Steve Souders

Steve Souders

web performance engineer

Areas of Expertise:

  • web performance
  • javascript
  • CSS
  • HTML5
  • Ajax
  • browsers
  • HTTP
  • web development
Steve is Chief Performance Officer at Fastly developing web performance services. He previously served as Google's Head Performance Engineer and Chief Performance Yahoo!. Prior to that Steve worked at General Magic, WhoWhere?, and Lycos, and co-founded Helix Systems and CoolSync. Steve is the author of High Performance Web Sites and Even Faster Web Sites. He is the creator of many performance tools and services including YSlow, the HTTP Archive, Cuzillion, Jdrop, ControlJS, and Browserscope. He serves as co-chair of Velocity, the web performance and operations conference from O'Reilly, and is co-founder of the Firebug Working Group. He taught CS193H: High Performance Web Sites at Stanford.

Even Faster Web Sites Even Faster Web Sites
by Steve Souders
June 2009
Print: $34.99
Ebook: $27.99

High Performance Web Sites High Performance Web Sites
by Steve Souders
September 2007
Print: $29.99
Ebook: $23.99

Recent Posts | All O'Reilly Posts

Steve blogs at:

Six themes from Velocity Europe

October 09 2012

By Steve Souders and John Allspaw More than 700 performance and operations engineers were in London last week for Velocity Europe 2012. Below, Velocity co-chairs Steve Souders and John Allspaw note high-level themes from across the various tracks (especially the … read more

What's on the agenda for Velocity Europe

October 27 2011

Velocity co-chair Steve Souders highlights a number of Velocity Europe speakers and sessions that caught his attention. read more

Velocity 2011 debrief

June 17 2011

This was Velocity's fourth year, and while every year has seen significant growth, the 2011 conference felt like a tremendous step forward in all areas. read more

Velocity grows with more tracks, more topics and ... bath products?

May 25 2011

Over its three-year history, the Velocity Conference has expanded to include mobile performance, "Velocity Culture," and a new line of bath products (that last one might not be the best fit). read more

Velocity and the Bottom Line

July 01 2009

Velocity 2009 took place last week in San Jose, with Jesse Robbins and I serving as co-chairs. Back in November 2008, while we were planning Velocity, I said I wanted to highlight "best practices in performance and operations that improve the user experience as well as the company's bottom line."… read more

Recent Posts | All O'Reilly Posts

Webcast: The Best of Fluent: High Performance Snippets
March 28, 2013
Join Steve Souders as he talks about the prevalence of frontend SPOF, ways to avoid it, and a deep dive into snippet performance analysis.

Webcast: Even Faster Web Sites
April 24, 2008

Webcast: Velocity 2011: Take-aways, Trends, and Highlights
June 24, 2011
The web performance and operations community gathered for three days at Velocity Conference in Santa Clara, California. In this webcast following the conference, program chairs Steve Souders and John Allspaw will identify and discuss key trends and announcements...

"Would recommend to any web-based developer, regardless of their programming emphasis."
--Mel, Salt Lake CFUG

"There are all sorts of techniques that can be used for making a web page load faster and this book offers so many alternatives that you are certain to find something useful...Whatever stage you are at with your web site there should be something in the book that you can implement to improve the way your site performs. Essential reading for anyone who has a web site that receives visits from more than a handful of people."
--Stephen Chapman, Fellgall.com

"Don't read this book if you're just getting a handle on designing and developing your first few web sites, however once you have experience and have a solid grounding in "coding for the web", I think you'll benefit from Even Faster Web Sites. If you are a professional web developer, you definitely will benefit."
--James Pyles, Million Chimpanzees

"...this book is perfect for web developers who wants to understand what is happening with the behaviour of their website in terms of loading times...I recommend it to those developers who are experienced and want to deepen their knowledge about how to speed up their website."
--Jeremie Bordier, Technofeel

"...a nice exploration of how different browser implementations approach page loading and painting, and how to exploit this knowledge for speed."
--Erik Smartt, eriksmartt.com/blog

