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High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers [Paperback]

Steve Souders
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 21 2007 0596529309 978-0596529307 1

Want your web site to display more quickly? This book presents 14 specific rules that will cut 25% to 50% off response time when users request a page. Author Steve Souders, in his job as Chief Performance Yahoo!, collected these best practices while optimizing some of the most-visited pages on the Web. Even sites that had already been highly optimized, such as Yahoo! Search and the Yahoo! Front Page, were able to benefit from these surprisingly simple performance guidelines.

The rules in High Performance Web Sites explain how you can optimize the performance of the Ajax, CSS, JavaScript, Flash, and images that you've already built into your site -- adjustments that are critical for any rich web application. Other sources of information pay a lot of attention to tuning web servers, databases, and hardware, but the bulk of display time is taken up on the browser side and by the communication between server and browser. High Performance Web Sites covers every aspect of that process.

Each performance rule is supported by specific examples, and code snippets are available on the book's companion web site. The rules include how to:

  • Make Fewer HTTP Requests
  • Use a Content Delivery Network
  • Add an Expires Header
  • Gzip Components
  • Put Stylesheets at the Top
  • Put Scripts at the Bottom
  • Avoid CSS Expressions
  • Make JavaScript and CSS External
  • Reduce DNS Lookups
  • Minify JavaScript
  • Avoid Redirects
  • Remove Duplicates Scripts
  • Configure ETags
  • Make Ajax Cacheable

If you're building pages for high traffic destinations and want to optimize the experience of users visiting your site, this book is indispensable.

"If everyone would implement just 20% of Steve's guidelines, the Web would be adramatically better place. Between this book and Steve's YSlow extension, there's reallyno excuse for having a sluggish web site anymore."

-Joe Hewitt, Developer of Firebug debugger and Mozilla's DOM Inspector

"Steve Souders has done a fantastic job of distilling a massive, semi-arcane art down to a set of concise, actionable, pragmatic engineering steps that will change the world of web performance."

-Eric Lawrence, Developer of the Fiddler Web Debugger, Microsoft Corporation


Frequently Bought Together

High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers + Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers
Price For Both: CDN$ 42.91

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Product Details


Product Description

Book Description

14 Steps to Faster-Loading Web Sites

About the Author

Steve Souders works at Google on web performance and open source initiatives. His books High Performance Web Sites and Even Faster Web Sites explain his best practices for performance along with the research and real-world results behind them. Steve is the creator of YSlow, the performance analysis extension to Firebug with more than 1 million downloads. He serves as co-chair of Velocity, the web performance and operations conference sponsored by O'Reilly. Steve taught CS193H: High Performance Web Sites at Stanford, and he frequently speaks at such conferences as OSCON, Rich Web Experience, Web 2.0 Expo, and The Ajax Experience.

Steve previously worked at Yahoo! as the Chief Performance Yahoo!,where he blogged about web performance on Yahoo! Developer Network. He was named a Yahoo! Superstar. Steve worked on many of the platforms and products within the company, including running the development team for My Yahoo!. Prior to Yahoo! Steve worked at several small to mid-sized startups including two companies he co-founded, Helix Systems and CoolSync. He also worked at General Magic, WhoWhere?, and Lycos.


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't go wrong with this book! July 31 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are into front-end development, then this book is a good resource. This book explains how to improve your site performance (loading time) significantly. I bought this book back in 2009 and learned a lot from it. Although if you use framework, most of these optimization can be done from the framework, but I still think this book is a good read if you are into front-end development.

Also, all of the points covered in the book is mentioned in Yahoo Developer Network's Performance blog.[...]

There's also a youtube video titled "High Performance Websites and YSlow!" which explains these points in details.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Performance Web Sites Oct. 9 2008
By Tami Brady HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I remember when I first started using the Internet. Dial ups were extremely slow at the time, so I'd type in a URL, then go make a sandwich. By the time I came back, hopefully the page would be loaded.

Today, we expect more. Often if a page takes more than a few moments to load, I don't bother. I tend to equate professional with quick. If a site doesn't load quickly or if parts of the page are slow, I naturally assume that the information provided might be as shabbily compiled. I simply move onto a different page.

High Performance Web Sites looks at how we can make our own websites load more quickly. I was surprised at how many different little things that can be done beyond optimizing graphics. Most of these things only take a few little nips and tucks and none were beyond my novice level of ability.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  54 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Read -- Pass It Along Sept. 17 2007
By Brett Merkey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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_High Performance Web Sites_ is one of those books that will get read by more people than buy it because it is both a fast read and organized into clearly differentiated subjects. This makes it easy to pick up for a moment or pass along to team members with different specialties.

Each of these "14 Steps to Faster-Loading Web Sites" (listed in the editorial review above) is itself divided into related tips with practical pointers. The fact that the book is full of these pointers is not the only value I extracted. We also get something a bit more subtle. The fact that the author is a performance expert at one of the mega-companies that define the Web for most of us lends authority to the book. It is easy to have confidence that his practical experience will have immediate lessons for teams with the same problems, if on a smaller scale.

Steve Souders provides a special addition to his tips: his example pages offer direct comparisons and means to make our own tests. This is something rarely encountered in such books. The book ends with a 30-page chapter where he deconstructs 10 of the top Web sites in the U.S. using the rules and tools described in the book.
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas, poor book Dec 22 2007
By E. Welker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The ideas in the book are excellent. I'm all for an organized checklist of techniques to make web sites faster. The problem, is that once you have read the documentation for Yslow (the firebug plugin that grades sites based on these criteria) you will find the book provides little to no more substantive information. I had looked forward to it, purchased it, and have since given it away. I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt, as I love the ideas, but this book just didn't deliver.
40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I expected more... Jan. 10 2008
By NJP (Ohio) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While the information in the book is good information to know, it is (as others have said) information that pretty much gave a "yeah, I knew that" type of impression. And at only 137 pages of text, it's a very light read. If you are a new web developer, this is a nice collection of tips. As an experienced developer, there's nothing new here. And at $29 for its minimal 137 pages, it's really just an expensive checklist of 14 simple items. Too pricey for what you get in my opinion.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for performance teams AND web development engineers Oct. 1 2007
By Bernard Farrell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Not only does Steve Souders have the credentials to write this book (he's the chief performance guy for Yahoo!), he's also written a book that is an easy read and will give you everything you need to easily improve your web site performance.

Each of the 14 tips is well explained together with examples from real world sites that show how the tip has been used or how it would have helped. Some are harder to do (Use a Content Delivery Network) if you're just working on a small site or an internal web application. But most are easy to implement (GZip components, Make JavaScript and CSS External) and you'll see the results immediately.

This book should be on your Essential Reading bookshelf if you're a web developer or a member of the performance team for any organization. Keep it a secret and amaze your colleagues by making small changes and demonstrating big performance improvements. Alternately spread the word about this book and let everyone benefit.

Oh, and if you already own Web Performance Tuning, 2nd Edition (O'Reilly Internet), don't be scared by this new book. It's a much easier read and it also is aware of Ajax and new web development techniques.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding book Dec 5 2007
By Michael Slater - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is full of information that you just can't find anywhere else. So often, we rely on gross generalizations about what happens when the browser fetches a web page. This book explains, with great clarity, the details of what really happens, and how lots of small details affect performance dramatically. It gives specific recommendations for how to improve performance, and then dissects the top 10 sites and shows how they perform and why.
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