Don’t waste your time (or money) focusing on things that won’t really improve your website’s performance. I’ve seen many companies spend countless hours trying to optimize their website, only to realize (after the fact) that their efforts were misguided.

In web performance, it’s easy to focus on the wrong thing. How fast does the website feel? How can you tell? Which metric, of the multitudes of data available, should you focus on? How can you tell what’s going to actually make an impact on your business? Once you improve performance, how do you keep it going long-term?

There are four…

You want to make your website faster, but maybe you’re not sure where to start. I get it, web performance optimization contains a lot of “stuff.” It can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to focus first.

Don’t worry, I got you!

To understand what’s going to drive the biggest impact, and improve your site’s performance the most, let’s take a look and the three different kinds of metrics you should consider:

  1. Time-based
    Measures events in seconds and milliseconds
  2. Size-based
    Measure the size of assets that your app loads
  3. Homegrown
    What makes you money? Every business is different, and it’s…

Every time you load a web app, your browser performs a set of actions. By understanding what each action is and why it’s needed, you can fine-tune the performance.

The Web Performance Handbook, by Glen Elkins

This article is an excerpt from my book The Web Performance Handbook. In it, you will learn the core concepts of web performance, the tools you need to build performant websites, and how to make good performance part of your team’s workflow.

Build better web apps, increase conversion times, and charge your clients more by using what you learn in The Web Performance Handbook.

Here are the actions a browser performs…

Have you ever licked up bird shit? Eaten cat food? Bobbed for apples out of the toilet? There are two Canadian documentarian-turned-comedians who have.

The “best friends” form a natural comedic duo, as Spencer Rice likes to point out during interviews. Spencer is the anxiety-riddled “straight” man who’s frowning mug acts as a perfect foil for the crazed mad man that is Kenny Hotz, a man who’s as clever as he is shameless.

I’ve heard the couple explain the show’s appeal, and why it “works” by explaining Spencer (Spenny) Rice grew up as an only child, ignorant of the mischief…

Consensus Algorithms

Proof of Work, Proof of Stake, Proof of Importance

Bitcoin uses a shit load of energy. Bitcoin’s energy footprint has surged along with it’s dramatic rise in popularity. With “mining” hubs popping up locations all over the world, the power needed to execute the complex algorithms within Bitcoin’s Proof of Work system take a tool on the grid.

Why you should care, how it works, and why it’s not Bitcoin.

You’ve probably heard a lot about blockchain lately. With Bitcoin’s recent surge in popularity, this new field of distributed cryptographic technology has exploded with companies and blockchains all competing for a piece of the pie.

Bitcoin uses blockchain technology to track transaction of digital currency in a distributed way. Ethereum is a product of that history. As developers started playing with the blockchain, they started to bend and wrap it for purposes other than a digital ledger of currency & transactions.

Ethereum is a product of those struggles: claiming the title of a “next generation” of blockchain. Initially proposed as…

These are the questions and considerations I use to pick a tech stack for that fits my client and my project.

I’m a developer. I have frameworks I like to use and opinions about ones I don’t. I struggled to break away from this myopic view of technology for a long time, but as I’ve been slowly introduced to working on larger project, with bigger teams and enormous companies, simply recommending what you like just seems silly.

You’re not going to convince anyone that your framework-de-jour is the best choice just because you’ve used it before, so how do you pick the right tech stack?

Assuming you’re building something for someone else, and not just a side project, you’re responsible for…

What work?

It’s not unusual to write a small “status update” email to a client or superior throughout the lifespan of a project. Usually once a day, or maybe 3x a week, I’ll drop my boss a line, just to convey progress, concerns, or blockers.

Then I stumbled on something. Occasionally, I’d write these updates when I felt a lull in the day, which meant the work I was writing about may not necessarily be 100% done, but I know I was getting there. …

How browsers render & style a page

I spent a handful of year building websites without knowing how exactly one is rendered. I’d hear things about “painting” and “layout,” but I never really felt like I needed to dive into it in order to do my job.

I was wrong (kind of).

Sure, you can get by having a passing knowledge of how browsers create the page, but understanding the details helps you step up your game. It helps you optimize performance, and make more informed decisions around how you develop.

For years, I wondered things like:

  • Does the size or complexity of your CSS really matter?

Blockchain and Bitcoin explained in a way your mom would understand

glen elkins

Front End dev + Solution Architect. Read The Web Performance Handbook —

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