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Case Study: Teachthought.com Dedicated Server Upgrade

In this case study, moving from a shared to dedicated server improved TTFB by 75% and repeat view load times by 70%. more »

Empirical Study of Web Site Speed on Search Engine Rankings

This article summarizes the results of a study on load time factors in Google search engine rankings. The empirical study found that website crawl time and its variability strongly correlates with search engine position. more »

Healthcare.gov One Year Performance Review

After one year of improvements, how fast is the healthcare.gov website? While the site is more available, response times have slowed down by 62% to 78% over the past year. We offer some triaged recommendations to improve the speed of healthcare.gov. more »

Case Study: Walkerworldtrade.com Server Upgrade

Moving to a faster server can cut page load times by more than half, and improve behavior metrics like conversion and exit rates. We use Google Analytics to test Walkerworldtrade.com before and after a server upgrade. more »

Form Conversion Rate Optimization

Learn how a combination of form optimization and speed improved conversion rates by more than 92%, more »

Upgrade to a Faster Server: Results

We further explore the results of upgrading to a faster server. Overall the site showed improved response speed and website "stickiness." Average page load times improved by 48% to 60% server response times improved by more than 60%, and people stayed longer, viewed more pages, and bounced less. more »

Upgrade to a Faster Server

Upgrading to a faster server can improve web page speed significantly, up to 66% faster for first paint time and 29% for load times. We moved an example site to a faster server to test the performance improvements. more »

Website Speed and SEO

Having a consistently "responsive" site will ensure that your site will be crawled and fully indexed, and will not suffer slow-loading ranking penalties. Optimizing the TTFB of your site is a good place to start to minimize the effects of speed on your SEO rankings more »

Average Web Page Breaks 1600K

The size of the average web page passed 1600K for the first time in July. Page size appears to inversely correlate with site traffic. more »

Wordpress Performance Optimization

Learn how to speed optimize Wordpress for faster web pages and ultimately better conversions and rankings. Optimized hosting, performance plugins and modules, profilers, and other tools and software can help you pinpoint performance bottlenecks and speed up your site. more »

Avoid Mass Web Hosting

We investigate moving an example site from a slow mass host to a lightly loaded host and measure the results. Server response times were reduced by 82.1% and variability by about 7 fold. more »

Speedy Mobile Sites Impact Google Search Rankings

Google is now factoring in mobile friendliness and mobile website speed into their search engine rankings. more »

Use a Website Accelerator

Automated website acceleration products can speed up your site without developer intervention. We test the effectiveness of Radware's Fastview appliance on a test site and find significant improvements in speed. more »

Velocity 2013 New York City Highlights

The first Velocity Web Performance conference held in New York City was chock full of interesting talks and hands-on workshops. We've got highlights. more »

Healthcare.gov Performance Review

This article evaluates the website performance issues of the healthcare.gov site, and offers some solutions to improve speed. A brief analysis shows a number of issues that could be addressed to improve the user experience. more »

Optimize Start Render Time

HCI guidelines say load useful content within 1-2 seconds, do your pages measure up? Learn how to optimize the start render time of your web pages to speed up useful content display. more »

Flush HTML Early and Often

Developers can speed up start render times by flushing a portion of their HTML document to the client even before the entire HTML file is ready. Both Yahoo! Search and Google use this performance technique. more »

Average Web Video Duration 5.4 Minutes

The average web video has grown by 20% in the last 2 years. more »

Localize External Resources

Even popular offsite widgets can slow down or hang your web pages. Learn how to localize offsite resources to improve web page performance. more »

Average Number of Web Page Objects Breaks 100

The size and complexity of web pages has increased at an alarming rate. Despite increases in bandwidth, the load times of web pages has increased by 48% over the past two years. Reducing HTTP requests has become a critical skill in speeding up page load times. more »

Splitting PDF Files

Many email programs and gateways have size limits on attachments. Learn how to split larger PDF files into smaller ones using PDF tools. more »

