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Ajax Experience speaker: Back-end focus key to site performance boosts

Steve Souders, author and respected authority on page performance, issued a call to arms for software users, developers and testers to improve the performance and power of web sites. At The Ajax Experience 2009 in Boston yesterday, he gave a state-of-page-performance overview and tips on boosting performance in a session called “Even Faster Web Sites.”

“We are really in the infancy of page performance,” said Souders, who encouraged new perspectives on the development and maintenance of sites.

Focusing on the web site back end performance is an immature practice that’s not productive, Souders said. “The back end only makes up about 20% of the total load time, and still the largest and arguably most important component the front end goes largely ignored,” he said.

Souders recommended the use of tools available online, such as Yslow, a program that Souders created, as well as Google’s Page Speed. Both can help accelerate load times and overall performance.
Addressing load times is particularly important, he said, noting the adverse effects of slow load speeds on views, traffic, and revenue.

The key to online success, said Souder, lies in attention to detail, user experience, efficiency, speed and, of course, the front end.

Stay tuned in for more from The Ajax Experience 2009.

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