Continuing my series of posts about Web Performance Optimization (WPO), here is a thought: focus on high impact web pages first. This might seem obvious when you read it, but from my experience most people don't actually put limits to a WPO project and over time the benefits are diluted.
The first thing to do is to identify possible candidates to a WPO project. In a previous project we found out one single script was hit with requests 80% of the time. We (the web site owner and myself) decided to concentrate efforts on this web page first.
Basically, we apply the Pareto Principle and concentrate our efforts on that page responsible for 80% of the total requests using only 20% of the overall time of a full WPO project, with more immediate results. We then have time to concentrate on the other 20% of pages which could take up to 80% of the project time, if needed.
Obviously if you have a page that is hit only a few times a day but still manages to bring the whole web site down, then this should be looked at too.
The tools of choice for this part of the project are web site analytics (Google Analytics is my favourite one - it's free!). Data needs to be collected for a while to help determine the exact focus of the sub project.
Once a web page is selected then a holistic approach takes place. Waterfall diagrams (I will talk about these in another post later) can be used to determine the balance of back end and browser side load times, helping determine which side needs more urgent attention. Scripts can be used to monitor events and report back with signals that can be used to determine specific areas causing slow rendering on the client side.
I will keep posting in this series - make sure to subscribe to my RSS feed. Of course if you run a web site and think a Web Performance Optimization project could help you improve metrics, please contact me and we can work on this.
Other related posts:
Google Chrome cache performance
Geekzone experience using Pingdom RUM
Geekzone over the years: the tech behind the scenes
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