Learn basic and advanced uses of WebPagetest, the performance measurement tool for optimizing websites. This practical guide shows users new to this tool how run tests and interpret results, and helps experienced users gain a better and more thorough understanding of hidden features in WebPagetest that make testing easier.
Written by WebPagetest power users and performance experts, this book will help web developers and frontend engineers solve the problem of slow sites. Topics include:
Basic test setup—shows beginners how to get meaningful results
Advanced test setup—provides another level of technical depth by explaining features not thoroughly documented at webpagetest.org
Analysis of results—helps you understand of how to interpret test results
Private instance setup—teaches power users the intricacies of the webpagetest private instance and how it works
API and external tools—provides a detailed reference for the API and demonstrates tools already using the API to extend WebPagetest
Rick Viscomi is a frontend engineer and web performance evangelist. He has leveraged the power of WebPageTest to help speed up the websites of the Travel Channel, Food Network, and HGTV. Since 2013, he has worked at Google to make YouTube fast.
Andy Davies first stumbled into web performance in late '90s when he was trying to deliver e-learning over dial-up connection speeds and has been hooked ever since.
He's currently Associate Director for Web Performance at NCC Group, where he helps clients to measure, and improve the performance of their web sites.
Andy regularly speaks about web performance and occasionally contributes to open source projects such as WebPagetest, he also wrote 'A Pocket Guide to Web Performance" for Five Simple Steps
Marcel Duran is a web performance engineer at Google. He previously worked to speed up high traffic websites for Twitter and Yahoo! He was also the Front End Lead for Yahoo!’s Exceptional Performance Team where he open sourced YSlow. Marcel also spoke at the Velocity Conference and co-authored Web Performance Daybook Volume 2 (O'Reilly).
The animal on the cover of Using WebPageTest is a large-spotted genet (Genetta tigrina). It is also known as a cape genet or blotched genet. They are native to South Africa and other areas of southern Africa. They live near lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water with sufficient tree coverage.
Adult large-spotted genets can weigh between 2 and 8 pounds. Their bodies will grow in length between 19 and 23 inches, while the tail will be between 16 and 22 inches. Females are slightly smaller in size than males. They are larger than their common (or small-spotted) genet relatives and have different coloring, which helps distinguish between the two subspecies.
The large-spotted genet has a dark dorsal stripe along the length of its back. The base color of its fur is of light brown/gray color. The irregular spots and stripes among its fur are a dark brown. In small-spotted or common genets, the stripes of the tail are lighter in color. The large-spotted genet is similar to a cat in numerous ways: they hiss, have semiretractable claws, and are quite independent, among other things.
This animal is solitary, nocturnal, and carnivorous. They hunt at night with a diet that consists of rodents, birds, and insects. Though compared to cats and ferrets in terms of behavior and hunting methods, it is discouraged to get a genet as an exotic household pet as they tend to shun affection and companionship as they grow older.
Many of the animals on O'Reilly covers are endangered; all of them are important to the world. To learn more about how you can help, go to animals.oreilly.com.
The cover image is from Wood's Animate Creation. The cover fonts are URW Typewriter and Guardian Sans. The text font is Adobe Minion Pro; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is Dalton Maag's Ubuntu Mono.
Rewarding guide to getting the most out of WebPageTest
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Comments about oreilly Using WebPageTest:
WebPageTest is an indispensable tool in every performance engineer's toolkit. If you're an existing user, this book will fill in and explain important gaps. If you're just getting into the performance field, this book will give you a fast head start on the rest of us, who had to learn it through trial and error.
The book is split into three high-level sections:
Basic Use Cases: offers a walkthrough of the waterfall, connection view, and the metrics that WPT results provide. Think of it as web performance 101: what metrics you should look for and where, how to interpret them, and how to compare tests. In short, a good intro for someone new to the field, and a quick skim for those familiar with the topic.
Intermediate Use Cases: a more accurate description would be "test setup". This is a great section that covers the many decisions you have to make to ensure that you're measuring the right things: picking the browser, location to run the test from, picking the right network profile, scripting multi-visit flows, testing authenticated pages, and more. Too many folks overlook all this, which leads them to focus on optimizing the wrong bottlenecks -- don't make this mistake! This section provides a nice hands-on look for how to use your existing analytics data to set all the parameters.
Advanced Use Cases: a hands-on look at driving WPT through API (e.g. monitoring performance changes over time), integrating it with your build infrastructure (e.g. to detect performance regressions at commit time, before they reach production), and setting up your own private instances (e.g. to test pages that can't or shouldn't be reached by public agents). The instructions are simple and easy to follow; you'll be up and running in no time.
In summary, a quick and rewarding read. A perfect book for someone new to the field, and a helpful resource for the rest of us. I wish I had this book when I started, it would have saved me a lot of time!
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
I'm reviewing a partial, pre-release copy of the book. So far its very informative and current to webpagetest. Since I use the site daily I have not learned a lot, but some explanations have led to a better understanding of the features.
What I would like to see (and I don't see it in the proposed contents) is an explanation of how the various browsers differ. I know this is a moving target but even a "generic" discussion would be helpful.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend