Tools - Web Performance Optimization

What Is Web Performance Optimization

Web Performance Optimization is a key aspect of Systems Performance Engineering. A very large part of the engineering effort involved in delivering web based systems includes optimization of the web front-end which is part of delivering a great end user experience. This optimization includes focus on delivery of a great end user experience, User Interface that support delivery of a great end user experience and also optimization of delivery of the web assets (images, html, js, etc.) to the client. Web Performance Optimization takes into consideration device types, link performance, client (browser, etc.) type and various other factors that could impact the end user experience. Until recently the only way to identify obstacles to delivering a good end user experience was to use Packet Capture & Analysis tools like Wireshark or Fiddler. Things have changed a great deal over the last half a decade with numerous open initiatives out there aimed at assisting the web developer with finding areas of optimization across the interface.

Google makes some relevant recommendations with regards to web performance optimization -

  • Focus on the user; the end goal isn’t to make your site perform fast on any specific device, it’s to ultimately make users happy.
  • Respond to users immediately; acknowledge user input in under 100ms.
  • When animating or scrolling, produce a frame in under 10ms.
  • Maximize main thread idle time.
  • Keep users engaged; deliver interactive content in under 1000ms.

If you are interested in reading more about Google’s recommendations on designing for performance read - Link

This section presents a list of freely available browser extensions including commercial web based SaaS options for purposes of identifying areas of optimization across the web interface. Some of these tools (e.g. Google Pagespeed, Yahoo Yslow, etc.) have become standards with regards to Web Page Optimization for development teams around the world. We will be constantly updating this page with links to relevant tools. If you spot something that’s missing from this list please reach out to me over email.

Tool Vendor Link
Ajax Free Edition Compuware Link
Calibre Calibre Link
Dare Boost DareBoost Link
Perf Monkey PerfMonkey Link
Page Speed Google Link
Site Speed SiteSpeed Link
Speed Curve SpeedCurve Link
Show Slow Open Source Link
Yslow Yahoo Link
Web Page Test AOL + Google Link
Web Site Test Yottaa Link

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Trevor Warren is passionate about challenging the status-quo and finding reasons to innovate. Over the past 16 years he has been delivering complex systems, has worked with very large clients across the world and constantly is looking for opportunities to bring about change. Trevor constantly strives to combine his passion for delivering outcomes with his ability to build long lasting professional relationships. You can learn more about the work he does at LinkedIn. You can download a copy of his CV at VisualCV. Visit the Github page for details of the projects he’s been hacking with.

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