Testing, Web Hosting

5 Tips To Optimize Your Web Performance

In order to optimize your web performance, you should know about a few tools so that you can identify the issues you might face regarding web performance, such as load testing, stress testing, web performance and etc. Here are some useful tips you can use to improve your web performance.

  1. First of all, check the speed of your website. For this purpose, you can use a speed testing tool to analyze the overall speed of the website.
  1. Secondly, you should load test your website. You do this test to see what is causing bottlenecks. For this purpose, you can use tools like blitz, load impacts, and wonder network, which are online web browsers that help you check your website performance.
  1. Calculate the web performance optimization budget by using the tool made by Jonathan Fielding, which lets you choose a connection speed and also shows how fast you want your website to load.
  1. Do not forget to optimize your slower devices such as your mobile devices. This includes getting good quality hosting. Even if you’re running a non-profit for example, you should be getting the best quality hosting that you can afford. A recent breakdown of non profit hosting options on Web Hosting Buddy describes that further.
  1. Lastly, start optimizing various features by:
  • Image optimization such as compressing images.
  • Reducing HTTP requests. The more HTTP requests, the slower your website will load, so you can boost the efficiency of the website by using CSS Sprites or by reducing 3rd party plugins.
  • Removing unnecessary characters from your HTML or java scripts.
  • Improving the speed by avoiding 301 requests.
  • Using custom fonts. More than 60% of the websites use custom fonts today, and according to the HTTP Archive, this has helped websites to increase up to 850% in web performance since the year 2011.

To optimize your web performance and speed, you should check the speed of your website, load test and stress test your website (click here to learn more about that) to check for bottlenecks, calculate the web performance optimization budget, and optimize your slower devices such as your mobile phones. This you can do by removing excess characters from your HTML, by reducing HTTP requests and image optimization.

Coding, Dave's Blog

Learning to Code – Video Resources

As I mentioned in another post on my blog, I think that everyone should learn how to code. It’s an incredibly empowering thing to those who learn how to do it, and it’s a skill that can even land you a job…you just never know! With that said, here are some of my favorite video resources when it comes to learning to code.

The importance of learning to code:

First steps:

Teaching yourself:

Working with basic data:

These videos represent just a glimpse of what you can do learning to code, and how it can be done. There are also a number of websites were you can learn to code, and they have some great tutorials! Some of my favorites are Code Academy, Code.org, and CodeSchool.com

You can also find a number of books and other resources at your local library or bookstore. The most important point is to get started, and get into coding and don’t sit around making excuses! Get started now, and you’ll be glad you did!

Dave's Blog

Deploying Developed Web Applications: Monitoring, Testing and Other Considerations

If you’re a developer, you know exactly how much goes into releasing a new web application. I can think of a number of different times where I had something coded and it didn’t get released on time because I still had a number of other things to take care of at the last minute. It’s frustrating when things don’t get deployed on time, but that’s the nature of coding and web development. There’s nothing that you can really do about it. Sure, you can prepare as best as you can, but there are always going to be things that pop up that are relatively unexpected and when they do, you’ll be stuck having to deal with them. The reality of that kind of situation is that you won’t be able to release your web app on time, but it’s just the way that the digital world works.

One of the most important things that you can do when you’re preparing your web apps is to make sure that you’re thorough with your testing. If you don’t do that, it’s very possible that you may be releasing a bad product. And everyone who knows anything about developing knows that one of the worst things that you can deal with is a storm of support requests that comes after putting out a buggy product. In addition to the worries of putting out a buggy product, you need to make sure that the product that you do put out is functioning properly and doing what it’s supposed to be doing. Let’s take the proverbial shopping cart example…if you’re someone who has a shopping cart on your site, you really need to be monitoring it to make sure that what you’ve release is working, rather than waiting on user complaints to flow in. There are a number of ways to accomplish this, and things that you can do to make sure that you’re being proactive rather than reactive. There are different companies that have various solutions for this, and it’s not always clear what’s the best one. Dotcom-Monitor has a pretty extensive paid tool in terms of monitoring, but it does cost money. Some people may argue there though that you get what you pay for; the price of being able to make sure that your web apps are functioning properly is priceless to some people who really depend upon them. With that said, Website Pulse has another tool that can be used for the same purposes, although the functionality is a bit different. Depending upon your needs, one of these, or something totally different might be best for you.

At the end of the day, this strategy really benefits users the most because they get a quality product that’s cared for, tested, and monitored. And that’s something that makes everyone happy. People need to understand that users really want things that work seamlessly, and although it’s not always possible to do that when it comes to tech, it shouldn’t be nearly as difficult as some people make it out to be as long as you’re being diligent and taking are to put out a good, solid product.

Coding, Development, Web Applications

What in the Heck is a Web Application?

If you’ve ever operated a site where you have some specific features that go beyond what HTML can accomplish, you might know what a web application is. One important thing is that you don’t want to confuse it with a smart phone application. Those are totally different, and not something that you should be thinking about when you are thinking about web applications. Wikipedia has a pretty comprehensive entry on this, and it’s definitely worth reading.

Consider this: have you ever used a website that has a shopping cart on it? Well, then you’ve used a web application. Have you ever used a site with a video player on it? Well, then you’ve used a web application there. The main thing to understand here is that a web application is a special component of a site that allows it to accomplish a specific function or task that’s beyond what can normally be coded in standard HTML. Again, a web application is not a app like you’d think of on your smart phone; it’s not a standalone thing, it’s actually part of a website. Even though their page touts a product, Dotcom-Monitor does give quite a bit of background info about web applications on their page, and so does TrustWave. Another thing to know about web applications is that they can’t be coded by any old HTML developer per se. They are often coded in specific languages like Ruby, PHP, or other advanced coding languages. Just about anyone these days can slap some HTML together, but it takes a true developer to create a web application. It’s important to be able to make this distinction because not everyone is going to be able to design a web application, so if you aren’t a trained developer and were considering dabbling in creating a web application, you may want to re-think your strategy a little bit. This isn’t to say that you can’t learn to create a web application, but it’s definitely something that you need to research and spend some time leaning…it’s not something that you can do overnight.

With that said, don’t be shy about learning how to code web applications either. Learning how to code is great fun, and it’s one of the most exciting things that I’ve ever learned. I know, I know, that sounds extremely nerdy, but it’s the truth. Being able to write code and create something digital is an experience like none other, and it’s a skills that I firmly believe everyone should have. ┬áIf you’re interesting in learning to code, there are tons of different free resources on the web where you can learn, and get started.

Thanks for checkout out my blog, there’s more great stuff to come! And please, take the time to learn how to code, you’ll be glad you did!