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CSS Optimization Tools for Boosting PWA Performance

When styling websites or PWAs with CSS, you should analyze how CSS resources will affect performance. In this tutorial, we’ll use various tools and related techniques to help build a better PWA by focusing on CSS performance. Specifically, we’ll remove the unused CSS, inline the critical path CSS, and minify the resulting code. The techniques can also be used to improve the performance of...

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How to Install PHP on Windows

We've previously shown you how to get a working local installation of Apache on your Windows PC. In this article, we'll show how to install PHP 5 as an Apache 2.2 module. Why PHP? PHP remains the most widespread and popular server-side programming language on the web. It is installed by most web hosts, has a simple learning curve, close ties with the MySQL database, and an excellent collection of...

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HTTP/2: Background, Performance Benefits and Implementations

On top of the infrastructure of the internet --- or the physical network layers --- sits the Internet Protocol, as part of the TCP/IP, or transport layer. It's the fabric underlying all or most of our internet communications. A higher level protocol layer that we use on top of this is the application layer. On this level, various applications use different protocols to connect and transfer...

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Improving Performance Perception: On-demand Image Resizing

Over a series of articles, we've been building a sample application --- a multi-image gallery blog --- for performance benchmarking and optimizations. At this point, our application serves the same image regardless of the resolution and screen size it's being served in. In this tutorial, we'll modify it to serve a resized version depending on display size. Objective There are two stages to this...

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How to Boost Your Server Performance with Varnish

Varnish Cache is an HTTP accelerator and reverse proxy developed by Danish consultant and FreeBSD core developer Poul-Henning Kamp, along with other developers at Norwegian Linpro AS. It was released in 2006. According to Pingdom.com, a company focused on web performance, in 2012 Varnish was already famous among the world's top websites for its capacity to speed up web delivery, and it was being...

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Optimization Auditing: A Deep Dive into Chrome’s Dev Console

Chrome DevTools incorporates many sub-tools for debugging web applications on the client side --- like recording performance profiles and inspecting animations --- most of which you've likely been using since your early days of learning web development, mostly through the DevTools console. Let's look at some of those tools, focusing particularly on the console and the performance metrics. To...

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Improving Page Load Performance: Pingdom, YSlow and GTmetrix

Optimizing websites for speed is a craft, and each craft requires tools. The most-used website optimization tools are GTmetrix, YSlow and Pingdom Tools. GTmetrix is a rather advanced tool that offers a lot on its free tier, but it also offers premium tiers. If you sign up, you can compare multiple websites, multiple versions of the same website, tested under different conditions, and save tests...

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How to Use Varnish and Cloudflare for Maximum Caching

This article is part of a series on building a sample application --- a multi-image gallery blog --- for performance benchmarking and optimizations. (View the repo here.) As we can see in this report, our site's landing page loads very quickly and generally scores well, but it could use another layer of caching and even a CDN to really do well. To learn more about GTMetrix and other tools you...

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Server-side Optimization with Nginx and pm-static

This article is part of a series on building a sample application --- a multi-image gallery blog --- for performance benchmarking and optimizations. (View the repo here.) Let's continue optimizing our app. We're starting with on-the-fly thumbnail generation that takes 28 seconds per request, depending on the platform running your demo app (in my case it was a slow filesystem integration between...

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