Nov 1, 2022
It's been two weeks since I returned home from performance.now() and I'm still buzzing. It was so wonderful to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. (Pictured here with a few members of our beloved SpeedCurve family: Andy Davies, Cliff Crocker, Steve Souders, and Melanie Hubert.) If you missed out on the conference, or if you want to revisit your favourite talks, slides and videos are being uploaded daily.
Just because the conference season is over doesn't mean we're ready to go into hibernation. In this month's newsletter we have a new leader in our US retail page speed benchmarks, some super-helpful how-tos, and a pair of must-read personal case studies.
Until next time, I hope you stay safe, happy, and well.
B&H leads US retail sites in mobile performance
With holiday shopping swinging into gear, it's interesting to note which retail sites are delivering a fast experience, especially to mobile shoppers. In our current US Retail Page Speed Benchmarks, B&H took the top spot, with a Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) time of 3.9 seconds for slower mobile devices.
What helped them with this impressive LCP: moving the hero image to the top of the page. If you drill down into their test details and look at their waterfall chart, you can see that the main image is the first request called directly after the HTML.
Making websites faster: A potted history of my 10 years in web performance
Firstly, I wanted to share a bit of background as to why I am interested in web performance – establish my bona fides, so to speak. Secondly, I wanted to show that it is possible to create really fast user experiences. There is no magic involved, it just takes commitment over a period of time. My third objective is a wider point... We have allowed websites to get overly complex, not to the benefit of the user experience, but to its detriment.
From development to real users: How to create a web performance story
This is a must-read post by Vinicius Dallacqua (@WebTwitr) on the Spotify Engineering blog. I especially love the focus on real user experiences and metrics. Vinicius breaks down how to build a compelling performance story into three easy(ish) stages:
How to load your LCP image faster
Want to load your hero image sooner, AKA improve your Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) time? Try to boost its priority – a practice now used in production by performance leaders like eBay, Etsy, and Yahoo.
How to optimize Long Tasks
The number and duration of Long Tasks on a page can hurt your users' experience – and even your business metrics. As a solution, perhaps you've been told "don't block the main thread" and "break up your Long Tasks".
How to speed up async snippets
Harry Roberts (@csswizardry) has helped some of the world's biggest brands make their sites faster. As a consultant he's found that the majority of developers he encounters don't fully understand how async snippets work.
Page labels: Why they're important and how to use them
There are so many benefits to labeling your pages in both your synthetic and real user monitoring (RUM) tools. Page labels give you the ability to:
We recently released some exciting new capabilities for labeling your RUM pages. Cliff Crocker (@cliffcrocker) explains why page labels are important and shows you how easy it is to apply labels to your pages.
Catching Up With Web Performance: Annie Sullivan
Catching Up With Web Performance is a new podcast series from Tanner Hodges (@atannerhodges), and I definitely recommend checking it out. I loved Tanner's recent interview with Google engineer Annie Sullivan (@anniesullie), who is one of our main Core Web Vitals oracles.