High Performance Web Sites
Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: September 2007
Pages: 170

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.

The rules in High Performance Web Sites explain how you can optimize the performance of the Ajax, CSS, JavaScript, Flash, and images that you've already built into your site -- adjustments that are critical for any rich web application. Other sources of information pay a lot of attention to tuning web servers, databases, and hardware, but the bulk of display time is taken up on the browser side and by the communication between server and browser. High Performance Web Sites covers every aspect of that process.

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:

  • Make Fewer HTTP Requests
  • Use a Content Delivery Network
  • Add an Expires Header
  • Gzip Components
  • Put Stylesheets at the Top
  • Put Scripts at the Bottom
  • Avoid CSS Expressions
  • Make JavaScript and CSS External
  • Reduce DNS Lookups
  • Minify JavaScript
  • Avoid Redirects
  • Remove Duplicates Scripts
  • Configure ETags
  • Make Ajax Cacheable

If you're building pages for high traffic destinations and want to optimize the experience of users visiting your site, this book is indispensable.

"If everyone would implement just 20% of Steve's guidelines, the Web would be a dramatically better place. Between this book and Steve's YSlow extension, there's really no 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

Table of Contents
Product Details
About the Author
Colophon
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
oreillyHigh Performance Web Sites
 
4.8

(based on 11 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Reviewed by 11 customers

Sort by

Displaying reviews 1-10

Back to top

Previous | Next »

 
5.0

A Highly Informative Reference

By Luke

from Richmond, VA

About Me Designer, Sys Admin

Verified Reviewer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate
    • Novice

    Comments about oreilly High Performance Web Sites:

    This book was worth the quick read. There are only about 125 pages total, so you don't have to spend weeks getting to the "good stuff". Everything is listed in the order of priority/most beneficial.

    I find myself constantly coming back to reference this book when I have questions about what I can do to make a site work better. Everything is straight to the point with no extra fluff between the pages.

    For the price I don't think there are many books worth what this one provides in terms of content and return of investment. If you are building websites you understand that speed directly impacts both the user experience and inevitably the amount of money you make off of a site the site is selling a product.

    Every developer should have this book in their collection.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Quick read with lots of helpful ideas

    By Doug Domeny

    from Manchester, NH

    About Me Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Concise
    • Helpful examples

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate

      Comments about oreilly High Performance Web Sites:

      A quick read with lots of helpful ideas toward a faster web site.

      (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      It's very difficult to find any fluff at all

      By Edmonton Linux Users Group

      from Edmonton

      Comments about oreilly High Performance Web Sites:

      At just over 125 pages, this book is short and definitely sweet.

      The subtitle is, "Essential Knowledge for Frontend Engineers."

      As the book front says, there are 14 Steps to Faster-Loading

      Websites that are covered. It's very difficult to find any fluff at all.

      The techniques are covered in priority order, those that produce the best

      results first. Not all techniques will apply to all websites, but many

      will. Also, many well known sites are compared for how well they

      implement (or not) these techniques.

      Each technique is backed by enough background to let you

      understand why they work, and URLs are provided to allow you to experience

      and test the concepts without having to do too much work.

      I particularly enjoyed the author's note, on several occasions,

      that a lot of things were either difficult or impossible with Internet

      Explorer. Even though it remains the most popular browser, one has to ask

      why? But I'll get off my soapbox.

      I found this to be an excellent book. I'm able to apply what I've

      learned to a variety of websites I have access to or tinker with, and I'm

      not a webmaster.

      http://elug.ca/reviews/high_performance_web_sites.shtml

      (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Excellent Book

      By Ahmed Hashim

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about oreilly High Performance Web Sites:

      High Performance Web Sites by Steve Souders is one of the most important books front end engineers should read to be able to develop a proper web sites. In 14 chapter, you will know 14 of the best tips to enhance the performance of your website. The good thing in this book, it is quick read and specific, the author gives example by numbers and statistics about the top 10 websites on the internet. In each tip Steve tells the effect of applying this tip on the top 10 websites.



      In this book, you will learn some great tips in web development like (Minimizing the number of Http Requests sent to the server, improve the caching in your site, compressing the content to save time and resources, best location for scripts and styles and other interesting tips)



      I highly recommend any engineer working in the front end tier to read this book and apply the tips inside on the web pages.



      Ahmed Hashim (http://weblogs.java.net/blog/ahashim/) , EGJUG (http://www.egjug.org) Leader, Software Engineer, Etisalat (http://www.etisalat.com.eg)

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Bang (and Performance) for your Buck

      By joshSVUG

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about oreilly High Performance Web Sites:

      If you are looking to speedup your website _ start here.

