« Back to home

Web performance is getting more and more attention from web developers and is one of the hottest topic in web development.

Fred Wilson considered it at 10 Golden Principles of Successful Web Apps as the #1 principle for successful web apps:

First and foremost, we believe that speed is more than a feature. Speed is the most important feature. If your application is slow, people won’t use it.

Faster website means more revenue and traffic:

  • Amazon: 100 ms of extra load time caused a 1% drop in sales (source: Greg Linden, Amazon).
  • Google: 500 ms of extra load time caused 20% fewer searches (source: Marrissa Mayer, Google).
  • Yahoo!: 400 ms of extra load time caused a 5–9% increase in the number of people who clicked “back” before the page even loaded (source: Nicole Sullivan, Yahoo!).

Read more »

Reduce HTTP requests

On most sites, the major component of download time is not the base HTML file itself, but the number of subsequent HTTP requests to load the page’s supporting files - CSS, JavaScript, images, etc.

Each of those are extra HTTP requests, and each unique request takes a relatively long time. The fewer requests to the server that the browser has to make, the faster the page will load.

There is an inherent overhead in each HTTP request. It takes substantially less time to serve one 60K file than it does three 20K files and a lot less than it does six 10K files.

Combine and minimize files

This post will explain how to combine and minimize CSS and JavaScript files using YUI Compressor and Ant.

This can be done by just concatenating all files into two combined files (one for CSS and one for JavaScript) and minimize them. You can quickly go from 10 or more files down to 2, and their size can be greatly reduced.

To keep the modularity that comes with splitting these files out by section (or business unit), keep them split in your development process, and combine them in your build process. A first Ant task will combine them and a second task will generate their minimized versions.

This technique has been successfully used in libraries such as jQuery, MooTools, Dojo, ExtJS, YUI, etc, allowing developers to better organize their code.

Read more »

Please read Improving web site performance with Apache .htaccess for an updated version of this article.

.htaccess - gzip and cache your site for faster loading and bandwidth saving is one of the most popular posts on samaxes. It’s basically on how to compress and cache your site content with Apache and .htaccess file.

It works like a charm, but it’s not yet the perfect configuration for me. I wanted something that I can use out-of-the-box without having to rely on external extension modules or tools.

Read more »

Please read Improving web site performance with Apache .htaccess for an updated version of this article.

Last week I changed my hosting provider from Site5 to NearlyFreeSpeech.NET. NFSN is a lot more cheaper (I only pay for what I really use).

So in order to speed up my site and save bandwidth (the more I use the more I pay) I use .htaccess file to gzip my text based files and optimize cache HTTP headers. Although this site is powered by Wordpress which has some really great plugins to optimize PHP output I wanted a more generic solution which can be applied to all PHP web applications.

I also try to follow as much as I can the rules for high performance web sites so don’t be surprised if some Expires header seems too long (far future Expires header rule requires at least 172801 seconds).

Read more »