Building a faster and stronger web

Recently Google started a new beta service to optimize the performance of websites, called PageSpeed Service. PageSpeed Service is an online service to automatically speed up loading of your web pages. PageSpeed Service fetches content from your servers, rewrites your pages by applying web performance best practices and serves them to end users via Google’s servers across the globe.

Google also offers best practice rules and analysis and optimization tools and SDK’s to make the web faster.

O’Reilly organizes conferences to change the world by bringing you face-to-face with the knowledge of innovators and practitioners. Velocity, about web performance and operations, is much more than a conference; it’s become the essential training event and source of information for web professionals from companies of all sizes. Fluent, javascript and beyond, presents the tools and technologies driving the web.

Steve Sounders started in 2010 the HTTP archive to track how the Web is built. Trends in web technology load times, download sizes, performance scores and much more can be downloaded to present statistics.

Responsive Web Design (RWD) and Lazy Loading are two ways to build a better web.

Google Website Optimizer

Google recently launched the Website Optimizer, a tool that can help you improve the effectiveness of your website by allowing you to test different versions of your site content to determine what will best attract users.

Website Optimizer uses two types of testing: A/B testing and multivariate testing.

An A/B experiment allows you to test the performance of two (or more!) entirely different versions of a page. You can change the content of a page, alter the look and feel, or move around the layout of your alternate pages; there’s plenty of design freedom with A/B testing.

Multivariate tests, on the other hand, allow you to test multiple variables — in this case, sections of a page — simultaneously. For example, you could identify the headline, image, and promo text as parts of your page you’d like to improve, and try out three different versions of each one.

A/B experiments are the simpler version of testing with Website Optimizer. Experiments can run on many webpages of a website.

Website Optimizer needs a Google Analytics Account, because it uses the same powerful tracking technology that is used in Google Analytics to collect experiment data. The performance of experiment pages won’t be impacted, with the possible exception of the very first page-load after you have added the tracking code.

A quick start guide is available at the Google site. Different test strategies are possible (time on page,  conversions, clicking rates, landing pages, …).

Website Optimizer scripts will fail W3C validation because they meet browser requirements which do not strictly adhere to the W3C guidelines. There is no workaround available for these errors.