Want your web site to display more quickly? This book presents 14 specific rules that will cut 25% to 50% off response time when users request a page. Author Steve Souders, in his job as Chief Performance Yahoo!, collected these best practices while optimizing some of the most-visited pages on the Web. Even sites that had already been highly optimized, such as Yahoo! Search and the Yahoo! Front Page, were able to benefit from these surprisingly simple performance guidelines.
Each performance rule is supported by specific examples, and code snippets are available on the book's companion web site. The rules include how to:
"If everyone would implement just 20% of Steve's guidelines, the Web would be adramatically better place. Between this book and Steve's YSlow extension, there's reallyno excuse for having a sluggish web site anymore."
-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 Corporation
Need-to-know knowledge about we site performance, in a very compact form. On the other hand, much of this book has been distilled into the YSLOW tool suite, and a thorough sift through its documentation and some experimentation make reading the book kind of redundant.
Hasn't aged as much as I thought. Still a concise primer on best practices for serving web content. Luckily most of this has become standard. Extra star for the screenshots of major websites, such as Amazon.com. A time capsule and funny because they got the lowest grade and the heaviest payload. Times have changed.
This book was clearly written for a different time in the history of technology. A lot has changed in the last 15 years... The basics are still the same (good ole HTML, CSS, and JS still dominate) so for building static websites a lot of the advice here still makes sense. If you need to be concerned about low bandwidth users (or even high bandwidth users), by all means you should follow caching best practices. But there are a lot of new tools that will help reduce many of these pain points.
All that said, it was an easy read and an interesting view of the internet from days gone by. Modern bundlers, minifiers, and service workers can alleviate many of concerns mentioned in this book, but you'll have to wait for High Performance Web Apps to be published before you can learn about them. Pass this book over if you want some advice for 2022.
An excellent resource covering the basics of frontend page performance. However the contents and examples are quite dated (I believe most come from 2009 or earlier). I would have preferred a larger book with more discussion about recent changes in frontend performance and more about non-standard pages.
Despite being written in 2007, the techniques outlined in this book are largely still relevant ten years later. Website performance problems and solutions are separated out into chapters of their own. Steve Souders illustrates the problems with concrete examples taken from the top ten websites in 2007 (which, interestingly, are mostly 2017's top websites: Amazon, Google, eBay, Wikipedia, etc.). He illustrates further with pages on his own site, which he has engineered to perform badly and to perform optimally. A worthwhile, educational read.
A good overview of building performant websites, especially the first few chapters. Souders' book is essential primarily because no one else has published a competing work that does such a thorough overview of web performance. I particularly liked the focus on the network layer as that's the piece I know the least about, so learning about caching & HTTP headers was very useful. Some the advice may be a bit outdated; the number of parallel downloads allowed in browsers has certainly changed & "avoid CSS expressions" sounds silly when CSS3 has almost entirely replaced them. Also, some advice is more targeted at large enterprises (e.g. ETags, split downloads across multiple servers) & are less practical/valuable for the small environments where I work. The final chapter, analyzing several large websites, was useless to me. All of these sites have probably changed drastically in the past few years in any case.
I remember when I first started using the Internet. Dial ups were extremely slow at the time, so I’d type in a URL, then go make a sandwich. By the time I came back, hopefully the page would be loaded.
Today, we expect more. Often if a page takes more than a few moments to load, I don’t bother. I tend to equate professional with quick. If a site doesn’t load quickly or if parts of the page are slow, I naturally assume that the information provided might be as shabbily compiled. I simply move onto a different page.
High Performance Web Sites looks at how we can make our own websites load more quickly. 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.
Great book on building websites that follow best practices for performance. This book reminds us how important it is to understand how the web works so that we work with it -not against it- it all terms, including performance. The book has one chapter about best practices for Ajax. Ajax back then -in 2007 when the book was published- was a relatively new trend. I hope that his other book "Even Faster Web Sites" would further elaborate on this part. At some points in the book, I felt like I already know this, some parts where just common sense, however, some other tips were really tricky that I don't think I would have figured them out myself.
I think by now this book is getting a bit dated (literally asked myself "wtf is a css expression?") but it's well written and still has a lot of relevant stuff. I honestly didn't really know much about http headers before reading this, so I learned a lot about that.
As others have mentioned, a lot of these specific points are covered if you just run the YSlow tool. Personally though, I like that this book not only directly shows examples to prove that one solution is faster than another, but also explains exactly why. Of course there's reasons behind making certain choices but it's good to understand the reasoning behind them.
An excellent read for anyone creating web sites. While a bit dated now, the background information and advice is nonetheless a must have for optimizing performance. While many people now use things like bundling, CSS sprites, and script placement to increase performance, they're often doing so without understanding why it helps. This book helps fill in those gaps and adds in a wealth of information about browser caching, headers, proxy considerations, etc. It's well worth the few hours it'll take to get through this quick read.
I've got to admit that although I knew a good number of these suggestions, there were a couple that I did not know at all. Yes, YSlow does tell you the 'how to make it better' part, this book gives you more details on what happens behind the screens for some of the rules.
The other reason I liked this book was because this is pretty much the one place where I have to come to get all the information. I added a couple of optimizations to my website while I was reading this book myself.
I would probably give this book a higher rating except that the information contained is already so available online, and in the author's invaluable YSlow FireBug plugin. I had hoped for lengthier explanations beyond what is already found online, and was surprised by the only ~120 pages of the book.
That said, the information contained is very accurate and useful. It is nice to have a hard copy of the data found in YSlow.
If you've ever made even a small webpage, you'd be happy to read that book. Very straight to the point advices, with hard numbers and real-life proofs. Of course this kind of knowledge is ephemeral, as things evolve and change from day to day - but that makes it even more important for you, to read it as soon as possible.
An excellent resource on how to wring better performance out of a website.
Souders provides a series of ideas and approaches based upon his experiences. Further, I found it well written and highly readable. He knows how to present ideas while not dragging the reader into a morass of irrelevant detail.
I highly recommend that anyone responsible for a website read this book.
a real eye-opener and tremendous shift in web optimization. Very practical, straight to the point and valuable. You cannot consider yourself a web developer if you haven't read this book and totally understand it. You can read the whole book over the week end, go and get it :)
You think you're an expert in web development! wait till you read this book!