Speed Up Your Site: Web Site Optimization


There's a time bomb on the web: user patience. It starts ticking each time someone opens one of your pages. You only have a few seconds to get compelling content onto the screen. Fail, and you can kiss your customers and profits goodbye.

You can't count on fast connections either. Most of your customers are still sucking content through a 56K straw. You have to serve up greased lightning or they'll bail. That's why you picked up this book. In it you'll learn how to cut file ...

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There's a time bomb on the web: user patience. It starts ticking each time someone opens one of your pages. You only have a few seconds to get compelling content onto the screen. Fail, and you can kiss your customers and profits goodbye.

You can't count on fast connections either. Most of your customers are still sucking content through a 56K straw. You have to serve up greased lightning or they'll bail. That's why you picked up this book. In it you'll learn how to cut file sizes in half. You'll trim (X)HTML, CSS, graphics, JavaScript, multimedia, and bandwidth costs. Real-world examples illustrate techniques with before and after code and percentage savings. After reading this book, you'll know how to make your pages literally "pop" onto the screen.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Slow sites stink. Broadband isn't the solution: It'll be nearly 2005 before even half of your visitors have it. Many sites are unacceptably slow even at cable modem speeds. And you're paying to serve all that crud. What to do? Read Speed Up Your Site -- and do what it tells you.

Andrew B. King begins with the "psychology" of web performance. How fast is "fast enough"? What does the research say? How do you give users the pleasurable experience of "flow" as they navigate your site? Then, it's on to optimizations of every imaginable type: HTML and XHTML; CSS, JavaScript, and DHTML; graphics and multimedia, server-side techniques and GZIP compression -- which can slash HTML file size by 80 percent.

You'll discover "crunchers" that shorten scripts dramatically (and make them harder to steal). You'll learn how to refactor JavaScripts for speed (for example, by minimizing DOM interaction and tuning regular expressions). You'll learn how to shoot photos for better JPEG compression (minimize background details by using large apertures or telephoto lenses); and how to control compression more finely with third-party tools.

King sought out one of the most bloated home pages he could find: a prominent magazine that, at 138,548 Kb, is a "poster child" for site optimization. He then put that page on a "crash diet." He used SpaceAgent to squeeze out 27 percent in associated HTML junk. He eliminated redundant CSS and overly complex JavaScript. He trimmed overspecified tables and excess comments; eliminated lengthy absolute links; and finally, applied compression. At 8.4 Kb, the revamped page loads in less than three seconds at 56K. Amazing. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735713246
  • Publisher: New Riders
  • Publication date: 1/8/2003
  • Series: Voices That Matter Series
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew B. King (Andy) is the founder of WebReference.com and JavaScript.com, both award-winning web developer sites. Created in 1995 and subsequently acquired by Mecklermedia (now Jupitermedia) in 1997, WebReference has grown into one of the most popular developer sites on the Internet. WebReference.com has won more than 100 awards, including PC Magazine's Top 100 Web Sites (nine-time winner).

As Managing Editor of WebReference.com and JavaScript.com, Andy became the "Usability Czar" at internet.com, optimizing the speed and usability of their sites. He continues to write the three weekly newsletters he started for WebReference.com and JavaScript.com.

Andy has been studying, practicing, and teaching optimization techniques for more than 20 years. For his BSME and MSME from the University of Michigan, he specialized in design optimization. Recruited by NASA, he chose instead to join the fast-paced world of engineering consulting at ETA, Inc., a structural engineering firm. He worked for Ford and GM, optimizing entire automotive structures and suspensions with finite element analysis.

In 1993, he discovered the web. Volunteer work with a local Free-net in 1993 led to a position as one of the first employees of Internet Connect, Inc., a web design firm. He's been working the web ever since.

In addition to his work with WebReference.com, Andy has also written for MacWeek and Web Techniques (now New Architect), and contributed to Jim Heid's HTML & Web Publishing Secrets. When he's not optimizing web sites or writing newsletters, you'll find Andy out taking pictures, sailing, or bicycling. Contact Andy through the companion site to this book at http://www.WebSiteOptimization.com.

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Table of Contents

I The Psychology of Performance
1 Response Time: Eight Seconds, Plus or Minus Two 3
2 Flow in Web Design 27
II Optimizing Markup: HTML and XHTML
3 HTML Optimization 41
4 Advanced HTML Optimization 67
5 Extreme XHTML 99
6 Case Study: PopularMechanics.com 123
III DHTML Optimization: CSS and JavaScript
7 CSS Optimization 139
8 Advanced CSS Optimization 167
9 Optimizing JavaScript for Download Speed 193
10 Optimizing JavaScript for Execution Speed 211
11 Case Study: DHTML.com 243
IV Graphics and Multimedia Optimization
12 Optimizing Web Graphics 249
13 Minimizing Multimedia 283
14 Case Study: Apple.com 327
V Search Engine Optimization
15 Keyword Optimization 333
16 Case Studies: PopularMechanics.com and iProspect.com 357
VI Advanced Optimization Techniques
17 Server-Side Techniques 371
18 Compressing the Web 407
19 Case Studies: Yahoo.com and WebReference.com 443
Search Engine Visibility: Chapter Excerpt 449
Index 477
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2003

    Definitely a Definitive Guide on Web Optimization

    When I read this book, I was hoping it would explain the purpose behind the necessity for fast web sites. Right out of the gate, the author provides sufficient research on this topic. Not only does he discuss the speed of response time as a certain factor in user satisfaction, he takes it to the next level by discussing the major causes of user impatience. I really enjoyed the part about ¿attunability¿. It¿s a very valuable term for web designers. As for me, this discussion alone was worth the price of the book. The book follows this discussion with the idea that it¿s not enough to speed up a web site. To improve user experience and keep them on a web site longer, flow becomes an important factor. As for me, I am always trying to build sites that flow well. It¿s very annoying to visit a web site that has inconsistent color schemes, a plethora of navigation techniques. Hey, use all the cool techniques that you want but if it doesn¿t flow then I¿m not impressed. Give me something that is simple and pleasing to use and I would probably hang around longer. This book stresses flow but doesn¿t spend much time on the subject. With the groundwork laid out as to why sites need to be optimized for speed and flow, the rest of the book explains with great pain-staking detail how to optimize. It offers techniques and examples for areas such as HTML, XHMTL, CSS, JavaScript, graphics, multi-media, and meta-tags. Furthermore, this book covers server-side techniques and search engine optimization. Finally, to measure web site optimization, this book includes references to benchmarking tools. With the concentration on coding techniques and optimization of code, I can understand why this book is recommended for experienced developers and designers; however, this book is organized such that a beginner could read the first three or four chapters and then do follow-up reading as their skills progress. With that said, I think this book could have presented more details on site flow; but overall, this book is worthwhile reading. With almost 500 pages, it¿s jammed full of research and useful examples and techniques on web optimization. I have built many web sites and fine tuned them. This book is a gold mine. With its awesome amount of coding optimization techniques and examples, I am sure that I can double the speed of my web sites.

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