      This easy read covers 14 front-end performance tips. Not all may be applicable. Any tips implemented resulting in improving your user's experience, be it a high-traffic website or a corporate intranet, is worth the cost of the book.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Excellent, Concise Guide

      By Justin Pease

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about oreilly High Performance Web Sites:

      One of the most noticeable and least expensive improvements you can make to increase the speed of your website is to implement these front-end techniques.

      It is true that, the 14 principles can be found in the description of the book, or with the excellent YSlow tool delivered by Yahoo! Developer Network.

      So why should you buy the book??

      The book explains "why" these 14 principles are best, and it does so in a concise format.

      If you currently work professionally with the front-end side of a website (or would like to someday) this book should be considered a required read. At less than US$30, it is an inexpensive and practical investment into your on-going education.

      Don't settle with just knowing "how" to make your site faster, get the book and learn "why" these steps make your site faster. You'll be a better and more valuable developer for it.

      (1 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Just do a Google search

      By Anonymous

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about oreilly High Performance Web Sites:

      I was very pleased with this book, having spent many hours trying to find this sort of information in an understandable and comprehensive format on the web. The book is everything I'd hoped it would be, and my website now runs much faster as a result.

      However, after buying the book (and paying for shipping to NZ, which is around the same cost as the book itself) I was not that thrilled to suddenly find "articles" popping up all over the internet basically quoting the entire book verbatim. Save your hard-earned cash and just google it.

      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      A Great Resource!

      By Jen B.

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about oreilly High Performance Web Sites:

      This book is extremely well organized and easy to read. It is code-oriented; server and database tuning are not addressed though some general ideas are discussed in passing.

      Narrative explanations are combined with real world examples and code samples to illustrate each of the fourteen "rules" for tuning a web site. He clearly explains the pros and cons of each option, and why some techniques are better than others. He provides a primary recommendation but also discusses other options at length. This book is scalable to help developers of small-business web sites up to enterprise e-commerce sites.

      Many of the "rules" are not necessarily a surprise to anyone with much web development experience. However the speed comparison charts and illustrations are extremely helpful, and many helpful "gold nuggets" of information are also sprinkled throughout.

      After a full read, this book is now on my shelf within easy reach so that I can refer to the invaluable tips and code samples. I highly recommend that any serious web developer add this book to their bookshelf!

       
      5.0

      Well organized tips and tricks on web site performance

      By jdruin

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about oreilly High Performance Web Sites:

      This book is an excellent guide for web developers looking to write optimized HTML. The book is organized into 14 categories of performance enhancements with a chapter decicated to each category. There is also a chapter on techniques in use by top websites, a chapter on HTTP as it applies to performace, and a chapter on the "Golden Rule" of web page preformance (Most time is not spend downloading the main page).

      With each of the performance category chapters is a break down of the tips and tricks that allow browsers to load, fetch and/or render pages faster. Some rules (such as using a content delivery network) would apply to large or enterprize sites but the majority of the hints can be used on any web page down to the smallest home page.

      The book is well organized and easy to use. The font and page size are good for reading while sitting at a computer. The reference section which gives links to examples for each tip in the book is outstanding. It is broken down by chapter, then by tip within chapters.

      The presentation is form the point of view of performance so there was material on how the browser works internally as well as explanations of external browser behavior.

      Overall, this is a very nice guide of web site performance ideas.

       
      5.0

      Quick Read!

      By Anonymous

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about oreilly High Performance Web Sites:

      I really enjoyed reading High Performance Web Sites.

      After beginning with the performance golden rule and a brief introduction http the book devotes a chapter to each of the fourteen optimization rules that the author has developed while working at Yahoo!. The rules are presented in order of importance. The final chapter analyzes some high profile web sites to see how they stack up.

      This book taught me a lot about how to optimize the loading of the web sites I write. Books like this are ones that I devour quickly and then want to share with others so they can befit. The small size of this book goes hand in hand with this desire. Since it is such a quick read coworkers are more likely to be willing to read it and less likely to put it off.

      The explanations of each rule give you a clear understanding of the "whys" and not just the "hows". Most of the rules are illustrated with examples hosted on the authors web site (http://stevesouders.com/hpws/). You'll want to have had some experience developing web sites to gain the most from this book.

      If you are in need of speeding up a web page, but don't know where to start I'd recommend this book. It is filled with practical first-hand knowledge and insight. Who knows, you may want to loan it out to a friend or two when you are finished. I know I do.

      Displaying reviews 1-10

      Back to top

      Previous | Next »

       
      Buy 2 Get 1 Free Free Shipping Guarantee
      Buying Options
      Immediate Access - Go Digital what's this?
      Ebook: $23.99
      Formats:  DAISY, ePub, Mobi, PDF
      Print & Ebook: $32.99
      Print: $29.99