Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Keeping your page load fast

Category: Ajax, Articles, Programming, Usability

Alexander Kirk (of Blummy and Wizlite fame) posted 10 Realistic Steps to a Faster Web Site. Alex did his thesis on this subject, so he should know a thing or two about it. This is not strictly Ajax related, but its very easy to create a slow, unpleasant Ajax app if you don’t keep certain things in mind while developing.

Read his post for all 10 steps, but I want to highlight three big ones for Ajax developers:

  • Determine the bottleneck – Don’t forget the rules of optimization: Don’t do it, don’t do it yet…then profile first. Often the trouble spot is not where you expect it.
  • Look at the DB Queries – if you are hitting the database for every simple little ajax call, your app will be molasses. If you use ajax for something like dynamic table updates or detail record lookup, you better have that data cached somewhere or the user experience is going to suck.
  • Reducing the file size – Prototype is 46k. Scriptaculous is 102k. The full Dojo kitchen sink package is 234k, versus 56k for just the io package. The libraries add up. Make sure you only include only what you need – take a look at some of the slimmer libraries if you have simple requirements.

Posted by Rob Sanheim at 10:19 am
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