Performance

Compression Makes Matters Light

Content compression is one of the simplest and most effective means to improving webpage performance. A smaller file size means lighter page load and faster download speeds, which translates to lightning fast page renders. For some, if not most of us developers, content compression is a black box that we don’t have to give much though to. Compression mechanisms automagically work by default in browsers and servers. And if you’re loading pages via a CDN like Netlify, chances are you will never have to think about compression since they compress your files for you ✨ .
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Http2; the Magic Elixir of Performance

This week, we focused on web performance and discussed the many strategies to improving our websites to optimize for a fast user experience. Some of these strategies involved “forcing the browsers hand” or coercing it into downloading resources in a specified order and time—hello preload and async/defer. Historically, the browser exercised full control over how and when resources were downloaded in order to paint pixels to the screen. It would make requests as they came, one at a time and block rendering while it waited on resources it needed from the server.
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Dont Be Such a Render Block

In previous posts, we talked about optimizing our websites to reduce page weight and inadvertently decrease overall page load time. This page load metric, though incredibly important, doesn’t fully take into account the user’s perception of a websites’ performance. At the very least, a user’s goal when visiting a website is to view the page content. As a result, they are more likely attuned to the time it takes for a page to be viewable (first meaningful paint) or usable (time to interactive) rather than on the time it takes for the entire page to load (page load time).
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If You Can Read This Fonts Work

Typography plays a central role in the design, branding, and overall readability of content. On the web, typography is achieved chiefly via webfonts. While the default system/”web-safe” fonts (hello Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif) are a reasonable and incredibly performant strategy for presenting content online, webfonts allow you to customize your typography to create a memorable, and delightful experience for your users. Even so, custom webfonts (as most nice things do) come at a performance cost.
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Video Killed the Web Performance Star

Video is one of the most sought out mediums on the web and is used widely in web page designs today. According to a Cisco report, video constitutes the majority of the world’s internet traffic. In 2017, video was reported to have constituted 75% of all internet traffic and this number is slated to surpass 80% by 2022. This should come as no surprise to most of use, considering the fact that video content is a powerful medium for visual communication and offers a great way to keep users engaged.
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Images Are Worth Optimizing For

Images make up a large portion of a webpage’s payload. According to the HTTP Archive, the average image size has grown almost twofold and now constitute a whopping 63% of total bytes of a webpage. This growth in images on the web has coincided with faster network speeds and growing bandwidth; meaning that loading webpages today has never been faster— for some of us. High network latencies and low bandwidth (mostly over mobile connections) is unfortunately commonplace for a large percentage of the world.
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Weighing in on Page Weight

Early on in my career, when web performance metrics were brought up in conversation, I would take how others reacted to the number as a cue to understanding what those numbers meant (read: I had no idea what those numbers meant). A high number elicited shock and horror, while a low number drew admiration and praise. This could only mean, high page weight bad, low page weight good. Though my naïveté around web performance at the time was a result of my overall lack of experience, it did highlight a point worth considering; the concept of a “page weight” is somewhat of a confusing term especially when seen in isolation.
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