The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

ICYMI: This week’s must-read web performance posts (03/28/16 to 04/01/16)

My favorite web performance posts this month

This week has been a blur for me. If your week has been blurry, too, then there’s a chance you may have missed out on these excellent posts, articles, and videos by some smart folks in the web performance space. (If you can suggest more, let me know in the comments!)

Synthetic, RUM, and a brief history of APM

This is a thorough overview (if that isn’t an oxymoron) by Chapman Lever of what RUM and synthetic measurement do, why each is important, and some tools to consider. A must-read, in my opinion.

Who’s responsible when an ecommerce site collapses under the weight of traffic?

If you answered “testers” or “performance engineers”, you might be wrong. Alex Painter asks this very important question.

Are our leading brands also optimization leaders?

Brian Massey snoops on the JavaScript that loads with seven leading retail sites. His goal: “What I want to know is which of these companies is the most curious about their visitors — curious enough to install the right tools.”

Embracing the network

This is three months old, but new to me so thought I’d pass it along. Awesome video from Patrick Hamann: “The network is intrinsically unreliable. More so, the network is out of your control as a developer. Therefore, we must design systems which embrace the unpredictability of the network and defend against it all costs. How can you prioritise the delivery of your core content? What best-practices can you use to optimise your assets? How are APIs such as ServiceWorker changing the way we think about the network?”

embracing network performance

Infinite scrolling, pagination or “load more” buttons? Usability findings in ecommerce

Christian Holst wrote in Smashing Magazine about this really cool UX study that found, among other things, that “load more” buttons beat out pagination and infinite scrolling. I’ve heard a lot of data-free analysis about this question in the past, so it’s nice to have some real usability research to refer to. As an added bonus, Ryan Carson pointed out on Twitter that the “load more” option reduces unnecessary and unexpected load times.

Dominant colors for lazy-loading images

Pinterest, Google Images and lots of image-heavy sites lazy-load their content. They also calculate the dominant color of each image to use as a placeholder, which improves perceived performance for end users. Manuel Wieser wrote a fantastic detailed post explaining how you can do it, too. (Props to the O’Reilly newsletter, which scooped this first. If you’re not already a subscriber, you should be.)

lazy loading images for better web performance

How to interpret web performance stats

In the webperf world, we see tons of case studies about sites that made their pages X seconds faster, which equalled more conversions/pageviews/revenue. But a lot of people misinterpret this stat. Buddy Brewer breaks it down in this awesome blog post. (Yes, it’s this blog, but what can I say? It’s a great post.)

Velocity NY CFP closes soon!

Velocity New York happens this September, but the call for proposals ends on Tuesday, April 5. That’s next week! If you’ve never submitted a conference proposal before, don’t be nervous. Here are some tips from my personal blog to get you thinking. 

Free ebook download: 24 best practices to cure your website's performance pains

Tammy Everts

About the Author

Tammy Everts

Tammy has spent the past two decades obsessed with the many factors that go into creating the best possible user experience. As senior researcher and evangelist at SOASTA, she explores the intersection between web performance, UX, and business metrics. Tammy is a frequent speaker at events including IRCE, Summit, Velocity, and Smashing Conference. She is the author of 'Time Is Money: The Business Value of Web Performance' (O'Reilly, 2016).

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