Even Faster Web Sites
Performance Best Practices for Web Developers
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: June 2009
Pages: 256

Performance is critical to the success of any web site, and yet today's web applications push browsers to their limits with increasing amounts of rich content and heavy use of Ajax. In this book, Steve Souders, web performance evangelist at Google and former Chief Performance Yahoo!, provides valuable techniques to help you optimize your site's performance.

Souders' previous book, the bestselling High Performance Web Sites, shocked the web development world by revealing that 80% of the time it takes for a web page to load is on the client side. In Even Faster Web Sites, Souders and eight expert contributors provide best practices and pragmatic advice for improving your site's performance in three critical categories:

  • JavaScript—Get advice for understanding Ajax performance, writing efficient JavaScript, creating responsive applications, loading scripts without blocking other components, and more.
  • Network—Learn to share resources across multiple domains, reduce image size without loss of quality, and use chunked encoding to render pages faster.
  • Browser—Discover alternatives to iframes, how to simplify CSS selectors, and other techniques.

Speed is essential for today's rich media web sites and Web 2.0 applications. With this book, you'll learn how to shave precious seconds off your sites' load times and make them respond even faster.

This book contains six guest chapters contributed by Dion Almaer, Doug Crockford, Ben Galbraith, Tony Gentilcore, Dylan Schiemann, Stoyan Stefanov, Nicole Sullivan, and Nicholas C. Zakas.

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very well organized and structured

By telmoCosta

from Portugal, Aveiro

About Me Cio

Verified Reviewer


  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written


    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Even Faster Web Sites:

    very well organized and structured in a crescendo of the most complex issues; good links; images well positioned in text


    An Excellent Book I Keep Coming Back To

    By Luke

    from Richmond, VA

    About Me Developer, Sys Admin

    Verified Reviewer


    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written


      Best Uses

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      Comments about oreilly Even Faster Web Sites:

      I got this book because I wanted to know what things I could do to sites I work on to make them faster, both on the front end, as well as the back end. There are a lot of great examples in this book and it starts in the order of the most helpful to the less likely to be helpful of changes.

      Overall I would definitely recommend this for anyone who works on websites, especially considering how important speed is to websites that produce profits such as E-commerce.

      (9 of 10 customers found this review helpful)


      Faster and Faster

      By Anthony Holdener

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about oreilly Even Faster Web Sites:

      Today's Web developer knows that the speed of one's site is an important measure to its overall success, and Steve Souders' previous book, High Performance Web Sites (O'Reilly), laid out what seemed to be every way to achieve good performance gains without the sacrifice of functionality or aesthetics. When I began reading Souders' Even Faster Web Sites, I therefore wondered how he could possibly demonstrate fresh ways to achieve performance gains without regurgitating the content of his previous book. What I discovered as I read Even Faster Web Sites was it presented all new best practices for making your web sites "leaner and meaner" without repeating the content of his last book.

      Even Faster Web Sites takes the latest techniques available to developers and organizes them into three performance areas: JavaScript, network, and browser. Though I believe Souder knows what he is talking about regarding web site performance, I found it refreshing this time around that he had the contributions of other experts in the field to give their ideas on performance gains in these areas.

      I thought the chapters on JavaScript, especially those discussing Ajax and asynchronous techniques, were well written and gave good, new best practices to trim time off the loading of content on a site. I also appreciated the chapter dealing with Comet, as these technologies are surely a driving force for future web applications, and having best practices early in their development will only help their progress. Of the two chapters on browser performance, I found the honesty of the discussion on the downsides of using iframes most helpful, especially when their use was discussed as a viable technique for improving performance early in the book. I did find the chapter on CSS selectors extremely useful for analyzing where slowdowns in styling may exist based on browser implementation. The chapters on network performance gave a good background on common hindrances such as connection limits and poor image choices, but also walked through what I felt were performance gains that can be made through less utilized techniques like chunked encoding and better compression.

      Souder finished this book with an Appendix on performance tools that can be used to help in the improvement of a web site, which I found to be immensely helpful. While many tools he listed are well known to developers, there are some I was unaware of and began making use of immediately on my own sites.

      Even Faster Web Sites is an excellent follow-up to High Performance Web Sites, giving new best practices for making your web sites even faster. As I see it, even hundredths of a second begin to add up when you put all of these techniques together, and most of the techniques presented in this book are practical for any web site being developed. I would recommend this book to any developer looking for ways to improve the performance of his web site, as Souder has certainly demonstrated his knowledge and expertise on improving the speed of a site.

      (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)


      Excellent Follow Up, Recommend Part One Be Read First

      By jdruin

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about oreilly Even Faster Web Sites:

      This book is a solid follow up from the first book titled High Performance Web Sites (O'Reilly) and a similar style is used through out.

      In the first book several more basic points were made about web performance and I think those were low hanging fruit that should be very easy to implement. Examples include using compression/minification, organizing page content for faster loads, and avoiding redirects/double loads.

      This book picks up with a theme that is taylored to more interactive web sites using JavaScript and Web 2.0. Also, newer browsers such as IE 8, Firefox 3 and Firefox 3.1 Beta are covered.

      The coverage of newer browser behavior was appreciated since these browsers behave significantly differently from the last version. IE 6 and 7 are fairly close in behavior while IE 8 has more significant changes. A similar comparison can be made between Firefox versions.

      The authors spend a significant amount of time on JavaScript as well. The tips for JavaScript are effective and the author has links to the test pages so the reader can work with the examples while following the book.

      Other sections cover compression (following up from teh first book again), optimizing the loading of images, and allowing CSS and JS scripts to work faster. Additionally more coverage is given to optimizing CSS and using CSS in effective ways.

      Overall this is a nice "part 2" in what I consider a series. The information was both helpful as a web developer and worked as stated. The information was presented plainly enough that amatuer developers should have no trouble following the text.

      I would recommend reading "High Performance Web Sites" also and using the two books together for maximum results.

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