Finished Reading High Performance Web Sites

Finished Reading High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers by Steve Souders. In this book Souders presents 14 rules that will cut the response time of a site by up to 50%. Steve Souders, Chief Performance Yahoo!, discovered these best practices while optimizing one of the highest traffic sites on the internet.

Unlike other books that focus on server side optimizations, this book focuses on client side performance improvements for Ajax, CSS, JavaScript, and images. Souders focuses on client side optimizations because the bulk of display time is in communications between the browser and the server. High Performance Web Sites provides specific examples and code snippets for the following 14 rules:

  • Make Fewer HTTP Requests
  • Use a Content Delivery Network
  • Add an Expires Header
  • Gzip Components
  • Put Stylesheets at the Top
  • Put Scripts at the Bottom
  • Avoid CSS Expressions
  • Make JavaScript and CSS External
  • Reduce DNS Lookups
  • Minify JavaScript
  • Avoid Redirects
  • Remove Duplicates Scripts
  • Configure ETags
  • Make Ajax Cacheable

I recommend this book to anyone interested in improving the performance of their website on a budget. The majority of these rules take very little time or money to implement. I’ve already added the YSlow extension to my FireBug extension in Firefox to start testing my site. I’m interested to find out what new information Steve Souders discusses in Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers, his second book.

I began programming in C++ when I was in college. Odd for a business major, but hey I am a Dork. After college I got a job as System Administrator. As a System Administrator I was in charge of web administration. My journey as a PHP web developer had begun. Since that time I have gained an in depth knowledge of CSS, Javascript, XML and MySQL. With changes and advances to technology I have also began learning AJAX. I started Blue Fire Development to do freelance work in my spare time.

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