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Andrew King Interviewed by Joshua Bixby of Strangeloop Networks

Summary: Joshua Bixby interviewed Andrew King about the web performance industry. Learn what to look for in a performance consultant and what to expect in an audit.

Our own Andy King was interviewed by Joshua Bixby of Strangeloop Networks. Joshua asked Andy some probing questions about web performance consulting.

Joshua, the President of Strangeloop Networks, asked about the value of hiring an outside consultant. Where to start when finding a performance consultant. Asking the right questions to weed out unqualified candidates. If there was a common process that performance consultants follow? And what to expect at the end of the process.

Web Performance Consulting: Five questions for Andrew King

What to look for with a Performance Consultant

You want to hire a firm that has experience and credibility. Like any job involving a consultant, ask for references. Take a look at their website to see how it fares for speed and design. Use Pagespeed, YSlow, or Web Page Analyzer to test the speed of their site, to see if they eat their own dog food.

Performance Consultant Directory?

Joshua asked an interesting question in the interview. Where can one find a performance consultant? Is there an organization of performance consultants and firms? Unlike SEO which has SEMPO, I know of no organization of web performance consultants, looks like there is a need for this.

Web Performance Audit

The most common request we have from companies looking for performance consulting is an audit. Front-end audits outnumber back-end audits by a large margin, as 80% of performance problems are due to the front-end, i.e., the content that you deliver from your server to your users. A front-end audit evaluates the XHTML, CSS, javaScript, and multimedia for efficiency, as well as server settings that can help performance. We'll expand on what to expect in a web performance audit in a future tweak.

Further Reading

Strangeloop Networks
Joshua Bixby's Strangeloop Networks specializes in automatically speeding up websites with services and hardware appliances.
Page Speed
A free browser-based tool that analyzes and grades web pages based on performance rules discovered by Steve Souders.
Web Page Analyzer
A free server-based tool that analyzes the performance of web pages.
YSlow
A Firebug plug-in that analyzes and grades web pages for performance. Useful for summarized statistics.

By website optimization on 29 Aug 2010 AM

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