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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raising the performance bar up a notch
This book is a follow-on to Steve Souder's first book entitled "High Performance Web Sites". Whereas the first book was authored entirely by Steve Souder, this newer book contains chapters authored by other experts in Javascript, Ajax, and/or Network Performance. Comparatively speaking, I tend to think of the performance tuning techniques discussed in the first book as...
Published on June 16, 2009 by Happy2015

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11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Minor Disappointment
After really liking Steve Souders' "High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers", I really wanted to like his latest offering "Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers". I liked it, but not nearly as much.

While "High Performance Web Sites" is centered around Souders' "14 Rules" for better web...
Published on October 10, 2009 by Joseph S. Strazzere


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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raising the performance bar up a notch, June 16, 2009
This review is from: Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers (Paperback)
This book is a follow-on to Steve Souder's first book entitled "High Performance Web Sites". Whereas the first book was authored entirely by Steve Souder, this newer book contains chapters authored by other experts in Javascript, Ajax, and/or Network Performance. Comparatively speaking, I tend to think of the performance tuning techniques discussed in the first book as all relatively straightforward to implement, while those in this newer book as ranging from some that are relatively straightforward to implement (e.g., how to write efficient Javascript and CSS Selector code, how to optimize image sizes, and how to flush documents early to trigger initial web page rendering as soon as possible), to others that tend to be trickier to implement, involving either the use of:

* lesser known http features (e.g., chunked encoding for incremental page rendering or low-latency data transfers from server to browser in support of near-realtime applications such as chat, stock quotes, etc), or

* still evolving technologies (e.g., Google GEAR or Web Worker API for overcoming Javascript's single-threadedness to get more concurrent work done), or

* not yet publicly released technologies (e.g., Microsoft Research's Doloto system that facilitates the "splitting and packaging" of a Javascript-intensive Web Application into a quick-loading initial component or cluster that enables early page rendering, and supporting payloads that are loaded more lazily or on-demand).

One theme that runs throughout this newer book is that in order to squeeze more performance out of a next generation web application, developers would have to become more and more adept with using asynchronous techniques (which could involve tricky issues); by this I don't just mean using Ajax which could involve asynchronously pulling data from server to browser, but also asynchronous techniques for facilitating parallel component downloads, etc.

Given the cutting-edge and more complex nature of some of the discussed techniques, this book is an invaluable aid to anyone itching to experiment: it lays out a problem, suggests approaches and related tools whenever appropriate (e.g., no access to Doloto?, here are alternative do-it-yourself implementation approaches), provides lots of sample code, calls out potential gotchas and how to workaround them, and then with the support of empirical data, tells you the relative pros and cons of each suggested approach. Highly recommended!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faster and Faster, August 11, 2009
This review is from: Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers (Paperback)
Today's Web developer knows that the speed of one's site is an important measure to its overall success, and Steve Souders' previous book, /High Performance Web Sites/ (O'Reilly), laid out what seemed to be every way to achieve good performance gains without the sacrifice of functionality or aesthetics. When I began reading Souders' /Even Faster Web Sites/, I therefore wondered how he could possibly demonstrate fresh ways to achieve performance gains without regurgitating the content of his previous book. What I discovered as I read /Even Faster Web Sites/ was it presented all new best practices for making your web sites "leaner and meaner" without repeating the content of his last book.

/Even Faster Web Sites/ takes the latest techniques available to developers and organizes them into three performance areas: JavaScript, network, and browser. Though I believe Souder knows what he is talking about regarding web site performance, I found it refreshing this time around that he had the contributions of other experts in the field to give their ideas on performance gains in these areas.

I thought the chapters on JavaScript, especially those discussing Ajax and asynchronous techniques, were well written and gave good, new best practices to trim time off the loading of content on a site. I also appreciated the chapter dealing with Comet, as these technologies are surely a driving force for future web applications, and having best practices early in their development will only help their progress. Of the two chapters on browser performance, I found the honesty of the discussion on the downsides of using iframes most helpful, especially when their use was discussed as a viable technique for improving performance early in the book. I did find the chapter on CSS selectors extremely useful for analyzing where slowdowns in styling may exist based on browser implementation. The chapters on network performance gave a good background on common hindrances such as connection limits and poor image choices, but also walked through what I felt were performance gains that can be made through less utilized techniques like chunked encoding and better compression.

Souder finished this book with an Appendix on performance tools that can be used to help in the improvement of a web site, which I found to be immensely helpful. While many tools he listed are well known to developers, there are some I was unaware of and began making use of immediately on my own sites.

/Even Faster Web Sites/ is an excellent follow-up to High Performance Web Sites, giving new best practices for making your web sites even faster. As I see it, even hundredths of a second begin to add up when you put all of these techniques together, and most of the techniques presented in this book are practical for any web site being developed. I would recommend this book to any developer looking for ways to improve the performance of his web site, as Souder has certainly demonstrated his knowledge and expertise on improving the speed of a site.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars After You've Mastered High Performance Web Sites, May 26, 2010
By 
Rob Szarka (Norwich, CT USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers (Paperback)
Steve Souders has been a leader in documenting and evangelizing techniques for improving web site performance, and his previous book High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers (or the web posting from which it evolved) is essential reading. Even Faster Web Sites is not an updating of that book, but a collection of additional advice from Souders and eight contributors. So the first thing to note is that you should probably only tackle this book if you've already mastered the techniques outlined in High Performance Web Sites.

