High Performance Web Sites : Essential Knowledge for Frontend Engineers

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-09-01
  • Publisher: Oreilly & Associates Inc
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Want your web site to display more quickly? This book presents 14 specific rules that will cut 25% to 50% off response time when users request a page. Author Steve Souders, in his job as Chief Performance Yahoo!, collected these best practices while optimizing some of the most-visited pages on the Web. Even sites that had already been highly optimized, such as Yahoo! Search and the Yahoo! Front Page, were able to benefit from these surprisingly simple performance guidelines. The rules in High Performance Web Sites explain how you can optimize the performance of the Ajax, CSS, JavaScript, Flash, and images that you've already built into your site -- adjustments that are critical for any rich web application. Other sources of information pay a lot of attention to tuning web servers, databases, and hardware, but the bulk of display time is taken up on the browser side and by the communication between server and browser. High Performance Web Sites covers every aspect of that process.

Author Biography

Steve Souders works at Google on web performance and open source initiatives. His books High Performance Web Sites and Even Faster Web Sites explain his best practices for performance along with the research and real-world results behind them. Steve is the creator of YSlow, the performance analysis extension to Firebug with more than 1 million downloads. He serves as co-chair of Velocity, the web performance and operations conference sponsored by O'Reilly. Steve taught CS193H: High Performance Web Sites at Stanford, and he frequently speaks at such conferences as OSCON, Rich Web Experience, Web 2.0 Expo, and The Ajax Experience.

Steve previously worked at Yahoo! as the Chief Performance Yahoo!, where he blogged about web performance on Yahoo! Developer Network. He was named a Yahoo! Superstar. Steve worked on many of the platforms and products within the company, including running the development team for My Yahoo!. Prior to Yahoo! Steve worked at several small to mid-sized startups including two companies he co-founded, Helix Systems and CoolSync. He also worked at General Magic, WhoWhere?, and Lycos.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
The Importance of Frontend Performancep. 1
Tracking Web Page Performancep. 1
Where Does the Time Go?p. 3
The Performance Golden Rulep. 4
HTTP Overviewp. 6
Compressionp. 7
Conditional GET Requestsp. 7
Expiresp. 8
Keep-Alivep. 8
There's Morep. 9
Rule 1: Make Fewer HTTP Requestsp. 10
Image Mapsp. 10
CSS Spritesp. 11
Inline Imagesp. 13
Combined Scripts and Stylesheetsp. 15
Conclusionp. 16
Rule 2: Use a Content Delivery Networkp. 18
Content Delivery Networksp. 19
The Savingsp. 20
Rule 3: Add an Expires Headerp. 22
Expires Headerp. 22
Max-Age and mod_expiresp. 23
Empty Cache vs. Primed Cachep. 24
More Than Just Imagesp. 25
Revving Filenamesp. 27
Examplesp. 28
Rule 4: Gzip Componentsp. 29
How Compression Worksp. 29
What to Compressp. 30
The Savingsp. 31
Configurationp. 31
Proxy Cachingp. 33
Edge Casesp. 34
Gzip in Actionp. 35
Rule 5: Put Stylesheets at the Topp. 37
Progressive Renderingp. 37
Sleep.cgip. 38
Blank White Screenp. 39
Flash of Unstyled Contentp. 43
What's a Frontend Engineer to Do?p. 43
Rule 6: Put Scripts at the Bottomp. 45
Problems with Scriptsp. 45
Parallel Downloadsp. 46
Scripts Block Downloadsp. 48
Worst Case: Scripts at the Topp. 49
Best Case: Scripts at the Bottomp. 49
Putting It in Perspectivep. 50
Rule 7: Avoid CSS Expressionsp. 51
Updating Expressionsp. 52
Working Around the Problemp. 52
Conclusionp. 54
Rule 8: Make JavaScript and CSS Externalp. 55
Inline vs. Externalp. 55
Typical Results in the Fieldp. 58
Home Pagesp. 58
The Best of Both Worldsp. 59
Rule 9: Reduce DNS Lookupsp. 63
DNS Caching and TTLsp. 63
The Browser's Perspectivep. 66
Reducing DNS Lookupsp. 68
Rule 10: Minify JavaScriptp. 69
Minificationp. 69
Obfuscationp. 70
The Savingsp. 70
Examplesp. 72
Icing on the Cakep. 73
Rule 11: Avoid Redirectsp. 76
Types of Redirectsp. 76
How Redirects Hurt Performancep. 77
Alternatives to Redirectsp. 79
Rule 12: Remove Duplicate Scriptsp. 85
Duplicate Scripts-They Happenp. 85
Duplicate Scripts Hurt Performancep. 86
Avoiding Duplicate Scriptsp. 87
Rule 13: Configure ETagsp. 89
What's an ETag?p. 89
The Problem with ETagsp. 91
ETags: Use 'Em or Lose 'Emp. 93
ETags in the Real Worldp. 94
Rule 14: Make Ajax Cacheablep. 96
Web 2.0, DHTML, and Ajaxp. 96
Asynchronous = Instantaneous?p. 98
Optimizing Ajax Requestsp. 99
Caching Ajax in the Real Worldp. 99
Deconstructing 10 Top Sitesp. 103
Page Weight, Response Time, YSlow Gradep. 103
How the Tests Were Donep. 105
Amazonp. 107
AOLp. 110
CNNp. 114
eBayp. 116
Googlep. 120
MSNp. 123
MySpacep. 127
Wikipediap. 130
Yahoo!p. 132
YouTubep. 135
Indexp. 139
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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