collect it once efficiently, and send it server-side to their servers, mimicking their data schema. If we do this, we can get rid of loading their JavaScript code inside websites completely. This means no more risk of malicious scripts, no more performance losses, and fewer privacy concerns.

But the answer wasn’t a definite “YES!” because we realized this is going to be very complicated. We looked into the network requests of major third-party scripts, and often it seemed cryptic. We set ourselves up for a lot of work, looking at the network requests made by tools and trying to figure out what they are doing – What is this parameter? When is Continue reading

Zaraz use Workers to make third-party tools secure and fast

Zaraz use Workers to make third-party tools secure and fast
Zaraz use Workers to make third-party tools secure and fast

We decided to create Zaraz around the end of March 2020. We were working on another product when we noticed everyone was asking us about the performance impact of having many third-parties on their website. Third-party content is an important part of the majority of websites today, powering analytics, chatbots, conversion pixels, widgets — you name it. The definition of third-party is an asset, often JavaScript, hosted outside the primary site-user relationship, that is not under the direct control of the site owner but is present with ‘approval’. Yair wrote in detail about the process of measuring the impact of these third-party tools, and how we pivoted our startup, but I wanted to write about how we built Zaraz and what it actually does behind the scenes.

Third parties are great in that they let you integrate already-made solutions with your website, and you barely need to do any coding. Analytics? Just drop this code snippet. Chat widget? Just add this one. Third-party vendors will usually instruct you on how to add their tool, and from that point on things should just be working. Right? But when you add third-party code, it usually fetches even more code from remote Continue reading