Performance optimization, the new snake oil!

For all practical purposes, it seems website performance optimization is attracting the maximum number of snake oil salesmen these days or it has become the new “SEO”, full of home brewed experts.
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It has gotten to a point, that before reading a blogpost about CDNs or benefits of performance optimization, I use Webpagetest to see whether or not the site in question is actually implementing the things it is talking about. Funnily enough, more often than not, they aren’t!

And if some are actually implementing it, they are forgetting that optimizing a website isn’t just limited to using CDNs or faster webservers, but also reducing the number object on the webpage. Take this blog for example, when I ran it through Webpagetest, it turned out that even though the blogger in question was using a CDN, he was also overloading his blog with so many objects, that the poor Webpagetest timed out!


Now even though the blogger in question has done a fantastic job of actually implementing the things he was talking about, by concentrating on just one aspect of web performance, he had somewhat reduced the benefit of implementing CDN and swapping out Apache for a faster web server.

At the end of the day, optimizing a website or blog can’t just be about concentrating on one aspect and forgetting the rest, it has to be a conscious part of your development and deployment process, which begins with choosing the right blog theme and widgets on your blog and only using optimized images. Once you have done that, you can look at utilizing CDN to speed things up, even more.

So even though I am no web performance expert, or for that matter, even a technical person. It is my sincere request to every blogger writing about web performance, that they should first implement the things they are writing about, use various tools available online to see the actual performance benefits, before going ahead and writing about it. If you do not do that, then sooner or later, those visiting your blog will see through all the BS you are trying to peddle and would avoid visiting your blog, even for things you might be right or experienced about!

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