Web Development

Slideshow of the Day

May 25th, 2008  |  Published in Announcements, Mobile, Portland, Uncategorized, Web Development

My Web Visions presentation has been selected as the “Slideshow of the Day” on Slideshare.net. You can view the presentation here. Or use the embedded version of it below.

As soon as the conference organizers post the audio recording of the presentation, I’ll link to that as well. Some of my slides require explanation.

Thanks to everyone who attended my session and to Slideshare.net for featuring my slides.

WordPress 2.5 Removes GZIP Option

May 18th, 2008  |  Published in Apache, Site Performance, Web Development

WordPress 2.5 no longer provides an option to turn on gzip compression. According to Matt Freedman, the “option was axed for the reason that it’s better to enable compression on the server, rather than through WordPress.”

This is probably true because the option was turning on php compression instead of setting it in apache. However, it was still a surprise to realize my site was no longer being compressed.

To remedy the problem, I added the following to my .htaccess file in the root directory:


AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/css text/plain text/xml application/x-javascript application/json application/x-httpd-php application/x-httpd-fastphp application/rss+xml application/atom_xml application/x-httpd-eruby
Header append Vary Accept-Encoding

This is the code for Apache 2.0 as suggested by Ryan Williams. Similar code for Apache 1.3 can be found.

The main point is the if you used to rely on WordPress 2.5′s gzip option, you’re going to need to find an alternate solution.

Firefox for Mobile Devices

May 18th, 2008  |  Published in Announcements, Mobile, Portland, Web Development

I’m quite excited about this month’s Mobile Portland meeting. Dietrich Ayala from Mozilla will be presenting the future of Firefox for mobile devices.

I’m greatly looking forward to learning more about the Mozilla plans. It seems like webkit has taken a lead in the open source mobile browser space. IE has a larger installed base, but the browser renders poorly. Opera is great, but not open source.

So far, Mozilla’s plans for mobile have been unclear to me other than their obvious statements of plans to support mobile devices. I’m anxious to hear when their plans and timelines.

Firefox is my workhorse browser for development. I wonder what, if any, of the plugins that I rely on for development might work in the mobile space.

If you have any of these questions or others, I encourage you to RSVP and attend this meeting.

Mobile Browser Test

April 28th, 2008  |  Published in Announcements, Mobile, Site Performance, Web Development

We need your help for a research project we’re conducting at Cloud Four. Read more about the research and how you can help by simply viewing a web page on your mobile phone.

Speaking at Web Visions in May

March 30th, 2008  |  Published in Announcements, Mobile, Portland, Web Development

I’m happy to announce that I will be speaking at Web Visions on May 23rd on “Going Fast on the Slow Mobile Web.”

Speaking at Web Visions has been a goal of mine for a few years now. Every year Web Vision brings the best and brightest to Portland to talk about the future of web development. After each conference, I’d tell my co-workers that the following year I was going to put together a presentation for Web Visions. Well, I finally did it! :-)

My topic this year combines two interests of mine: the mobile web and web site performance. We’ll be covering the steps necessary to make the web as fast as possible on mobile devices including looking at device-specific details that make performance on mobile devices more challenging.

I’m honored to be included with such a list of illustrious speakers. As I mentioned in my previous post, Jeffrey Veen’s presentation from Web Visions is one of the best I’ve ever seen. Roger Black is one of the big names in design. I’m stunned to be sharing the stage with them. Then we’ve got fellow twitterers and friends like Erica O’Grady and Scott Kveton. And I could go as there are so many names on that speakers list that I admire.

I’m truly overwhelmed and looking forward to May. I hope to see you there. Sign up today for early bird rates.

Web Visions Early Bird Rates End Tomorrow

March 30th, 2008  |  Published in Announcements, Mobile, Portland, Web Development

If you are interested in attending Web Visions, I encourage you to Jeffrey Veen whose last keynote at Web Visions was worth the price of admission alone. His presentation remains my favorite and is something that I’ve used to inform my thinking many times.

So if you do anything web related, I can’t recommend this conference enough. Plus, you may recognize a familiar name on the speaker list. :-)

Verizon’s “Open Networks” Not Very Open, Sprint Breaks the Web

March 22nd, 2008  |  Published in Mobile, Web Development

Verizon announced that they would open their network late last year. Last week they provided details which shows that it isn’t terribly open.

Verizon also one the recent spectrum bidding where again, the definition of open is being debated.

Carlo Longino of MobHappy has written about how “open” has become the big buzzword for mobile this year, but most of what is being called open isn’t really very open.

My favorite is Sprint’s new “OpenWeb” service which seems to be breaking everything on the web. What a mess.

Google Speeds Up Mobile Sites, Sees Traffic Increase

March 22nd, 2008  |  Published in Mobile, Site Performance, Web Development

One of the reasons for my interest in site performance is because these techniques become even more important when developing for mobile. Google published some recent evidence supporting this belief.

“We saw something similar after we launched an updated interface for Gmail on the iPhone during MacWorld earlier this year. Lots of iPhone users tried the new interface (hence the bump in Gmail pageviews between January and February), but they didn’t stick around like we hoped they would. Over the course of the next few weeks, we made some tweaks to drastically improve the speed of the product, and Gmail pageviews on the iPhone not only stabilized, but began to rise, as the graph below shows:”

gmail-latency-improvement.png

Read more at Google’s blog.

Page Load Time Means Money

March 19th, 2008  |  Published in Business, Site Performance, Web Development

One of the arguments I made in my presentation on site performance last year was that making small changes to your site to speed it up can make a big difference in your revenue. This was based on bandwidth savings.

However, now marketers using Google Adwords have an additional incentive to make their pages load quickly. Google is incorporating landing page load time as one of the factors for evaluating the quality ranking of an ad:

“Users value ads that bring them to the information they want as efficiently as possible. A high-quality landing page should load quickly as well as feature unique, relevant content. Fast load times benefit advertisers as well, since users are less likely to abandon a site that loads quickly.”

For companies that are spending thousands of dollars on text ads, ignoring their landing page load time could be spendy.

iPhone Caching

March 19th, 2008  |  Published in Mobile, Site Performance, Web Development

In case you missed, tests show that Safari on the iPhone will only cache objects that are under 25k. Something to keep in mind as you build your iPhone web apps.