Product Speed as a Feature

One of the things I like to focus on is speed as a feature. What this means is that the performance and responsiveness of the web application is an important factor in success. With the web and web browsers working over long distance high-speed connections, there are still delays and headaches that differ from standard client-side applications.

The speed of the application should be treated as a feature and time should be appropriately allocated for the engineering team on a regular basis to continually fine-tune the application. Here are some quick tips for improving the performance of web applications, but remember that premature optimization is also a cause of failure:

  • Offloading anything that doesn’t need to be processed in the current request to be a background job
  • Use asset hosts to request things like images, JavaScript, and CSS from different hosts
  • Use memcached along with database query caches to reduce the database load
  • Make sure your HTML is compliant and conforming to the appropriate DTD
  • Use tools like YSlow to measure performance

Good luck in making your application as fast as possible and remember that speed is a feature.