Uber blog performance

by Stefanos Kofopoulos • On 08-08-2007 • AT 7:09 pm • ΚΑΝΕΝΑ ΣΧΟΛΙΟ

bike expires header

I can’t agree more with Paul for being a Website Performance Junkie or speaking for myself, a WordPress Performance Junkie Blogger. One of his latest posts, On Being a Website Performance Junkie got me thinking. As i’m new to Amazon S3 i got excited from the idea of moving files like CSS, JavaScript and background images to Amazon server. Pointed made and seemed totally reasonable, if not uber cool. Moving those files on S3 servers leaves Apache with more time and resources to deal with the beauty of PHP and MySQL requests. If that wasn’t enough, Firefox and Internet Explorer are by default able for 2 requests at a time from a single domain*. Adding Amazon S3 to the game, simply means that the browser can retrieve twice as much data simultaneously: 2 requests from your-domain + 2 requests from Amazon’s servers**.

My quest as WordPress Performance Junkie Blogger always leaves me with the question: what else i could possibly do to improve performance to by blog? Errr… without getting my hands dirty with lots of coding, APIs and IDEs. According to YSlow, the first thing i had to do was adding Expires Headers to all of my CSS backgound images, .js and .css files. Yahoo! claims that the number of page views with a primed cache is 75-85%, where a “primed cache” already contains all of the components in the page.

htaccess header cache-control

After reading Jeremy‘s post on How To Add Good Expires Headers to Images in Apache 1.3 i decided to move all the CSS related files from S3 back to my server. I checked if mod_expires and mod_headers modules were available for Apache and followed the instructions for Speed Up Sites with htaccess Caching.

yslow prime cache example

The impact of Cache-Control is phenomenal as seen on YSlow. A visit to the home page of this blog with a Prime or Full Cache, results to only 6 HTTP requests instead of 42 or 20.9Kb transfered instead of 422.2Kb. That is 99.8% decrease is HTTP requests and 99.9% decrease in bandwidth consumption!

Amazon S3 is a great service and Paul’s idea was amazing but until i find an easy way to implement Expires Headers to files served from S3 i’ll stick with the convenience of my home made cache solution. When it comes to performance, it certainly matters what the readers perceive as faster and more responsive blog.

*This setting can be hacked. For Firefox use Fasterfox
**According to online resources is not a good idea to use more than 2 different domains. Sub domains included

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