Tag Archives: performance

Top Ten Reasons to Attend My Web 2.0 Expo Session

An note to those attending the Web 2.0 Expo in NYC.

I was struck last night at the TechSet networking event at how much I was out of my normal element. The experience made me realize that nearly no one at this conference knows who I am. So why would anyone come to my session?

With that in mind, I want to give you the top ten reasons to attend my talk about Going Fast on the Mobile Web:

  1. 24,000 People Can’t Be Wrong
    Over 24,000 people have viewed or downloaded the slides from the earlier version of my presentation from SlideShare.
     
  2. Featured on O’Reilly Radar, Ajaxian, and Fast Company
    Previous favorable coverage from O’Reily Radar, Ajaxian, and Fast Company.
     
  3. Few Bullets. Lots of Images. And a Story to Tell.
    I hate boring presentations where the presenter reads off the slide. I can read that myself thank you very much.
     
  4. High-level View of the Mobile Landscape
    The mobile opportunity is huge, but most people, particularly Americans, are unaware of what the upcoming mobile wave. You’ll get high-level picture with data to convince your clients, coworkers or management that mobile is something your organization needs to focus on.
     
  5. But with Details that You Can Act On
    I’m also a developer so for those who want details and code that you can act on, there will be plenty of examples that you can implement.
     
  6. Hot Topics: iPhone and the App Store
    We’ll talk about the iPhone, the Mobile Web, App Store sales and how what they mean for businesses and web developers.
     
  7. You Will Be Asked About This in the Next Year
    No matter what business you run, you will be asked to start thinking about your mobile strategy some time in the next year if you haven’t been already. It is the next big thing, and you need to start thinking about how you’re going to prepare for it.
     
  8. Even Web Developers Who Aren’t Doing Mobile Will Learn Something
    A lot of the information in the presentation is information on how to build faster web sites that many web developers are not aware of. Even if you never build a mobile site, these are things you can incorporate into your current web sites.
     
  9. Research and Data Unavailable Anywhere Else
    I’ll be presenting the latest data from the mobile browser concurrency test that my company, Cloud Four, developed. This data isn’t available anywhere else. (Nevermind that it isn’t available elsewhere because we’ve been too busy to publish it. :-)
     
  10. Guarantee that You Will Learn Something New
    And if you don’t, track me down at tomorrow’s party, and I’ll buy you a drink. :-)
     
  11. So there you have it. Ten great reasons to attend my session. The session details are:

    I also want to assure people that even though it is in the performance and scaling track that it has a wider appeal than just people who specialize in those topics.

    I hope to see you tomorrow.

Smart Optimizer

One of the bigger problems I see in the performance space is that a lot of the value of current content management systems and blogging tools is the ability to add widgets or plugins from a lot of different places. These plugins often do not provide compressed and cacheable versions of their content.

In order to get more people to adopt the methods of creating faster web pages, we need to make it easier for them to do so while still a making it easy for them to adhere to performance guidelines. Basically, make it possible for them to eat cat and lose weight at the same time.

I’ve spent part of last evening looking for plugins for WordPress that will find any javascript or css files, combine them into a single file, minify and gzip them, and then set far future expires headers. I’ve got a dream plugin in mind and none of them are quite living up to my fantasy.

One solution that comes close to being my dream is a piece of software called Smart Optimizer. Smart Optimizer used to be called JSmart. It was a project that hadn’t had any updates since July 7, 2006 until two weeks ago when the project was revitalized and the name changed.

Smart Optimizer will:

  • Set up rewrite rules to intercept any calls to css or js files
  • Minify, gzip any css or js files
  • Creates static files on the server for css and js that are gzipped and set for caching
  • Concatenate css or js files into a single file

It’s an interesting tool that I don’t think a lot of people know of. Take a look.

Updates on How Long People Will Wait for a Page to Load

Andrew King has a new post up highlighting recent research on how long people will wait for a page to load. Previously, the magic number was 10 seconds, but broadband has decreased our patience for slow sites.

A JupiterResearch survey found that 33% of broadband shoppers are unwilling to wait more than four seconds for a web page to load, whereas 43% of narrowband users will not wait more than six seconds (Akamai 2006).

and

Google found that moving from a 10-result page loading in 0.4 seconds to a 30-result page loading in 0.9 seconds decreased traffic and ad revenues by 20% (Linden 2006).

Plus a very real impact on sales:

Tests at Amazon revealed similar results: every 100 ms increase in load time of Amazon.com decreased sales by 1% (Kohavi and Longbotham 2007).

WordPress 2.5 Removes GZIP Option

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.

Site Speed News

I’m catching up on a backlog of RSS feeds. I’ve got a few posts highlighting news that I missed. Hopefully it won’t be too out of date to be relevant.

Let’s start with two bits of news to pass along regarding site performance:

  • Study: Web Will Slow by 2010 — The increase in video usage is likely to saturate home internet provider networks. The study believes that speeds will decrease to dial-up levels. If this comes to pass, which I still consider a stretch, it will be more important to build fast sites.
  • YSlow-er — Yahoo released a new version of their YSlow plugin. Some of the changes may cause the grades for sites to drop. Details in the article. Update your firefox plugin to take advantage of the new features.

Site Performance Updates

Some recent news on web site performance:

Getting a chance to present again was a lot of fun. I forget how much energy I get from talking to people about web technology. I want to thank Richard Appleyard again for the opportunity.