Blocking JavaScript with Web Page Test

Learn how to simulate the elimination of JavaScript with Web Page Test. By eliminating, deferring or converting your JavaScript behavior into CSS you can speed up your page rendering and load times. more »

Blocking CSS with Web Page Test to Simulate Elimination of CSS

Learn how to simulate the elimination of CSS with Web Page Test. By eliminating, combining, and recoding your style sheets using modular or object oriented CSS you can speed up your page rendering and load times. more »

Diagnosing Slow Web Servers with Time to First Byte

Slow web servers can be caused by a number of factors. You can test for slow server response times with the time time to first byte metric. more »

Use a Web Page Optimization Tool

Web page analysis and optimization tools can help locate and minimize performance bottlenecks. They can improve accessibility, spelling, XHTML markup, and even search engine visibility. We update our survey of the web page optimization tool landscape. more »

JPEGmini: More Efficient Image Compression

JPEGmini is JPEG optimization software that reduces the size of photographs by up to 5 or 6 times, while maintaining their visual quality. WSO tests the free service and interviews the CTO of ICTV. more »

Velocity 2011 Web Performance Conference

Highlights from the 2011 installment of O'Reilly's Velocity web performance conference, held in Santa Clara, CA in June. The author sums up the tools and tips from the conference as well as a book signing. more »

Page Speed Online

The online version of Google's Page Speed browser extension features a new mobile web page analysis mode. more »

Serving 2012 Olympic Tickets: London2012 15, CoSport 0

The race is on to get tickets to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England. Are the web sites handing the traffic as fast as the athletes they promote? more »

Speed Optimizing Google Analytics

Learn how to speed up web pages that use Google Analytics with a few simple changes, while maintaining its advantages for faster-loading sites. more »

ETags Revisited

Learn how to configure or eliminate ETags to improve website performance. more »

Automatically Speed Up Your Site with mod_pagespeed for Apache

mod_pagespeed is an open-source Apache module that automatically speeds up web sites. Through a number of filters, mod_pagespeed trims the fat off your HTML, CSS, JavaScript and images, reduces HTTP requests, and improves caching. In this article we introduce mod_pagespeed and summarize the available filters. more »

What to Expect from a Web Performance Audit

Google's new search rank measure, site speed, is one more reason to make sure your pages fly. For faster websites and higher rankings, many companies turn to a performance analysis. Find out what to look for in a web performance audit. more »

Andrew King Interviewed by Joshua Bixby of Strangeloop Networks

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. more »

Velocity 2010 Web Performance Conference

Highlights from the Velocity 2010 conference on web performance. This sold-out event explored the latest technique for fast websites, and is a must-see for performance engineers. more »

Page Speed Factored into Google Search Rankings

Google's addition of a page speed signal to its search rankings algorithm officially links performance with search engine marketing. The loading speed of a web page affects user psychology in a number of ways, and now it can affect its rankings as well. more »

PNG24 and PNG Optimization

Which program is the alpha transparency dog of PNG optimization? We put the front runners of the photo optimization pack through their paces. more »

Anatomy of a Redesign

A behind the screens look at a recent redesign of WebsiteOptimization.com. Includes CSS sprites, Movable Type integration, and a three-dimensional look. more »

Memory Markers and the Subjective Duration of Experience

New research shows that Web developers need to balance the need to create rich, immersive experiences with tolerable download times and scant distractions. more »

HTTP Compression

HTTP compression uses standards-based gzip and deflate compression algorithms to compress your XHTML, CSS, and JavaScript to speed up web page downloads and save bandwidth. more »

Web Page Performance Thesis

A Ph.D. thesis on web page performance quantifies the key factors in web page response times. Uses software to measure, model, and monitor response times and improve user satisfaction. more »

Usability Study: Men Need Speed

In a recent usability survey, researchers from Southern Illinois University found that after ease of use, men prefer fast download speed to easy navigation. Women prefer ease of use, easy navigation, and accessibility. The researchers hypothesize that these different usability criteria are due to differences in how men and women use the Web. more »

