Automating critical CSS without blocking rendering

This week let’s talk about the critical rendering path and how to avoid render-blocking CSS. This technique is widely hailed an essential method to reduce your time to render, but sometimes using automated tools to generate this CSS can cause the exact problem you’re trying to solve. Don’t worry though, it’s easy to prevent.

How to set a performance budget

Tim Kadlec recently teamed up with Akamai to create a short, informative video about defining and maintaining a performance budget. It's a great introduction to the concept, clearly explaining both the technical and organizational challenges of including performance within the development process. Watch video.

A practical guide for 1000ms renders

Howdy perfers! This week we’ve got a good one for you. Web chef Ian Carrico has written an extensive how-to documenting his journey to the mythical 1000ms render. The post is featured on his own blog where he worked the magic, and it’s accompanied by both the code that powers his site along with a full Ansible script allowing you to set up a similarly-configured server on your own. Read on to find out more.

Performance Calendar 2013

Howdy perfers! December is an easy month to stay on top of web performance news because the Performance Calendar is the gift that keeps giving all month. The first entry is a great one from calendar curator Stoyan Stefanov. He conducts some user research via the power of search engine autocomplete.

DevTools for mobile

Howdy perfers! In the US we’re gearing up for a long Thanksgiving weekend, so if you find yourself with some free time on your hands try digging into one of these awesome DevTools resources for mobile development.

Performance: design, budget, and test

Howdy, perfers! Last week we looked at ways to speed up the initial render of a page. That’s a great optimization if you have the time/motivation, but for many people it’s not their primary duty, and for some it’s not even included in the job description! But even so, it still can make or break the experience of a particular website. As Ilya Grigorik notes, performance is not a checklist, but a continuous process (PDF, page 11). So how can you affect the process of building a site to make sure it ends up being fast and snappy?

Optimizing the Critical Rendering Path

Howdy perfers! Today I have a few links for those who want to optimize the critical rendering path, which is especially useful on mobile browsers. The critical rendering path is the minimum set of assets that a browser needs to start rendering a web page. Carefully rearranging some of your HTML and CSS to help the browser with this process can result in significantly faster rendering times.

Automated Frontend Tools

Howdy, perfers! This week I’ve got some awesome resources for those of you looking to automate ALL the things! While you don’t have to use automation to achieve great performance on your website or webapp, it sure does help to keep things running smoothly and consistently. So have a look!

DevTools link roundup

Today I looked through my collection of links and realized I have enough resources pooled up to put together a decent little post on browser devtools. In case you’re not familiar, development tools ship with each web browser, enabling us to analyze and debug our increasingly complex websites and apps. From finding a background color to profiling frame rate issues, browser devtools bring sanity to the world of frontend development.

Magic: Frontend Performance for all themes

Howdy perfers!

This week’s Webperf Wednesday is short and sweet, just like your page loads when you install this new module that enhances any Drupal theme. Magic is a set of frontend performance and development workflow tools for themers. Previously many themes had their own advanced settings — many of which did the same things as other themes, but they all did it a little differently — no more with Magic.

Built by Web Chef Ian Carrico and Sam Richard (of Aurora) with contributions from Sebastian Siemssen (of Omega), Magic was built by the desire to work together to make all themes better, instead of siloing improvements within specific themes.