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.

Flush HTML Early and Often


In this article the virtues of HTML flushing are extolled. If, for example, a flush is sent immediately after the HEAD section, then the browser can start rendering and downloading components while the backend gets to work. This allows for a faster presentation to the user. Several flushes can be combined to present the site progressively — an initial render and layout with an element or two followed by a chunk that fills in to the fold.

Top 10 ways to optimize CSS for faster websites

Author: Ali Gajani.

Front end processing is a usual source of delay in presenting a website. Targeting this area, Ali Gajani authored this article focused on the CSS component. Amongst other issues, developers sometimes have excess baggage in CSS due to utilising their favourite templates, which can be trimmed a great deal. Ten specific steps are detailed here to address any performance impact the CSS is creating.

Communication costs in real-world networks

Author: Peter Bailis.

Aside from front and backend, the networks our data traverses can introduce delays. This short article discusses theoretical speeds and why we realistically get numbers several times worse than that. Some of the points on crossing datacentres vs staying in an availability zone impact backend design. He concludes that improvements on network hardware is not the answer, but improvement in software, algorithms, and programming techniques will overcome the impediments.