The one exception to the advice above may be if you're a web developer who makes heavy use of Javascript, since over half of this book is devoted to AJAX. The remainder of the book addresses a variety of topics of interest to web development professionals in general--optimizing images, writing efficient CSS, advanced techniques for implementing gzipping, and more.

As with Souders previous book, there is little that will be new to professionals who've kept up with best practices via blogs and the like, but it's still nice to have all the information in one handy book. For those who are just starting to investigate web performance optimization, High Performance Web Sites plus Even Faster Web Sites will get you up to speed quickly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for every web developer, January 6, 2010
By 
M. Nabeel (Corona, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers (Paperback)
This book was referred to me by a friend. I have been browsing internet for resources that will address the performance of web in simple and easy to implement way. I did find some articles and videos on that subject. All the articles and videos were about one or two particular topics for web site optimization. This books covers the whole science of website speed and performances in detail. The book lays the foundation and tries to make us understand the stake holders and important concepts. Then it takes each aspect and covers in detail. You will get the feeling as if you knew too little in some areas.

This book gives you good understanding and solution for different types of web site. I allows us to think in more web browser perspective. We as developers have always thought of accomplishing the business requirement and not focusing on how a browser will react.

Excellent book. I recommend this to everyone. Must have for any web development shop.

Good Luck!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book - Must Read For Web Developers, January 7, 2010
By 
James Ausman (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers (Paperback)
Going beyond the excellent work in his first book _High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers_, this book includes great information on how to parallelize Javascript, minimize images, sprite images and write your web pages so that they don't block on one element. This along with the more basic stuff in his first book, like turning on compression, has speed up our page delivery times by a factor of 50%.

Remember that every 1 second longer your page loads costs you 10% of your users and you can use this book to convince management to invest resources in speeding up your site.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faster Web Pages, It Does Matter, June 29, 2009
This review is from: Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers (Paperback)
I've produced Web sites for 15 years. In the "old days" it was routine to test new Web pages on a dial-up connection. Today few developers have access to dial-up for testing. Yes you can load test and calculate the time to render a page on different connections but you'll miss the look in the developers eyes while he stares at the screen waiting for a page to render. It's a good way to be sure that developers experience their work from the customers point-of-view, all customers.

So the next time you're told by a developer, "oh it doesn't matter, everyone has broadband" take away their broadband for a week and make them read this book while waiting for their pages to load.

This book provides practical instruction on how to optimize your code for a better user experience, on broadband or not. This is written for developers but is also useful information for business managers who can demand faster performance from their Web sites and their developers.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Value Here, July 9, 2009
By 
Brett Merkey (Palm Harbor, FL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers (Paperback)
§
I don't think I have had a book this intriguing and valuable in my hand in a long while. You will harvest a measurable return on investment from "Even Faster Web Sites" if you are concerned with both the technical implementation and user experience aspects of your Web work.

Chapter 4 (Loading Scripts Without Blocking) introduces and reviews several ways that the referencing of scripts can degrade page performance and user experience. Test pages are provided to make clear each assertion by the author. After the *problem* is clarified, the author discusses alternative solutions and their impact on a range of circumstances. The details can get involved, but the writing is clear and focused. The ends that *you* need are kept to the fore. Souders summarizes all his tests in a decision tree that gives you the preferred approach depending on your requirements. That decision tree and the motivations behind it in this chapter alone reduce the price of this book to insignificance.

Any Web team with a copy of this book handy will surely waste less time debating "truisms" and "old developer lore" that often intrudes into our discussions. Souders and the other contributing authors have done us a great service here.
§
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hurry Up and Read Even Faster Web Sites, January 19, 2011
This review is from: Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers (Paperback)
What a pleasure it is to read Steve Souders' Even Faster Web Sites. He does a great job of harmonizing his own voice with those of his contributors. Every chapter is well written, authoritative and instantly useful. This is a book I could read repeatedly, gleaning new and profound insights each time.

Score:
5 stars: Overall
5 stars: Benefits and outcomes are immediate and potentially profound
5 stars: New information galore
5 stars: Yes, the book is technical, but readers can implement speed improvements in small steps.
5 stars: Credibility. The YSlow tool and book are fantastic for squeezing the fastest performance out your website
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Do It, April 18, 2013
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This review is from: Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers (Paperback)
Everyone that manages a web site should read this book. The bottom line is if you make your site faster downloading your visitors will be happier.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Even Faster Web Sites : ...Developers" > Assistance For Web Site Development & Performance Challenges!!!..., September 1, 2012
By 
Michael GreenGold (GLENWOOD, ILLINOIS, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers (Paperback)
>>>..."Even Faster Web Sites : ...Developers" from Steve Souders & six contributing expert authors, is a follow-on to "High Performance Web Sites : ...Engineers" because Web growth in Web page content and Web 2.0 applications, etc. do not stand still waiting for US to catch up but will always introduce a new set of performances challenges!!!...Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers
>>>..."Even Faster Web Sites : ...Developers" provides the best practices needed by developers to make these next generation Web sites even faster.
>>>...>>> Steve Souders offers , in this combination of both books, on Web site development, etc. help to assist YOU!!!...NOW / TODAY >>> Invest / Purchase & Use both of them, YOU will find them to be Indispensable!!!...Michael!!!...
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Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers
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