Hopefully, you have a better idea about how (un)performant and (un)optimized your website is after going through some of the tools I introduced you to last week. You’ve made the first step in getting to know more about how your site is really served to your users. Now, I’ll start walking you through some of the basic things you can do to start tuning up your website.
Ever caught yourself saying “yeah, I know the homepage is a bit heavy but the users only have to load it once – after that, it’ll be cached and much faster”. Well, according to Tenni Theurer, last year roughly half of the visitors that come through Yahoo! had an empty cache – meaning they have to download all the images and scripts on the page. This means that even if your page is viewed as often as Yahoo!’s, a lot of your users will be having to download all the content on a daily basis. Even if you’re lucky enough to earn more than one page view per day, you should definitely be streamlining your homepage for the long haul. After all, you want these users to come back, right?