Finished reading “Even Faster Web Sites”

book cover

I just finished reading “Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers“, by Steve Souders. It’s technical, and definitely for a limited audience, but it’s certainly relevant for web developers trying to squeeze a few extra milliseconds out of page render times with older browsers. (Yes, many of the techniques are just as applicable for modern browsers, but the performance competition between Firefox, Safari, and Chrome has the latest builds addressing, and solving, some of the common bottlenecks.)

What I liked best about the book were the tests and test results. Souders runs each browser through numerous test scenarios to demonstrate the (sometimes huge) impacts that small authoring decisions can make. (e.g., the surprising relationship between CSS files and inline JavaScript.) Souders also provides implementation details and decision trees for choosing and implementing as much asynchronous loading as possible.

All in all, it was a nice exploration of how different browser implementations approach page loading and painting, and how to exploit this knowledge for speed.