10 Tips for 10x Application Performance

“Improving web application performance is more critical than ever. The share of economic activity that’s online is growing; more than 5% of the developed world’s economy is now on the Internet (see Resources below for statistics). And our always-on, hyper-connected modern world means that user expectations are higher than ever. If your site does not respond instantly, or if your app does not work without delay, users quickly move on to your competitors.

For example, a study done by Amazon almost 10 years ago proved that, even then, a 100-millisecond decrease in page-loading time translated to a 1% increase in its revenue. Another recent study highlighted the fact that that more than half of site owners surveyed said they lost revenue or customers due to poor application performance.

How fast does a website need to be? For each second a page takes to load, about 4% of users abandon it. Top e-commerce sites offer a time to first interaction ranging from one to three seconds, which offers the highest conversion rate. It’s clear that the stakes for web application performance are high and likely to grow.

Wanting to improve performance is easy, but actually seeing results is difficult. To help you on your journey, this blog post offers you ten tips to help you increase your website performance by as much as 10x. It’s the first in a series detailing how you can increase your application performance with the help of some well-tested optimization techniques, and with a little support from NGINX. This series also outlines potential improvements in security that you can gain along the way…”

10 Tips for 10x Application Performance

Big List of 20 Common Bottlenecks

“In Zen And The Art Of Scaling – A Koan And Epigram Approach, Russell Sullivan offered an interesting conjecture: there are 20 classic bottlenecks. This sounds suspiciously like the idea that there only 20 basic story plots. And depending on how you chunkify things, it may be true, but in practice we all know bottlenecks come in infinite flavors, all tasting of sour and ash.

One day Aurelien Broszniowski from Terracotta emailed me his list of bottlenecks, we cc’ed Russell in on the conversation, he gave me his list, I have a list, and here’s the resulting stone soup.

Russell said this is his “I wish I knew when I was younger” list and I think that’s an enriching way to look at it. The more experience you have, the more different types of projects you tackle, the more lessons you’ll be able add to a list like this. So when you read this list, and when you make your own, you are stepping through years of accumulated experience and more than a little frustration, but in each there is a story worth grokking…”


Self-updating scripts

“Analyzing your site using Page Speed or YSlow often produces lower scores than you might expect due to 3rd party resources with short cache times. 3rd party snippet owners use short cache times so that users receive updates in a timely fashion, even if this means slowing down the site owner’s page.

Stoyan and I were discussing this and wondered if there was a way to have longer cache times and update resources when necessary. We came up with a solution. It’s simple and reliable. Adopting this pattern will reduce unnecessary HTTP requests resulting in faster pages and happier users, as well as better Page Speed and YSlow scores…”


Cache them if you can

“I always smile when I hear a web performance speaker say this. I forget who said it first, but I’ve heard it numerous times at conferences and meetups over the past few years. It’s true! Caching is critical for making web pages faster. I’ve written extensively about caching: