In trying to improve my site’s performance, starting with using the YSlow! Firefox extension, I came across the concept of “smushing” images. Smush.it is a Yahoo! service (which is why it’s tied to YSlow!) that optimizes images in such a way as to reduce their size without adversely affecting image quality. I believe I reduced my total image size by about 10-15%, which isn’t huge, but when you’re talking about Web site optimization, every little bit helps. The only thing to be aware of is that sometimes GIFs will get turned into more efficient PNGs, meaning you’ll need to change your HTML accordingly.
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In January of 2011, the third full month after putting this site online, there were roughly 450,000 page views requiring 27GB of bandwidth (i.e., mostly data provided by the server to users). In April of 2011, there were also 450,000 page views, but only 14GB of bandwidth. That’s a dramatic difference: half the bandwidth for virtually the same amount of traffic! This wasn’t a goal of mine (my hosting plan allows for up to 1TB of bandwidth per month), but happens to be a great side benefit of three steps I took, primarily with the aim of improving the site’s performance (i.e., how quickly pages load for visitors). Here’s the full scoop… Continue Reading…
I’m in the process of implementing Amazon’s CloudFront as a CDN (Content Delivery Network) for my site (in order to improve performance). Once I feel comfortable with how it’s working (it seems to be now, but it will take a day or two to fully roll out), I’ll formally write up what I did and why. In the meantime, if you see anything crazy, please let me know.