High Performance Web Sites


I have come to appreciate O’REILLY books for their practicality – and this book in particular is a stunning example of pragmatism and practicality. You should read it if for no other reason than that!

The author (Steve Souders of Yahoo!) shares fourteen easy steps that any front-end web designer can take to optimize performance. He give a general nod to the fact that most people expect that the back-end is where all the optimization can and should take place, and goes on to demonstrate with stunning clarity that “In reality, for most web pages, less than 10-20% of the end user response time is spent getting the HTML Document from the web server to the browser.

He provides hard numbers on tracking a Web Pages performance and will provide you with all the tools necessary in order for you to evaluate your own pages. As he states, “In any optimization effort, it’s critical to profile current performance to identify where you can achieve the greatest improvements.

After convincing you of the fact that the front end needs to be tweaked to get the best performance, he goes on to propose 14 elegant rules for optimizing a page. Some seem relatively straight forward, others seem bizarre upon first glance, and some others seem downright contrary on first glance.

However, with a systematic ease he goes on to demonstrate the logic as well as the potential benefits associated with each one. You will find that not all are necessarily appropriate to all projects, but that you will want to print out the list of 14 rules and stick on the wall next to you so that you can ask yourself which are appropriate for the current project.

All in all, it was a very fast read, well organized, imminently applicable, and in some way’s eye opening. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I believe that you will to.

ISBN-10 #: 0-596-52930-9
ISBN-13 #: 978-0-596-52930-7
Recommended?: Yes

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