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Performance

A 4-post collection

Measure, optimise then measure again: further refining “Have I been pwned?”

As I’ve written in the past, I put an awful lot of effort into making Have I been pwned? (HIBP) fast. Not just a bit fast, blisteringly fast and that includes when it’s under a huge amount of load. But there was something bugging me with the site when it came to performance and it was this: That’s right, 33 images loaded on the front page. Yes they’re SVG and yes they’re tiny and yes they’re served from a CDN but you simply cannot get past the fact that the browser needs to make a heap of additional requests to load them. Granted, you could sprite them (yes,...

Micro optimising web content for unexpected, wild success

These real world experiences with Azure are now available in the Pluralsight course "Modernizing Your Websites with Azure Platform as a Service" I had a little problem last week. I built a very small website – really just a one pager with a single API – whacked it up on an Azure website and then promptly had a quarter of a million people visit it in three days. Uh, bugger? Ok, what’s behind the website is a little more clever than that but the real point is that I didn’t expect it to take off so quickly. This leads to interesting problems; for example I wasn’t aware that the “Shared”...

Beyond YSlow - Squeeeezing out website network performance

I’ve had a lot of conversations with folks recently about web app performance. Often these conversations have been around the assertion that a content distribution network (here forth referred to as a CDN), is something you need to deploy early on in the optimisation process of a website. Personally, I see a CDN as a last resort; it’s what you turn to when all other performance tuning alternatives have been exhausted and you need to eke out that last little bit of latency by moving the content closer to the audience. It’s not a replacement for good website optimisation, it’s an enhancement. One of the main problems with a CDN is simply...

To the cloud! Performance testing ASafaWeb with AppHarbor & Blitz

If we can get over Microsoft’s cheesy catchphrase for a moment, the whole idea of “to the cloud” is actually pretty cool. It’s the promise of taking things that used to be both labour and capital intensive, commoditising them and serving them up on demand. This can very easily sound like PowerPoint presentation rhetoric so let’s move past the warm and fuzzies and actually see it in action. A couple of weeks back I published a screencast as part of my 5 minute wonders series titled From zero to hero with AppHarbor. In that session I took my existing membership-enabled ASP.NET website (itself the subject of a previous 5 minute wonder)...