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O’Reilly Books on Web Performance


We sum up the available books on web performance from O’Reilly.

There are a number of books published now on Web Performance. Here is a summary of the books available on the topic, mainly from O’Reilly.

In a July 2008 blog post, my editor at O’Reilly Simon St.Laurent compared Building Scalable Web Sites by Carl Henderson, High Performance Web Sites by Steve Souders’, and Website Optimization by yours truly, Andrew King.

Building Scalable Web Sites is for developers who plan on creating a site visited by millions of people. It teaches readers what Flickr learned on its way from small site to cultural icon. High Performance Web Sites gives a concise summary of fourteen rules that you can use to speed up most any website. My own book, Website Optimization is a broader book that gives detailed information on improving your search engine marketing efforts, conversion rates, and website performance, as well as measuring those improvements. The website performance section gives tips on XHTML optimization, CSS optimization, multimedia optimization, and Ajax optimization.

If that weren’t enough, there is High Performance MySQL by a host of authors led by Baron Schwartz. MySQL is the foundation of many a database-driven site, including WebsiteOptimization.com, and we’ve found that you can get orders of magnitude improvement in performance with SQL and CMS optimization strategies. A more recent book is titled The Art of Capacity Planning from John Allspaw.

Older books on Web Performance

Some older books on performance include the following. A classic text on web performance tuning is Web Performance Tuning by Patrick Killelea. This book approaches web performance primarily from a back-end server-level orientation. Now out of print but still available used (and soon as a PDF) Speed Up Your Site by Andrew King is a the prequel to Website Optimization, devoted primarily to techniques you can use to improve client-side performance with HTML, CSS, JavaScript (execution and size optimization), and multimedia optimization techniques. Java Performance Tuning by Jack Shirazi is for Java jocks looking to avoid performance problems with their applications. System Performance Tuning by Gian-Paolo D. Musumeci shows how to tune your box for maximum speed. Rounding out these performance-related books are SQL Tuning by Dan Tow, and Optimizing Oracle Performance by Cary Millsap and Jeffrey Holt.

Related books on Web Performance

There are some other O’Reilly books that are related to web performance and used a references for many a developer. Information Architecture is a classic text by Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld that shows readers how to design their sites to scale better, and is a classic textbook for many an Information Architecture class and should not be missed. Essential System Administration by AEleen Frisch is another classic text in system administration that is used in same-named classes on the topic.

For Simon St.Laurent’s comparison of three O’Reilly books on web performance see:

High Performance Scalable Web Sites and Optimization

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