Study: Web Users Prefer Speed Over Customization

The most important interface design factor is speed, according to a new HCI study. Good interface design is essential for widespread user adoption and ultimately website success. more »

Offload Resource Intensive Scripts to Improve Server Performance

This article shows how offloading resource intensive scripts can significantly improve web server performance. By offloading the Web Page Analyzer script to a separate server, we improved response times by over 98%, improved throughput by a factor of 40, and significantly reduced response time variability. more »

Average Top 100 Weblog Performance Survey

We compare the home page performance of the top 100 weblogs with the top 1000 websites. Updating a top 100 weblog survey, we find a correlation between popularity and page size. more »

Evolution of the Web from 2000 to 2007

In a comparative survey of data traces from 2000 and 2007, University of Twente researchers found that the nature of the Web has changed from a static one-way medium to a dynamic platform for interactive services such as photo and video sharing portals. more »

O'Reilly Books on Web Performance

We sum up the available books on web performance from O'Reilly. more »

Solid-State Drive Web Server Test

We test a new server with solid-state drives and faster processors. Upgrading our dedicated server improved performance by 35% to 50%. more »

Optimize Drop Shadows

Learn how to create optimized drop-shadows in Photoshop to minimize the size of web graphics. more »

The Psychology of Web Performance

Users experience psychological and physiological effects when interacting with web pages, experiencing frustration when not completing tasks and engagement at faster web sites. Learn how web page response times affect user psychology and behavior. more »

Inline Images with Data URLs

Learn how to embed images into your web pages with data URLs. The data: URI scheme includes images directly into your XHTML pages using code instead of external files, saving valuable HTTP requests. more »

The Cost of Banner Advertising on Web Performance

The cost of banner ads for the average website is about one-sixth more objects and one-third more latency. Learn how online advertising affects web page response times, user behavior, and satisfaction. more »

Optimize Parallel Downloads to Minimize Object Overhead

With the average web page growing past 50 external objects, object overhead now dominates most web page delays. Increasing parallel downloads by using multiple hostnames can realize up to a 40% improvement in web page latency. more »

Use Delta Encoding to Compress RSS newsfeeds

Learn how to use delta encoding to compress your RSS XML newsfeeds. Save bandwidth by using delta compression for your RSS files. more »

Suture CSS or JavaScript Files to Reduce HTTP Requests

Learn how to "suture" CSS or JavaScript files together before delivery from the server to save HTTP requests. You'll have your organization and eat it too with this server-side approach to merging files. more »

CSS Sprites: How Yahoo.com and AOL.com Improve Web Performance

Learn how AOL and Yahoo! use CSS sprites to improve performance for their busy home pages. CSS sprites save HTTP requests by using CSS positioning to selectively display composite background images. To maximize accessibility and usability, CSS sprites are best used for icons or decorative effects. more »

Mono-Image CSS Rollovers

Learn how to create menu rollovers with different graphic backgrounds with one image. Save HTTP requests by combining on and off images into one mini-sprite and position with CSS. more »

Web Video Optimization Tips

Optimizing web videos has become more important as the use and size of videos has increased on the Web. Learn some best practices to help optimize your videos. more »

Home Page Usability and Credibility Survey

A usability survey revealed that high growth companies are not evaluating and improving their home page designs in a systematic way. By comparing the home pages of the Fortune 30 against Inc Magazine's fastest growing companies, researchers from Minnesota State University found the Fortune 30 had a usability score over 36% higher than the fast growing companies. more »

Update: Pro Ball Head Review

A solid ball head dampens sharpness-robbing vibration for sharper and smaller images and videos for the Web. Updated with the newest models, we compare some pro-level ball heads and offer some tips for sharper photographs. more »

Replace GIF with PNG Images

PNGs are designed to be a more efficient, flexible, and patent-free replacement for GIFs. By replacing your GIFs with PNGs you can speed up your web pages and save bandwidth. more »

Don't Let the Graphics Grinch Steal Your Christmas Bonus

Know what jolly old site owners get when they let their graphics get so plump they shake like a bowl full of jelly? A lump of coal for Christmas. Let our Rudolph guide your way to a merry Christmas and happy New Year with an inspirational rendering of 'Twas the night before Christmas. more »

