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Speed Up Your Site: Web Site Optimization

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Don't make me wait!

That's the message web users give us in survey after survey. Even high-bandwidth users find web sites too slow. And with millions of sites to choose from, they simply won't wait for slow sites.

The problem? Bloated web pages. True, server load and network bottlenecks can hurt, but page size and complexity are the real satisfaction killers.[1]

[1] Jing Zhi, "Web Page Design and Download Time," CMG Journal of Computer Resource Management, no. 102 (2001): 40–55.

The solution? Web site optimization (WSO). To win your share of users, you've got to adopt the WSO mantra: "every byte counts." Every extra byte you send puts a barrier between you and your users. In this book, you'll discover techniques that can save anywhere from a few bytes to 30 to 60 percent off your entire bandwidth bill.

Think fast and small. Simplify. Whether you're a gazelle or a web designer, the Darwinian law of the jungle still applies—and the law of this jungle is survival of the fastest. Users migrate from slow to fast web pages. Are you willing to risk your business on slow, outdated web pages? I didn't think so.

Everyone has experienced slow response times on the web. While researching this book, I participated in a conference call and online demo from an optimization firm. To demonstrate their optimization services, they paradoxically used slow-loading pages. This mismatch of expected to actual performance is jarring for most users.

This book is designed to make occurrences like this uncommon. As you will see, even though bandwidth is increasing, consumer sites are actually getting slower. Most users now experience slower response times than they did last year, or even ten years ago.

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