As every good developer knows the performance of their code is important. When building websites we want them to be light and fast to give the end-user a fantastic experience. However, far too often developers prefer to take shortcuts to make their lives easier, even at the expense of the site’s performance.
I’ve long been an advocate of developing with performance in mind. In terms of frontend web development that means keeping images optimised, the number of assets low and file sizes small. Unfortunately not everyone sees the value in this.
How we access the web has changed dramatically in recent years; more and more people are visiting websites via mobile phones (my Street Art Sheffield website gets 60% of its traffic this way). While the lucky few get unlimited data with their phone contracts, many have their usage capped or have to pay-as-they-go. In other words it costs to download a website.
Tim Kadlec has put together What Does My Site Cost?, a great little website that evaluates a site and tells you exactly how much it costs to view on a mobile. The numbers are based on the most popular service provider in each country listed (including the US, UK, Australia and Japan) and the least expensive plan. As Tim Kadlec states the numbers are “best case scenarios.”
If you’ve ever questioned the relevance of web performance it is well worth taking a look. It may just make you realise its importance. If your website is expensive to visit people probably won’t want to.
If you want to learn more about improving site performance I’d recommend reading Harry Robert’s Front-end performance for web designers and front-end developers. If you’re looking for a tool to make these tricks easier to achieve then take a look at a tool like Gulp.