Keith and Mario's Guide to Fast Websites

At the first Australian Ruby Conference, Keith Pitt and I were lucky enough to present a talk on Fast Websites. We were joined by over 20 other Envato developers attending the conference, in the sunny city of Melbourne.

We wanted to demonstrate all of the performance gains that could be made using a real application, so we created Giftoppr: a site that lets users share animated gif images using Dropbox. We also created a website benchmarking tool called WBench, which we use together with other existing tools throughout our presentation. We released both Giftoppr and our WBench tool as open source software.

In our presentation we take our slow loading Giftoppr application (initially it loaded in around 9 seconds) and set a goal to reduce the loading time to be under 2 seconds. Using a variety of simple techniques we slowly chop away at the loading time until we reach our goal.

Our presentation focuses primarily on frontend website performance as that’s where we can make the biggest impact. We go on to explain why frontend performance is important and why it’s usually best to optimise the frontend first before the backend.

Check out our talk below. You can view some more Ruby Conf Australia presentations online at Vimeo.

A copy of our slides are available at Speaker Deck as well.