Web front-end latency
Number 3 in the list of Google’s “Ten things we know to be true” is: “fast is better than slow.” Steve Souders is the Head Performance Engineer at Google, where he works on web performance and open source initiatives. Steve joined us at the Startup Lab to talk with our portfolio companies about best practices for improving front-end latency in web apps.
Faster sites yield better results across a number of dimensions: you’ll lower user bounce rates, increase conversions, lower costs, and improve user satisfaction. Google also takes site speed into account when ranking search results, so your site’s performance can have a direct impact on the discoverability of your site.
Many of the most dramatic things you can do to improve your site’s performance are fortunately straightforward; in fact, several of our portfolio companies implemented Steve’s recommendations within days of attending this workshop. Many saw improvements of 40-60%, with one company reducing its page load time by more than 90%.
A few tools Steve recommended in his talk are worth calling out:
- WebPageTest: You can see how quickly (or slowly!) your site loads, by using WebPageTest to simulate your site on a variety of browsers at a variety of connection speeds.
- SpriteMe: When run against your existing site, it will combine your background images into a single CSS sprite. This dramatically reduces http requests and often results in dramatically faster page loads.
- MobilePerf: Makes mobile development performance tuning easier by collecting resources in a single bookmarklet.
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