Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

Why Front End Performance Matters to You

Category: Performance

Front end performance (you know, HTML + CSS + JavaScript). Tweaking it is for the big guys right? You know, performance folks like Steve Souders :) Hell, Facebook has gotten to be quite popular with a crazy set of JavaScript and CSS, so does it matter to you?

That is the topic of Rob Larsen’s post:

You do need to worry about it. Just because it’s Yahoo! and Google that are most vocal about these issues, it doesn’t mean that their scale is the factor that makes performance important. What their scale means is that they can have dedicated performance teams and can spend time researching best practices. The benefits of better front end performance are for everyone with a web site.

Why? Well, if you approach it from the correct side of the issue (the one not focused on the size of the messenger), front end performance is really about the smallest web scale possible- the experience for a single user. (Even more importantly, many of the techniques are focused on the vitally important first time user.) While it’s true that Google and Yahoo! can save big money in bandwidth by shrinking a heavily used file or two down by a couple of kb, and people with busy machines can save some cycles and connections by serving leaner sites, the real takeaway is NOT the bandwidth, processor or connection savings, it’s the user experience gains. With better performance, you improve the overall experience of your site. All things being equal a site that responds more quickly to user commands is going to feel “better” than one that is sluggish.

So, if you speed up your site, people are happier with you, your brand or your service and, as the big boys have shown us, they do more.

And, then come some classic case studies:

Posted by Dion Almaer at 6:49 am
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