Website performance talk: Delivering The Goods In Under 1000ms

Paul Irish (@paul_irish) gave a really good keynot presentation during Front End Ops Conference 2014 in SF. The title: “Delivering The Goods In Under 1000ms“.

He focuses on investigating the key question “page size vs. number of requests” what has a bigger impact on website performance.

“… latency is the performance bottleneck for HTTP and well … most of the web”

Aggressive, but good goals to achieve:

Deliver a fast mobile web page load

  • Show the above-the-fold content in under 1 second
  • Serve above-the-fold content, including critical path CSS, in first 14kb of response

Maximum of 200ms server response time

Speed index under 1000

More to read about the Speed Index.

Website performance – best practice to improve

Website performance comes in various flavours – but where to start with improvements? How to improve the performance? What are best practices to follow?

Tony Gentilcore (@tonygentilcore) talks in a blogpost about “An engineer’s guide to optimization“. Tony basically identified 5 steps to follow.

Step 1: Identify the metric. 

Identify a scenario worth being optimized – means it moves a business metric. If – after all thinking and crunching – you’re not able to identify a scenario with a clear relationship between the optimization and any business metric you should look for more pressing problems first – and revisit the performance issue later.

Step 2: Measure the metric.

After you’ve identified the metric – establish a repeatable benchmark of this scenario / metric. Include this metric measurement into your continuous integration / delivery pipelines and watch out for regressions. First, start with synthetic benchmarks and later include the real world (Real User Monitoring).

Step 3: Identify the theoretical optimum of your metric.

Think about your scenario and create a best-best-best-case. What would be the benefit, the performance maximum to gain out of the scenario. Given everything works really well, what would be the top-performance figure?

Step 4: Approach your optimium.

Identify the bottlenecks preventing you to reach the optimum. Work on these bottlenecks – start with the biggest impact first. Don’t stop optimizing until you reach a point where you have to invest more than you benefit.

Step 5: Profit from your achievements!