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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Adventures in Web Performance

I mentioned in my previous post that recently I have been working with web performance. Often when working with clients they want fast performing web sites but then proceed to give you all manner of other requirements which slow the site down to a crawl. Convincing a client to give you the time to look at performance isn't easy, while the gains in speed are there for all to see attributing some monetary value to that is close to impossible. In the longer term you might see an up turn in the traffic levels or a higher percentage of people taking a longer user journey on your site but whether that was a result of higher performance is very difficult to prove.

Thankfully one of our larger clients could see the benefit of having a dedicated resource looking at performance issues, all be it as a result of such poor performance that the sites became difficult to use during peek times. When a client keeps throwing stuff at you it's easy to take your eye off the performance issue and one thing that became clear was that while the tendency was to blame the database many of the things we looked at were nothing to do with that area.

Over the next few posts I'll discuss some of the things we looked at, how we did that and how we radically improved performance on some of our sites with some minimal changes.

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