Web Code Optimization

Learn the code optimization techniques of major sites like Google and Yahoo! and improve the performance of your own Web sites and applications.

Web Code Optimization
Google does it. Yahoo! does it. Why don’t you do it?
By Tad Fleshman / Port80 Software

Google and Yahoo! know that speeding pages to their users is crucial. Both companies have invested millions of dollars in the server capacity and software enhancements that it takes to quickly serve search results to millions of users everyday. However, the optimizations that these companies perform do not stop at infrastructure investments. They optimize the delivery of their data right down to the data itself.

Have you looked at the page source of a Google query? They implement some smart coding practices that, when applied consistently, add up to significant page size savings. They use concise JavaScript code. Their function and variable names are always terse. Their CSS IDs are one or two characters long and the color values commonly use three digit hex values rather than six digit values whenever possible. They don’t send a lot of white space in their source code either.

Companies concerned with quickly serving millons of pages know that the cumulative effect of these optimizations can result in significant savings. These optimizations aren’t much to look at when you view the source of the pages in your browser. This is because the code is designed for speedy delivery to your browser’s rendering engine, not for the human eye’s perusal through the View Source option in your browser.

In the case of Google and Yahoo!, these smart coding practices were most likely designed into the development of their applications. Unfortunately, many Web authors and developers are forced with the task of applying smart optimization practices to an already complete Web site. There are ways that you can easily perform the same types of optimizations on your existing Web site code. Using a good Web site optimization tool is the best way and it can lead to substantial savings on any Web site. This article will show how much can be saved on a typical Web page using a Web site optimization tool like w3compiler to apply some of these techniques.

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