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High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers Paperback – September 18, 2007


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High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers + Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers + High Performance JavaScript (Build Faster Web Application Interfaces)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (September 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596529309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596529307
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

14 Steps to Faster-Loading Web Sites

About the Author

Steve Souders works at Google on web performance and open source initiatives. His books High Performance Web Sites and Even Faster Web Sites explain his best practices for performance along with the research and real-world results behind them. Steve is the creator of YSlow, the performance analysis extension to Firebug with more than 1 million downloads. He serves as co-chair of Velocity, the web performance and operations conference sponsored by O'Reilly. Steve taught CS193H: High Performance Web Sites at Stanford, and he frequently speaks at such conferences as OSCON, Rich Web Experience, Web 2.0 Expo, and The Ajax Experience.

Steve previously worked at Yahoo! as the Chief Performance Yahoo!,where he blogged about web performance on Yahoo! Developer Network. He was named a Yahoo! Superstar. Steve worked on many of the platforms and products within the company, including running the development team for My Yahoo!. Prior to Yahoo! Steve worked at several small to mid-sized startups including two companies he co-founded, Helix Systems and CoolSync. He also worked at General Magic, WhoWhere?, and Lycos.


More About the Author

Steve Souders works at Google on web performance and open source initiatives. His books High Performance Web Sites and Even Faster Web Sites explain his best practices for performance along with the research and real-world results behind them. Steve is the creator of YSlow, the performance analysis extension to Firebug with more than 1 million downloads. He serves as co-chair of Velocity, the web performance and operations conference sponsored by O'Reilly. Steve taught CS193H: High Performance Web Sites at Stanford, and he frequently speaks at such conferences as OSCON, Rich Web Experience, Web 2.0 Expo, and The Ajax Experience.

Steve previously worked at Yahoo! as the Chief Performance Yahoo!, where he blogged about web performance on Yahoo! Developer Network. He was named a Yahoo! Superstar. Steve worked on many of the platforms and products within the company, including running the development team for My Yahoo!. Prior to Yahoo! Steve worked at several small to mid-sized startups including two companies he co-founded, Helix Systems and CoolSync. He also worked at General Magic, WhoWhere?, and Lycos.

Customer Reviews

The book is not very thick; it is an easy read and easy to understand.
J. Fox
A web developer interested in improving the downloading performance of his web sites will find this book very useful and will find the rules easy to apply.
Jose M. Baeza
If you work on websites, front end or back end, it would be worth your time to read this book.
William Deegan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Brett Merkey on September 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
§
_High Performance Web Sites_ is one of those books that will get read by more people than buy it because it is both a fast read and organized into clearly differentiated subjects. This makes it easy to pick up for a moment or pass along to team members with different specialties.

Each of these "14 Steps to Faster-Loading Web Sites" (listed in the editorial review above) is itself divided into related tips with practical pointers. The fact that the book is full of these pointers is not the only value I extracted. We also get something a bit more subtle. The fact that the author is a performance expert at one of the mega-companies that define the Web for most of us lends authority to the book. It is easy to have confidence that his practical experience will have immediate lessons for teams with the same problems, if on a smaller scale.

Steve Souders provides a special addition to his tips: his example pages offer direct comparisons and means to make our own tests. This is something rarely encountered in such books. The book ends with a 30-page chapter where he deconstructs 10 of the top Web sites in the U.S. using the rules and tools described in the book.
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53 of 59 people found the following review helpful By E. Welker on December 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
The ideas in the book are excellent. I'm all for an organized checklist of techniques to make web sites faster. The problem, is that once you have read the documentation for Yslow (the firebug plugin that grades sites based on these criteria) you will find the book provides little to no more substantive information. I had looked forward to it, purchased it, and have since given it away. I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt, as I love the ideas, but this book just didn't deliver.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful By NJP (Ohio) on January 10, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the information in the book is good information to know, it is (as others have said) information that pretty much gave a "yeah, I knew that" type of impression. And at only 137 pages of text, it's a very light read. If you are a new web developer, this is a nice collection of tips. As an experienced developer, there's nothing new here. And at $29 for its minimal 137 pages, it's really just an expensive checklist of 14 simple items. Too pricey for what you get in my opinion.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Farrell VINE VOICE on October 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
Not only does Steve Souders have the credentials to write this book (he's the chief performance guy for Yahoo!), he's also written a book that is an easy read and will give you everything you need to easily improve your web site performance.

Each of the 14 tips is well explained together with examples from real world sites that show how the tip has been used or how it would have helped. Some are harder to do (Use a Content Delivery Network) if you're just working on a small site or an internal web application. But most are easy to implement (GZip components, Make JavaScript and CSS External) and you'll see the results immediately.

This book should be on your Essential Reading bookshelf if you're a web developer or a member of the performance team for any organization. Keep it a secret and amaze your colleagues by making small changes and demonstrating big performance improvements. Alternately spread the word about this book and let everyone benefit.

Oh, and if you already own Web Performance Tuning, 2nd Edition (O'Reilly Internet), don't be scared by this new book. It's a much easier read and it also is aware of Ajax and new web development techniques.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael Slater on December 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is full of information that you just can't find anywhere else. So often, we rely on gross generalizations about what happens when the browser fetches a web page. This book explains, with great clarity, the details of what really happens, and how lots of small details affect performance dramatically. It gives specific recommendations for how to improve performance, and then dissects the top 10 sites and shows how they perform and why.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Garrett L. Tillotson on December 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
A web, database and compiled application developer of over 7 years, I read a lot. Typically about a thousand pages a week worth of technical books (cover to cover, my wife thinks I'm nuts). Having read this one recently it is the first to have compelled me to write an Amazon book review.

My hat is off to Steve Souders. The book is perfectly organized and packed with his valuable insights into what matters most when working to optimize website performance.

To everyone thinking about buying this book, I encourage you to do so. It's a great read and can give even seasoned web programmers valuable new insights into how to improve site performance. Steve is one of those rare authors that is both smart enough to boil complex subjects down into simple explanations and nice enough to do it for his readers with a consistency that is rare even among the best technical writers. To top it all he manages to do so with a light, frank style.

A joy to read. Thanks Steve. Can't wait for your next book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Pease on October 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
One of the most noticeable and least expensive improvements you can make to increase the speed of your website is to implement these front-end techniques.

It is true that the 14 principles can be found in the description of the book, or with the excellent YSlow tool delivered by Yahoo! Developer Network.

So why should you buy the book??

The book explains "why" these 14 principles are best, and it does so in a concise format.

If you currently work professionally with the front-end side of a website (or would like to someday) this book should be considered a required read. At less than US$30, it is an inexpensive investment into your on-going education.

Don't settle with just knowing "how" to make your site faster, get the book and learn "why" these steps make your site faster. You'll be a better and more valuable developer for it.
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