The Interactive Effects of Website Delay, Breadth, and Familiarity

A recent study examined whether website delay, breadth, and familiarity have interactive effects on user psychology and performance. A significant three-way interaction among all three factors showed that the ill effects of delay can be dampened by familiarity and breadth. Developers are urged to consider site familiarity, breadth, and delay together rather than separately. more »

Use a Web Accelerator

We review google web accelerator to see how well it speeds up web browsing. Web accelerators speed up web browsers with look-ahead caching, http compression, and proxy servers. This tutorial includes webmaster information. more »

Optimize PDF Files

We review Acrobat 8 Professional (pre-release) and PDF Enhancer 3.1 for optimizing PDF files. The new Acrobat features faster operations, smaller PDFs, a new interface, and the ability to combine different types of files into one PDF. Learn how to use PDF optimization tools to remove redundancies, subset and outline fonts, and compress text and images for faster downloads and higher user satisfaction. more »

Clickstream Study Reveals Dynamic Web

A new browser study revealed a shift in how we interact with the Web. University of Hamburg researchers found the Web moving from static hypertext information to dynamic interactive services. Clickstream heatmaps and web page statistics show rapid interaction over smaller areas of the screen. The authors recommend that web developers create concise, flexible, and fast loading web pages to keep pace with the speed of web navigation. more »

Highlight the Current Page with CSS: The Body ID/Class Method

This article shows how to automatically highlight menu items that correspond to the current page using CSS and XHTML. These "you are here" waypoints help orient users and improve usability. Using CSS avoids the need for complex scripting which simplifies maintenance and improves performance. more »

Combine Images to Save HTTP Requests

Learn how to reduce the number of HTTP requests required by your web pages by combining adjacent images and optionally imagemapping the links. This tutorial shows both client and server side techniques you can use to save precious HTTP requests and speed up your site. more »

Bookend Lists: Using CSS to Float a Masthead

Learn how to create that 'bookend' look with lists and CSS positioning. This CSS-layout technique saves a significant amount of XHTML code over tables. more »

First Impressions Count in Website Design

Web designers have as little as 50 milliseconds to capture the interest of potential customers. Through the halo effect, first impressions can influence subsequent judgments of website credibility and buying decisions. more »

Crop Images Contextually

Crop images contextually for faster downloads and higher impact. By cropping maximally and resizing you can convey meaning without slowing down your web pages. more »

Refactor to Improve Code Design

Refactoring restructures your code into a more simplified or efficient form in a disciplined way. Refactoring software code improves its internal structure without changing external functionality for more efficient execution, faster download speed, and easier updates. more »

Sink the Splash Pages

Skip intro splash pages degrade performance, increase bailout rates, and decrease your search engine rankings. Most importantly splash screens reduce web credibility with up to 71% traffic loss. more »

Use Server Cache Control to Improve Performance

Configure your Apache server for more efficient caching to save bandwidth and improve web site performance. A web cache reduces latency and improves web site response times. more »

Get a Dedicated Server Hosting Your Web Site

Upgrading to your own server improves performance, reliability, and control over your website. Andy King talks about his experience moving to a dedicated server for WebSiteOptimization.com. more »

Abbreviate URLs with mod_rewrite

We look behind the screens at Yahoo and Webreference to see how using short abbreviated URLs and mod_rewrite can save space for maximum speed. more »

CSS: Use Shorthand Hex Colors

Shorthand hex notation substitutes 3-character color values for 6-character colors when each of the color channels is identical in an RRGGBB hex triplet. Shorthand hexadecimal colors can help optimize your style sheets, especially when combined with shorthand properties and grouping. more »

Use Conditional Server Side Includes

Conditional SSI let you deliver customized content to different browsers and platforms without requiring additional HTTP requests. With conditional CSS, you can include additional styles for modern browsers, without upsetting older ones. more »