"...an outstanding book, and a rare book that's a good read for designers and developers of every skill level. The only designers who don't need this book are those who know everything about web design already. Some of the techniques explained in this book seem to border on magic. I recommend you pick up a copy and learn how your websites can move even faster."
--Jeremy Schultz, Designorati

"I recommend it to those developers who are experienced and want to deepen their knowledge about how to speed up their website."
--Mauricio López, Mau

"It is another solid title from O’Reilly that delivers concrete techniques that can be used to speed up websites that rely on Javascript, images and CSS to present the content to the end users. "
--Jose Vicente Nunez, KodeGeek

"...Even Faster Web Sites truly delivers on its title's promise to help Web developers wring even more speed out of their websites. "
--Michael J. Ross, Web Developer, Slashdot.org

"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. "
--Dr. Tami Brady, TCM Reviews

"High Performance Web Sites would make a good investment for folks who want to get serious about weeding out the chaff to make their pages lean and mean, without removing the pizazz from their artistic creation."
--Iris Yoffa, eJournal of the Tucson Computer Society

"If your job is to deliver great websites, this book might just change the way you approach that next build. Even if it all sounds far too technical for right-brained creative types, you should definitely buy this book—even if it’s for the network manager in your life."
--Matthew Pennell, Digital Web Magazine

"All in all, the book is very useful and essential to improve the performance of your web site from the frond-end perspective. The rules in this book, if applied will give you a significant performance boost."
--AJ, Desicritics.org

"I was reading the book, High Performance Web Sites, authored by Steve Souders and realized a lot about the problems happening in my website right now. The book by itself is quite technical. If you haven’t been touching your code for awhile or do hard coding, it can be overwhelming. However, through it, I discovered two great tools that I am now using to assess and improve my website...[The book's] online compliment includes a blog and even a discussion board for each of the 14 rules (http://developer. yahoo.com/performance/rules.html) that take the learning process to a very productive level. It has a lot of examples where you can gain ideas on how to shape up your website further. Even non-technical people can benefit from the lessons it shares. In the end, what you want to see are better grades appearing in YSlow after implementing the suggested changes it gave earlier."
--Janette Toral, Digital Filipino

"I found High Performance Web Sites to be very enlightening. Because the author is a performance expert at a large scale company that has to be efficient, makes it all the more beneficial. Each of the 14 techniques is explained in easy to understand terms and they are really basic techniques that any website can benefit from. High Performance Web Sites is an excellent guide for web developers who are looking to write optimized HTML. It is a useful book for every web developer whether you are running a small or large-scale site. I highly recommend this book for anyone involved in web development."
--T. Michael Testi, Blogcritics Magazine

"I recommend this book for everybody who writes web pages even for personal use. You will be surprised how big amount of knowledge you can get from 168 pages."
--Grzegorz Duda, Polish Java User Group

"At only 168 pages, the time investment here is pretty light. But the return on investment for that time spent will stay with you forever as you crank out those applications. I definitely recommend this book to all my Web developer friends."
--Thomas "Duffbert" Duff, Developer Tips

"I have never seen all of the material written down in one place...The book covers many niches of knowledge, 14 in total. There is a lot of good information in the book...If you do web front end work all day buy the book. There are going to be several "Ah ha!" moments while reading it. Having a copy of the book will come in handy when you have to explain all of your new found tricks to your co-workers (the book though is quite slim, so beating them over the head with it will be futile)."
--Brian Aker, Brian "Krow" Aker's Idle Thoughts

"High Performance Web Sites is an empirical guide to making web pages render faster in the contemporary (October 2007) internet software environment. There is an abundance of case descriptions and explanations of how the protocols and actual software work. The writing reflects Mr. Souder's mastery of the software environments."
--Lee McKusick, Peninsula Linux Users' Group

"This book is an excellent guide for web developers looking to write optimized HTML...well organized and easy to use. "
--J. Druin, Amazon.com