Jens Oliver Meiert

Website Optimization Measures, Part III

Post from March 17, 2008 (↻ August 8, 2017), filed under .

This and many other posts are also available as a pretty, well-behaved e-book: On Web Development. And speaking of which, here’s a short treatise just about managing the quality of websites: The Little Book of Website Quality Control.

The last weeks meant a lot of work on this site despite being busy in Oldenburg and catching a neat cold. Apart from inspiration to publish a more “generic” optimization guide it suggested to write another part for this Website Optimization series, which had a nice start with parts I and II.

This has been quick again, especially since I changed many other things as well and found so much additional evidence that the best weapon to improve maintainability is to remove complexity—but, we already had that.

This has been the third part of an open article series. There are seven additional articles on website optimization, part I, part II, part IV, part V, part VI, part VII, and part VIII.

About the Author

Jens Oliver Meiert, photo of July 27, 2015.

Jens Oliver Meiert is an author, developer (O’Reilly, W3C, ex-Google), and philosopher. He experiments with art and adventure. Here on meiert.com he shares and generalizes and exaggerates some of his thoughts and experiences.

There’s more Jens in the archives and at Goodreads. If you have any questions or concerns (or recommendations) about what he writes, leave a comment or a message.

Comments (Closed)

  1. On March 17, 2008, 13:21 CET, Robert said:

    Have you ever noticed any substantial benefit from pining such a plethora of services vs. just the established ones like ping-o-matic and a few else?

  2. On March 17, 2008, 18:52 CET, Jens Oliver Meiert said:

    Hi Robert—to be honest, no. It is on my agenda to check but I don’t own any reliable information on that yet… As a matter of course, the outcome would need to be “significant” enough to tolerate the noticeable delay in posting speed.

  3. On March 18, 2008, 13:38 CET, sunnybear said:

    Do you want to light some issues of web page load optimization? There are a few services that can assist you in speeding up you website (also improving usability).

    For example www.websiteoptimization.com and Firebug/Yslow

  4. On March 20, 2008, 15:28 CET, lynne said:

    Good Morning, I have read over your changes and adjustments. You have a great site up and all i can suggest is to keep up with that security. I ran into 2.1.1 problem with one of my friends. A full overwrite for all of their older files and tons of exciting updates. That was a joy.

  5. On March 21, 2008, 19:09 CET, Jens Oliver Meiert said:

    Worst-case scenario, huh? I don’t even want to think about it, despite backups and SVN repository… Glad to read between the lines that everything worked out though?

  6. On March 22, 2008, 13:17 CET, Markus said:

    While you’re trying out differnt fonts, you might also consider to use small headlines instead of the italic fonts in beginning of the list. It might help a user much to get a faster overview through your posts, as they are usualy longer then the screen and to scroll. While giving a better overview for your auditory, you also might get an additional “+” at the search engines. They love or more then italic … and it would help google&Co to cluster your pages.

  7. On April 1, 2008, 21:57 CEST, Gray said:

    Website Optimization is seldom taken bit per bit…Your site explains it and shows examples of it in its links and content. Yes, link richness is a big plus to getting high page rank BUT I’ve learned never sacrifice web development for this requirement. Proper mix of elements in website optimization gets and makes your site valuable ( real and helpful content, link rich) and memorable (easy on the eyes, great page design). My apologies though, your site’s color isn’t just working- visually dependent people would like to learn but are either lazy or impatient. Will visit again soon!=)

  8. On April 9, 2008, 22:35 CEST, Susan Shepherd said:

    You’re right about having the “last updated” update to your page. I for one have been searching for sites like yours that will add to stock knowledge about optimization. Knowing that a page’s content has not changed or been corrected does put credibility to what is presented. I am learning on the job and getting the time to gather insights on how to make a company’s revenue earner (e-business) tops does help a whole lot. Thanks for not being selfish…

  9. On April 22, 2008, 0:30 CEST, Jens said:

    Hi Jens,

    while you’re optimising your site, what about sprites?

    I noticed that your smileys are single images - putting them in one image which you then reference through background-position further cuts down your page loading time.

    Plus, if I surf to another page, my browser most probably has already cached the sprite.

    Here’s an example of how we do it at Fairfax Digital:
    http://www.smh.com.au/css/img/bg_weather.gif

    Cheers,
    Jens (in Australia)

  10. On April 23, 2008, 20:38 CEST, Jens Oliver Meiert said:

    Markus, that’s of course a question of semantics, and both approaches would work. I preferred to use a list here, where the important sentences are marked accordingly.

    Gray, concerning link richness, showing more content and adding a handful more links does no harm but hopefully benefits everyone.

    Susan, sure: After all, that point is about credibility.

    Jens, good point, but it does not exactly fit here since (among other reasons) sprites would mean too much CSS code given very little use (in the German section of this site, for example, they’re almost not used at all).

  11. On April 24, 2008, 3:46 CEST, Jens said:

    One more comment on sprites: Although I see your point (having almost no images anyway), I do think that even on your site a sprite cuts down loading time.

    If you check out “High Performance Web Sites” (O’Reilly) the first and most effective measure to optimise your page load time is to reduce the number of http requests. Nothing beats that.

    Hence for this page (as of writing) you’d be able to remove two http requests if you used a sprite.

    “Too much CSS code”? It’ll be three lines for your three images, going into an already existing style sheet. Plus, I admit, an HTML element, possibly a classed span, that’ll replace the current inline image element.

    Codewise, let you have 1k more, but time wise you’ll save two http requests.

    After reading the book I mentioned I’ve started applying sprites to my private site too (far from perfect yet, but on the way - click on my name to check it out).

  12. On November 3, 2008, 21:38 CET, Santhos said:

    Well I must admit that I checked the post date when I was reading part 1 a little while ago. I saw the second (up)date and really thought: ‘Nice, this article has been update lately’. It’s nice to know that a article isn’t totally under dust but someone’s still updating it. So I totally agree on the ’show update information’ point.

    Is there some way you test which font visitors like more?

Read More

Have a look at the most popular posts, possibly including:

Or maybe say hi on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn?

Looking for a way to comment? Comments have been disabled, unfortunately.

Flattr? Found a mistake? Email me, jens@meiert.com.

You are here: HomeArchive2008 → Website Optimization Measures, Part III

Last update: August 8, 2017

“The end does not justify the means.”