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Looking for even more performance; realistic?
04-21-2017, 04:28 PM
Post: #1
Looking for even more performance; realistic?
While I spend considerable time on implementing every possible speed optimisation I can think of, the results disappoint me.

Before implementing all optimisations, the load time was 0.665 seconds and start render time 1.089s:
http://www.webpagetest.org/result/170414...1/details/

With all optimisations, performance increased marginally to a load time of 0.606s and a start render time of 0.892s:
http://www.webpagetest.org/result/170421...5/details/

Here's the visual comparison between both tests:
http://www.webpagetest.org/video/compare...414_XR_H2J

I have two questions that I'd like to get your opinion on:

(A) Is it realistic to bring down the start render time further? I was hoping of hitting 0.6-0.7 seconds.

(B) When it's realistic, what other optimisations can I pursue? I can honestly say that I implemented everything I know, so I'm not sure how to proceed here.

Thanks very much for your input!
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04-22-2017, 09:15 PM
Post: #2
RE: Looking for even more performance; realistic?
I was looking into it more this morning, and am now even more confused. Smile

In 2016, my frontpage loaded in 0.415s with a start render time of 0.592s:
http://www.webpagetest.org/result/161029...3/details/

Since then I've done several things to improve/keep good performance, including:
- Inlining critical above-the-fold CSS,
- Defer load non-critical JS,
- Locally host Google-analytics script,
- Conditional loaded Javascript,
- Preconnect google-analytics.com,
- Create a CSS image sprite with the most requested images,
- Uglified and minified CSS, JS, HTML aggressively.

But now the load time is 0.390s (so the same) but the start render time increased to 0.886s:
http://www.webpagetest.org/result/170422...5/details/

I really don't get why now ~400ms is spend between downloaded the page and the start of rendering it, especially with a tiny amount of inline CSS and a page size of just 3.23kb. If anything, I'd expect the gap between load and start render to shrink (and not increase).
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Yesterday, 01:02 PM
Post: #3
RE: Looking for even more performance; realistic?
I'm not sure why you would want to optimize the site that much as those improvements won't be noticeable to end users. Unless it's just an exercise for it's own sake.

It's best to run a few tests (at least 3) to get an overall picture, as there will always be some variability.

As you can see from the two tests in your last post the main difference was the connection to Google analytics, the browser render time can also vary in webpagetest.

For further optimization you could inline all CSS as you don't have much. Also test the site without the defer scripts/css, to see if all scripts/css download in parallel.

In reality there's probably no advantage in loading GA locally as it will likely be in the users browser cache anyway.
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Yesterday, 08:59 PM (This post was last modified: Yesterday 09:08 PM by JMTC.)
Post: #4
RE: Looking for even more performance; realistic?
(Yesterday 01:02 PM)clubberz Wrote:  I'm not sure why you would want to optimize the site that much as those improvements won't be noticeable to end users. Unless it's just an exercise for it's own sake.
That's true, it's more like a hobby and challenge for me than anything else. Plus I want to get at least as good of a performance when I started implementing speed tweaks, because otherwise the additional work (like creating image sprites) doesn't need to be done in the future.

(Yesterday 01:02 PM)clubberz Wrote:  It's best to run a few tests (at least 3) to get an overall picture, as there will always be some variability.
Thanks, I'll take that more into consideration.

(Yesterday 01:02 PM)clubberz Wrote:  For further optimization you could inline all CSS as you don't have much. Also test the site without the defer scripts/css, to see if all scripts/css download in parallel.
Yesterday I've already tested different ways to load JS (async, defer, or DOM script injection) but performance didn't seem to differ much.

I've just tested inlining all CSS versus putting all CSS in a separate file. I don't see much differences; the first five bars are with CSS inline, the last 5 are the results for putting the CSS in a separate file.

The worst performance when inlining all CSS is as worse as putting all CSS in a separate file. And the typical performance difference seems to be in the tens of milliseconds. If it wasn't for that single orange bar that showed good performance when inlining all CSS, I'd say the performance doesn't matter for the webpage I tested.

   

http://www.webpagetest.org/video/compare...423_JB_F5M

What are your thoughts on choosing which webperformance to use when the results are virtually identical?

(Yesterday 01:02 PM)clubberz Wrote:  As you can see from the two tests in your last post the main difference was the connection to Google analytics, the browser render time can also vary in webpagetest.

In reality there's probably no advantage in loading GA locally as it will likely be in the users browser cache anyway.
That's probably true, but I host Google Analytics locally so that I can set it a caching higher than 2 hours, which is something that Google Pagespeed would otherwise complain about. I agree that normal website visitors don't notice performance benefits from this (and likely already have it in their browser cache), but am not sure how search engines look upon that (i.e., the Pagespeed score).
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