Web Design

Improve Website Performance

November 21st, 2012 0 Comments

Here’s a few basic rules to improve the performance of your website. Perhaps in the future I’ll go deeper into this topic and cover some more advanced topics.

1. Minimize HTTP Requests
2. Use a Content Delivery Network
3. Add an Expires or a Cache-Control Header
4. Gzip Components
5. Put Stylesheets at the Top
6. Put Scripts at the Bottom
7. Avoid CSS Expressions
8. Make JavaScript and CSS External
9. Reduce DNS Lookups
10. Minify JavaScript and CSS
11. Avoid Redirects
12. Remove Duplicate Scripts/Code
13. Configure ETags
14. Make Ajax Cacheable
15. Flush the Buffer Early
16. Use GET for AJAX Requests
17. Post-load Components
18. Preload Components
19. Reduce the Number of DOM Elements
20. Split Components Across Domains
21. Minimize the Number of iframes
22. No 404s
23. Reduce Cookie Size
24. Use Cookie-free Domains for Components
25. Minimize DOM Access
26. Develop Smart Event Handlers
27. Choose over @import
28. Avoid Filters
29. Optimize Images
30. Optimize CSS Sprites
31. Keep Components under 25K
32. Pack Components into a Multipart Document
33. Make favicon.ico Small and Cacheable
34. Caching strategies like using Memcached
35. Serve resources from a consistent URL

The Future Of Web Development

October 12th, 2012 0 Comments

The front end developer has realized that a new era of development is well formed and quickly coming.  With the introduction of technologies such as WebGL and Canvas, even graphics rendering became feasible using JavaScript.  But, this didn’t change anything on the server side; the server programs were still running on JVMs/Rubys/Pythons.

Fast forward to today: The scenario is dramatically changing. JavaScript has just sneaked its way into the servers. Now, it is no longer required that a web application needs to have a back end programming language such as Java/C++. Everything can be done using just JavaScript.

Thanks to node.js which made it possible to run the JavaScript server side. Using MongoDB, one can replace the need to have SQL code and now store JSON documents using JavaScript MongoDB connectors. The JavaScript template libraries such as {{Mustache}}/Underscore almost removed the need to have server side templates (JSPs). On the client side, JavaScript MVC frameworks such as Backbone.JS enable us to write maintainable code. And, there’s always the plain old JavaScript waiting for us to write some form validation script, and the never end JQuery plugins that extend our functionality with ease. With that, now it is possible to do the heavy lifting just by using JavaScript.

The front end JavaScript programmers no longer need to focus on just the front end. They can use their skill set to develop the web application end-to-end. This rise of the front end developers poses a threat to the survival of the back end developer. If you are one, do you already realize this threat? What’s your game plan to stay fit to survive this challenge?

Designing to be The Best

September 13th, 2010 0 Comments

Web users have options — thousands of them. It’s one of the reasons the Web is so useful but also one of the great challenges of Web business. How do you make sure your site is the one that stands out amid the rest and that users keep coming back for more?

The answer is to provide the most relevant experience to users’ expectations. Largely, this can be accomplished with a well thought-out design.

We can often get sidetracked by ideas that might seem innovative but, in the end, don’t deliver on the promises our brand makes to consumers. For instance, if you’re running a business blog it doesn’t make much sense to have a lengthy Flash intro — your readers are likely busy professionals that want access to information as quickly as possible.