Nat TaylorBlog, Web Design & East Boston

Why is this site so p̶l̶a̶i̶n̶ fast?

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This site is designed to be fast and as a consequence it’s very plain. Fast and great looking aren’t mutually exclusive, but plain (ugly to some) is simple, and I like that because today’s web is just so bloated and slow.

Fast on a content site like mine is a function of the network transfer and display on the client.

To ensure the network transfer doesn’t make my site slow, I monitor the time-to-first-byte (TTFB) and the transfer size.

I minimize TTFB via caching (which is reported by the x-litespeed-cache header.) I use LSCache which implements an output cache like mod_cache and is blazing fast.

To minize the transfer, I keep the pages small. At just 1,956 bytes (transfer size) and a single HTTP request, the compressed homepage easily fits into the TCP Initial Congestion Window (explanation) thus minimizing the impact of poor latency mobile connections

Once the payload gets to the client, he browser paints the page in about 1 millisecond. When I implemented page previews, I found them to be fast as well.

Of course this all barely matters with HTTP2, fast CPUs and an audience with mostly great connections, but still!

If you open the DevTools, you can see all this as evidenced by the screenshot below.

The SSL connection overhead is often the slowest part, but I don’t have much control over that.

Fast loading.

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