The 25 best new web performance links of Q3

A few people have asked me why I no longer do these monthly link roundups, and I didn’t have a good answer. (Not-good answer: I got busy.) But there have been so many great reads over the past three months that it feels like they really deserve the spotlight.

Not surprisingly, mobile is an even bigger deal than ever. There have been some great new presentations and studies. I was surprised, when digging through my bookmarks, to note just how many case studies there are, including under-the-hood reports from companies like Twitter and Facebook. To me, this is a really inspiring indicator of how much openness and excitement there is in our industry.

We’ve added these to our WPO Hub, which I encourage you to check out. It contains hundreds of links — organized by topic, source, research type, and industry — to the best performance-related content on the web.


Mobile HTML5
For hardcore HTML5 and/or mobile geeks, this is an awesome table, created by mobile performance guru Maximiliano Firtman, which illustrates HTML5 compatibility across major mobile and tablet browsers.

Steve Souders: High Performance Mobile
A lot of people in our community (including myself) were kicking themselves for not being able to attend Steve’s talk at the San Francisco/Silicon Valley Web Performance Meetup. Next best thing: watching the video of his talk.

Mobile WPO
In June, I had the privilege of being a speaker at the Web Performance Summit. Fellow speaker Tim Kadlec gave a fantastic overview of the current mobile state of the union at the Web Performance Summit in June, which is a must-see.

Measuring Mobile Performance
Another great presentation, this one from front-end performance consultant Stephen Thair’s presentation to the London Web Performance Meetup Group. It’s packed with useful tips and how-tos.

What Mobile Users Want
Gomez revisited their two-year-old survey of mobile user expectations with this excellent report, which compares new data with those earlier benchmarks. Gomez found that mobile users are even more impatient than ever. 74% say they will abandon a site after waiting 5 seconds or less for it to load, up from 20% just two years ago. (If you want to see another take on this data, I created this set of graphs showing just how dramatic these changes are.)

Mobile website optimization now factors into mobile search ads quality
Google’s official announcement that mobile-optimized sites will factor into landing page quality and perform better in AdWords. This didn’t get a ton of media attention, but I think it should have. This algorithm change has implications beyond just AdWords, and I wrote about this here.


The Complete List of End User Experience Monitoring Tools
This is helpful list of tools for RUM and other user monitoring is a work in progress. Send your suggestions for additions to the folks at CorrelSense.

Yahoo! YSlow (Mobile)
YSlow for Mobile is now available as a bookmarklet. Users can run the equivalent of regular YSlow in Mobile browsers as well as any bookmarklet-enabled desktop browsers. [Note that this is a beta version.]

How-tos, case studies, and other research

Social button BFFs
Good post from Stoyan Stefanov on how to make your social buttons load asynchronously.

How-To: Optimize Social Plugin Performance
Facebook developers share some best practices, such as asynchronous loading, that can improve the performance of social plugins on your website.

Twitter’s mobile web app delivers performance
In-depth look at how Twitter developed its mobile app to maximize speed and performance.

“And that is why you need to speed up your site!”
I’m biased. I like this JesExtender case study from performance consultant André Scholten because it validates my theory that, by using browser type and connection speed as proxies, you can use Google Analytics to simply demonstrate how faster sites make more money. Personal bias aside, it’s a pretty nifty speed-revenue analysis.

How We Improved Page Speed By Cleaning CSS, HTML and Images
Front-end developer Lara Swanson walks through a detailed case study showing how Dyn tackled performance optimization on its site.

How case-sensitivity for ID and ClassName can kill your page load time
Interesting findings from Andreas Grabner, showing how case-sensitivity causes a huge execution time difference in Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8, and Firefox 6.

Creating a Performance SLA with your customers – Betfair’s Customer Charter
Stephen Thair analyzes Betfair’s performance commitment in its customer charter, and discusses what a performance SLA should contain. Some thought-provoking stuff here.

Google +1 Button Performance Review and Google Triples the Speed of the +1 button
After Aaron Peters did a thorough audit of the +1 button’s performance and found some issues that could slow down page load by up to 2 seconds, Google responded by making some fixes to make the button faster. What I like about this pair of links is that it illustrates the level of transparency and mutual respect in our industry.

New performance findings

HTTP Archive: nine months
Nine months after the launch of the archive, Steve Souders compares performance data from November 2010 and August 2015 and discovers increases in total transfer sizes, requests per page, redirects, and page errors.

Website performance drop threatens top retailers
Report from Site Confidence analyses average download speeds for the UK’s top e-tailer websites and found an increase from 12 seconds in the first quarter of the year to 12.5 seconds in quarter two. This is a pretty steep increase from the average 10 second load time from the 2010 holiday season. This slowdown comes at a time when ecommerce is hurting in the UK.

Browsers and connectivity

Introducing Amazon Silk
You already know about Amazon Silk, but I just wanted to mention that I really like the short explainer video on the official blog. As someone who’s been working on “how it works” videos for my own company’s products lately, let me tell you: it isn’t easy.

Browser Market Pollution: IE[x] is the new IE6
Google Chrome team member Paul Irish explains why developers may soon need to develop with 76 different browsers in mind.

Browser Speed Tests: Firefox 7, Chrome 14, Internet Explorer 9, and More
Lifehacker tested browsers across a variety of functions — from cold boot-up to memory use — and Opera emerged as the clear winner.

The way carriers manage networks can hurt phone performance
Among other things, CNN writer Amy Gahran says that ”One of the largest U.S. carriers (unnamed in the study, since the data was made anonymous for legal reasons) appears to be slowing its network speed by as much as 50%.”

Industry news

Israel Web Performance Meetup Group
It’s always exciting news when a performance meetup group springs up.  Say hi to the new group based in Herzeliyya, Israel.

Opinion pieces

Why I think automation is the future of #webperf
Stephen Thair costs out manual versus automated performance optimization. I’m posting this link here, so you can guess that I like his conclusions. :)

Did I miss any great new links? Do you have other suggestions for the Hub? Let me know!

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