This Week in Website Performance

This Week in Website Performance is a weekly feature of the blog. It summarizes recent articles about website performance. Why? Because your friends at care.

Reloading post-onload resources

Author: Steve Souders.

Have you ever wondered if the page you were looking at was a little stale? Maybe you updated the site and don’t see the new content. Obviously you are viewing cached resources. Any of us would hit the refresh button and expect to see the latest content after the reload. Back in the day of web 1.0 with it’s HTML, IMG, LINK, and so one that was indeed the case. These days we have web 2.0 with responsive dynamic pages and best practices that can affect the effect of a reload. Steve Souders dives deeply into the esoteric realm of caching and does some experimental reloading of various types of content on a variety of browsers. When the behaviour of your site doesn’t match expectations, it’s good to examine why and take appropriate action.

The magic behind the CSS (part 2)

Author: Jeremy Plack.

Diving into the CSS side of performance improvement, Jeremy Plack shows us how to optimise image transformation and animation on many platforms. This detailed article demonstrates with several examples we can all learn from.

How to build a news app that never goes down and costs you practically nothing

Author: Katie Zhu.

Usually when we think of web performance we think in terms of data size and speed to screen. There are other important performance factors such as uptime and price. NPR is a news organisation with a small budget and bursty traffic. They have developed a framework for web delivery to their news application team and client-side projects that runs on only two servers and is fast, cheap, and reliable. I thought you had to pick two of those and plan accordingly!

42 Monster Problems That Attack As Loads Increase

Author: Todd Hoff.

Do you know all the way your content can *not* get delivered on time? Web service depends on the hardware it’s running on, and there are a great many ways it can run into trouble under high load. There is a good chance that in this list of 42 “monster problems” you may find something to consider on your own server.

Zopfli: New compression library from Google

Author: Sarah Nottingham.

In the quest for speed, data compression is popular tool to minimize the data payload. Zopfli is a new compression utility based on the deflate algorithm which results in compression rates 3 to 8 percent better than the popular zlib library. At maximum compression it can be slower than other tools, but where download levels are most important, this might be the one to use. Developed by a Google engineer, Zopfli is available under an Apache 2.0 license.

Real World RWD Performance – Take 2

Author: Guy Podjarny.

Responsive web design is a key element in most new developments in recognition of the variety of screens being used. Smart developers create great stripped down code to be lighter for the reduced resources available. Interestingly while many websites display a responsive site, the full code of the large scale site is downloaded.

Faster, smaller and more beautiful web with WebP

Author: Ilya Grigorik.

The data delivery for a website is growing all the time. With 60% of the bytes devoted to images, Googles new WebP compression is reducing their property (gmail, picasa, etc) bytes transferred by 30% – which translates to terabytes of savings… every day! With support on many platforms this is worth checking out.

How Fast is Your Web Site?

Author: Patrick Meenan.

Are you interested in website performance? Of course your are! Patrick Meenan has put together a great article covering the variety of performance testing you should be keeping an eye on with respect to your websites. If you don’t have a monitoring solution in place, head on over to and get setup today.

How Basecamp Next got to be so damn fast without using much client-side UI

Author: David Heinemeier Hansson.

This is a nice, relatively short, writeup of one way to get blazing fast responsive website. When you have a page full of data including todo lists and the like, every little change *could* bog down the page in updates. Basecamp has accomplished very high speed updates with good cache architecture. There are lessons to be learned here if you are looking to speed up a similar site.