Graphics: Blur Backgrounds for Optimized JPEGs

Background blurring reduces non-critical details to make the JPEG algorithm work more efficiently. Converting to Lab Color mode allows you to maximize blur for minimum file size. more »

Graphics: Minimize Dithering

Dithering uses existing colors to strategically change pixels to minimize apparent banding. While dithering increases file size, when used in combination with lossy compression and weighted optimization, dithering can allow lower bit-depths for GIFs and PNGs. more »

Graphics: Influence Histograms

Histogram influencing minimizes banding in GIFs and PNGs by weighting color palettes towards problem areas. Lower banding at lower bit-depths makes for smaller images. more »

Graphics: Minimize Bit-Depth

Minimize the number of colors in GIFs and PNGs to optimize file size. Lower bit-depths mean smaller palettes and code widths, which makes for smaller images. more »

CSS: Substitute CSS2 Menus

Substituting CSS2-styled lists for graphic menus and JavaScript can streamline your pages and make them more accessible. more »

Graphics: Use Lossy Compression for Smaller GIFs and PNGs

Lossy compression lets you squeeze more bytes out of your GIFs and PNGs. Lossy compression increases identical pixel patterns to improve compression in indexed-color images. more »

XHTML: Omit Redundant Classes and Default Attributes

Omitting redundant classes and default attributes shrinks xhtml code to speed page response times. Many tags and duplicate attributes can be safely removed with no change in appearance. more »

XHTML: Layer Tables and Divs

By layering your content you can display useful content quickly to make your pages appear faster. Feedback can increase your users' pain threshold for delay. more »

XHTML: Use Structural Markup

By using purely structural XHTML markup you can easily target your content with CSS selectors. more »

Graphics: Use Weighted Optimization

Weighted optimization or regional compression applies different degrees of compression to different areas of your image. By varying the quality within images you can improve file size. more »

Graphics: Choose the Right Image Format

Choosing the right image format is the first step in optimizing web graphics. Learn how to choose between the GIF, PNG, and JPEG formats for different image types. more »

Multimedia: Use a Stable Tripod

A stable tripod creates sharper pictures and videos by damping out vibration. Sharper shots mean smaller multimedia destined for the Web. more »

Multimedia: Use Image Stabilization

Image stabilization creates sharper pictures by damping vibration to avoid motion blur. Gyroscopic stabilizers steady cameras for sharper photographs and videos. more »

Remove Whitespace

Whitespace removal eliminates unnecessary spaces, tabs, and returns in your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code for faster downloads. more »

CSS: Use Descendant Selectors

Descendant selectors are an elegant way to apply styles to specific areas of your page while reducing the need to embed classes within elements. more »

CSS: Use Type Selectors

High-level type selectors style identical elements in your document without the need for extra classes. more »

JavaScript: Defer Execution

Defer execution of your JavaScripts with the defer attribute to speed initial content display. more »

CSS: Group Common Styles into Shared Classes

You can group styles common to different rules into their own classes to save repeating yourself. By applying multiple classes to one element in CSS you can modularize your code to help optimize your style sheets. more »

Minimize HTTP Requests

By combining external files and embedding CSS and JavaScript within your HTML you can minimize the number of HTTP requests required to render your page. Each unique HTTP request requires a round trip to a server, introducing indeterminate delays. more »

CSS: Group Selectors and Declarations

By grouping CSS selectors that share the same declaration and declarations that share the same selector you can apply multiple declarations to multiple selectors to optimize your style sheets. more »

JavaScript: Delay Loading

Delay loading your JavaScripts to speed up your content display. By redefining empty stub functions with scripts loaded late in your page, you can ensure that your content displays quickly. more »

CSS: Group Declarations

Grouping common declarations for the same selector in CSS allows you to apply multiple declarations to one selector to optimize your style sheets. more »

CSS: Group Selectors

Group selectors for the same declaration in CSS to shrink your style sheets. more »

CSS: Use Shorthand Properties

Use shorthand properties in CSS to shrink your style sheets. more »
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Last modified: July 18, 2017.

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