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High Performance Web Sites

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  669 ratings  ·  57 reviews
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! ...more
Paperback, 146 pages
Published September 21st 2007 by O'Reilly Media (first published January 1st 2007)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  669 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Aug 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting reading with a lot good advices. 3.5 stars
Amir Sarabadani
Jun 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
Very basic and so outdated that it's not any of use.
Katie Cunningham
This is a must-read for anyone that ever touches a website. There's tips for front-end people, back-end people, and ops. Even the introduction blew my mind.

This will make you want to tear down every website you've ever built and make it as efficient as possible, even if it only gets four views a month.
Feb 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: development
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.
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: skimmed
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 A time capsule and funny because they got the lowest grade and the heaviest payload. Times have changed.
Marcin Cekiera
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: programming
Excellent introduction to topic. Easy to read, informative, and indeed, adopting just couple rules from presented in this book ,could save a lot of bandwidth of your users.

In my opinion, essential lecture for an beginners on web related career paths, since which I began thinking seriously about performance even as a junior front dev.

I would highly recommend
Joe Devon
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book back when it was new. Classic. Souders pioneered much of the field of front end performance.
Chiranjivee Thakur
This book is awesome, learned some of the most amazing concepts and got a great clarity on website performance.
Ken Murphy
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this one a while ago. It has good fundamentals and explains the why of a lot of the more modern techniques / frameworks.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
it's pretty old but still worth skimming
David Druska
Jan 07, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is good for beginner or intermediate web developers, or a backend developer that isn't knowledgeable on web browsers.
Aaron Nance
Jan 31, 2020 rated it did not like it
Don't bother. This book is so out of date it should be removed from publication.
Natasha (Diarist) Holme
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: web, non-fiction
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 ...more
Eric Phetteplace
Apr 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who build enterprise websites
Shelves: lis-web
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
Oct 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Mohammad Abuali
Jul 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: technology
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
Caitlin (Ayashi)
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: web-development
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
Arun Mahendrakar
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.

Mikey Cooper
Feb 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Apr 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: development
This book provides 14 ways to speed up how a page renders itself in a browser. Many of the techniques presented are trivial to implement, and most of them have little in the way of significant drawbacks. As code optimization is often an exercise in fabricating a sufficient complexity of rope in order to hang one's self, it was refreshing to find simple means of improving performance.

At less than 150 pages High Performance Web Sites leaves little reason to ignore looking into this subject if you
Jul 29, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
Ala' Abuhijleh
Dec 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Amazing! a must read book for all web developers and a real eye opener on front end performance.

This book suggests a lot of solutions to real- world problem issues. This book with "High performance Web Sites" recommendations will have huge impact on the performance of any Web Site.

It's really a very interesting reading, from the first to the last page!

Thanks to everybody who contributed in writing this great book
Christoffer Klang
Most of the stuff in here are things that we take for granted today. On the one hand that leaves me with lots of respect for the material but on the other hand it feels like reading things you already know which makes it a bit tedious at times.

Nevertheless a good refresher, source of ocational insights and very detailed argumentations. Well worth a read through.
Ala' Abuhijleh
Dec 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jun 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Trevan Hetzel
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
While a few years dated now, all of the points in this book are still relevant to speeding up modern websites. The first 4 or 5 chapters cover super important topics that every front-end web developer should be doing, but quite a bit of the rest of the advice is either not as pressingly important or more server-side tweaks.
Jul 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Mark Cheverton
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: technology
Essential reading for all web developers. I can't recommend this highly enough - with most developers focus on back-end optimisation, this book clearly shows that there are significant gains to be achieved on the front-end.
Sep 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: web
A so well explained text, that certainly I'll buy the second part: Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers.
Paujitas Galman
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
It was a really technical book to understand the ways to enhance the performance on web, BUT.. it is focused mainly in BACK-END configurations and best practices and not for a front-end perspective which I was hoping to find. But in general, it was ok.
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