January 21, 2017
This article is also on Medium!
I spent the last year writing a technical book for Manning Publications, and it's finally out! The book is called Web Performance in Action. The process was something I wanted to fully document, but it became clear to me that nobody would find such an overly-specific, long-winded screed worth reading.
So instead, I said "to hell with it" and slapped a clickbait title on this thing. If you've ever entertained the notion of writing a technical book, these are some tips that served me well during the process. Well, for me at least. Your mileage will vary, of course.Read More »
October 6, 2016
I've been doing some research on HTTP/2 use across the world in preparation for an article on another outlet. In doing so, I've observed some compelling relationships between HTTP/2 support by browser, the developing world, and internet infrastructure quality.
In developed nations, we see often see that internet infrastructure quality is pretty good in comparison to developing nations. That's not to say that some developed nations couldn't stand to do better, but they're often better by comparison. Let's take a quick look at this graph of average and peak connection speeds in the world's top 8 developing nations by population, courtesy of Akamai's second quarter State of the Internet Report for 2016:Read More »
September 12, 2016
Browser caches are great. With a good
cache-control policy, you can take advantage of the browser cache to seriously increase the speed of return visits to your site. On a multi-page site where many resources are shared across pages, a primed browser cache can reduce load times when users navigate to subsequent pages.
What sucks, though, is when you have to bust a cache for an asset that changes. Cache busting (or cache invalidation, as it is commonly known) is what we must do when we change an asset, but want to make sure the browser downloads the new version of it.Read More »
July 22, 2016
Paul Irish wrote about the protocol-relative URL way back in 2010. It was a convenient little post that advised developers to abandon absolute protocol URL schemes using
https:// in favor of a protocol-relative variant that looks something like this:
This convenient syntax eliminates the need for developers to construct URLs based on the user's current security context. If this syntax was used on an HTTP page to include something from a CDN, it retrieved the HTTP version. If the user used it on an HTTPS page, it retrieved the HTTPS version. Seems like a hell of an idea, right?Read More »
May 25, 2016
This isn’t a huge success story, but I thought it was sufficiently spiffy to warrant a short post about an SVG media query that helped me to cut an unnecessary image from a client's website while still accommodating their design. Who knows? This short post may help you some day.
Not too long ago, I developed a static site for Weekly Timber & Pulp, a logging business in Central Wisconsin. The designer on the project whipped up some comps with two breakpoints: One for phones and tablets in portrait view, and another for tablets in landscape view and larger. The designer is a good friend of mine, and loves to throw me a curve ball every now and again. So he gave the site’s logo a different treatment for each breakpoint.Read More »
April 25, 2016 (Updated: September 26, 2016)
We've all been there before: You're browsing a website that has a ton of huge and beautiful images of delicious food, or maybe that new gadget you've been eyeballing. These images tug at your senses, and for content authors, they're essential in moving people to do things.
Except that these images are downright huge. Like really huge. On a doddering mobile connection, you can even see these images unfurl before you like a descending window shade. You're suddenly reminded of the bad old days of dial-up connections.Read More »