In this chapter, we will cover:
Why optimizing performance is a critical web sustainability component.
Techniques for creating better optimized digital products and services.
Workflow tips for assessing performance.
Can digital products and services find the perfect balance between speed, reliability, and sustainability? In an interview, Chicago-based developer Eric Mikkelsen brought up this point about the dichotomy between them: “Speed and reliability are interesting because sometimes those things are opposed to each other,” he says. “Building a website that takes advantage of techniques for tomorrow yet requires a fallback for yesterday increases the size of our codebase.” So where does the perfect balance lie?
Several years ago, Amazon calculated that a page load slowdown of just one second could potentially cost the online retailer up to $1.6 billion in annual sales. Similarly, Google noted that slowing search results by a mere four-tenths of a second would cut down search volume by eight million queries per day, depriving them of the opportunity to serve as many or more ads and resulting in a direct loss of potential revenue. There are many examples like these, and losses don’t just take the form of customer revenue either. Netflix, for example, saw a 43% decrease in its bandwidth bill after enabling GZip, a common file compression tool. It is clear that better performance yields ...