September 12, 2007
High Performance Web Sites--New from O'Reilly Media: Yahoo's Efficiency Expert Outlines 14 Rules for Faster Pages
Sebastopol, CA--As every web developer knows, Internet users don't like
waiting for tiresome page reloads. Unfortunately, the features used by
popular sites to make their pages appealing--extensive graphics, rich
layout, and the inventive Web 2.0 movement with more responsive features
and interactive content--have also pushed browsers to their limits.
Without optimization, the frustrating result can be turtle-paced,
teeth-grinding web site load times.
So where do you turn if you want to learn how to rev things up? High
Performance Web Sites ($29.99, O'Reilly) by Steve Souders provides the
"The success of Web 2.0 is dependent on rich applications being fast,"
says Steve Souders, Yahoo!'s chief performance expert. "And to ensure rich
Internet applications provide good user experiences, web developers need
to have advanced performance guidelines that go along with these advanced
web development paradigms."
Souders has attracted standing-room-only crowds at Web 2.0 Expo and the
Open Source Conference by discussing his research and solutions on web
performance. He has also racked up an impressive roster of private
speaking engagements, including Microsoft, Amazon.com, and other major
Now, in his highly anticipated and important new title, Souder presents
what he's learned in an elegant series of engineering steps--14 succinct
rules, in fact--that, if implemented, can chip 25 to 50 percent off the
response time when users request a page.
Souders developed these rules while optimizing some of the most visited
pages on the Web. Even sites already thoroughly vetted, including Yahoo!
Search and Yahoo! Front Page, improved from Souders' surprisingly simple
performance guidelines. Souders, in his job as Chief Performance Yahoo!,
builds tools for performance analysis and evangelizes these best practices
and tools across Yahoo!'s product teams.
"The performance best practices I identified at Yahoo! are simple and yet
make web pages much faster," observes Souders. "I wanted to share these
insights with other web developers to improve the web experience for all
"The performance golden rule reveals that only 10 to 20 percent of the
user experience is spent retrieving the HTML document, and yet that's
where most performance optimization efforts have historically been
focused," notes Souders. "The key to dramatically improving web page
response times is focusing on the other 80 to 90 percent--the content that
is downloaded and the functionality that is executed by the browser after
the HTML document arrives. Knowing where to focus is the most important
take away from my book."
In his book, each performance rule is supported by specific examples, and
code snippets are available on the book's companion web site.
Souders' 14 rules are:
1. Make Fewer HTTP Requests
2. Use a Content Delivery Network
3. Add an Expires Header
4. Gzip Components
5. Put Stylesheets at the Top
6. Put Scripts at the Bottom
7. Avoid CSS Expressions
9. Reduce DNS Lookups
11. Avoid Redirects
12. Remove Duplicate Scripts
13. Configure ETags
14. Make Ajax Cacheable
Frontend engineers, web designers, and backend developers are sure to find
the book full of useful advice. "High Performance Web Sites" is the
indispensable guidebook for helping you build pages for high-traffic
destinations and improve the experiences of users visiting your sites.
"Sharing these best practices is in the same spirit as the technology
Yahoo! is sharing with the Yahoo! User Interface (YUI) libraries and on
the Yahoo! Developer Network (YDN)," says Souders. "The idea of so many
people around the world benefiting from Yahoo!'s work was the motivation
for writing my book."
Early praise for High Performance Web Sites
"If everyone would implement just 20 percent of Steve's guidelines, the
web would be a dramatically better place."
- Joe Hewitt, developer of Firebug debugger and Mozilla's DOM Inspector
"Steve Souders has done a fantastic job of distilling a massive,
semi-arcane art down to a set of concise, actionable, pragmatic
engineering steps that will change the world of web performance."
- Eric Lawrence, developer of the Fiddler Web Debugger, Microsoft
About the Author
Steve Souders, in his job as Chief Performance Yahoo!, builds tools for
performance analysis and evangelizes these best practices and tools across
Yahoo!'s product teams. Prior to Yahoo!, Steve worked at several small to
mid-size startups, including two companies he co-founded: Helix Systems
and CoolSync. He received an M.S. in Management Science and Engineering
from Stanford University.
More information about the book, including table of contents, index,
author bio, and samples
High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers
ISBN: 0-596-52930-9, $29.99
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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