9 cool performance links (plus one)

The first month of 2011 kicked off with some great performance-related articles, research and blog posts. Here are the ones I’ve bookmarked.

Front-end optimization overview

Why Web Applications and Mobile Browsing Are Making the Frontend a Major Performance Bottleneck
Dan Rayburn wrote an excellent overview of the web performance landscape, and where exactly front-end optimization fits in. This is a great pass-along if you want to explain performance and FEO to someone unfamiliar with our industry.

Case studies

The Website Sausage Factory and Impact on Performance – a TechCrunch Case Study
TechCrunch has become a performance whipping boy. Keynote’s Ian Withrow wrote this excellent (and entertaining) blog post in which he analyzed exactly how TC’s page bloat happens:

TechCrunch is a behemoth of a site, weighing in at just over 4 MB of data, 329 page elements, and a whopping 65 domains. About half of this comes from them directly or really via WordPress who is evidently the platform they use to power their blog. The rest comes from over 20 3rd parties. You read that correctly, 65 domains in total and half the content originates from someone else.

Case Study — The North Face
Great waterfall analysis of a North Face product page, conducted by performance consultant Duncan McDougall.

Mobile web performance

Announcing my focus on mobile
In case you missed it, a couple of weeks ago Google performance guru Steve Souders announced that his focus for 2011 is going to be on mobile performance. He kicked things off by making available his Mobile Perf bookmarklet, a one-stop shop for all your web performance tool bookmarklets.

The Business Case for Assuring the Customer Mobile Web Experience
Key takeaway from this Gomez whitepaper: As smartphones continue to improve dramatically, mobile users’ will become increasingly demanding. Poor mobile performance will become a brand killer.

Mobile shoppers prefer m-commerce sites over apps, study finds
According to this Internet Retailer article, two-thirds of people surveyed said that prefer to shop via the mobile web rather than via an app. I’m not surprised by this. The mobile web is simply an extension of the regular web, which is what we’re already comfortable using. Unique shopping apps present a brand-new learning/comfort curve.

Google and search engine ranking

Will Page Load Time Be More Of A Ranking Factor In 2011?
No ironclad answers here, but some interesting ideas and speculation.

The effects of Google’s page load time factor?
The discussion thread on Webmaster World that sparked the above post.


2010 Trends and Data
From Internet Retailer, an interesting set of slides featuring graphs illustrating everything from Mobile Commerce Performance to Most Improved Response Times.

Hans Rosling shows the best stats you’ve ever seen
This TED Talk is four years old, but still excellent and very watchable. It has nothing to do with performance, but everything to do with just how amazing data visualization can be. Things get really exciting at the 3:45 mark.

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