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Chapter 20. Web Performance

Sometimes it seems that no matter how fast your web site is, it's never fast enough. Pages don't load quickly enough, scripts always seem to take forever, and streaming video or audio brings everything to a standstill. The slower things are, the more likely it is that a user will become frustrated and give up. Improving web performance is a constant struggle for every webmaster.

In this chapter, we look at techniques to improve web performance from several different perspectives. Users can upgrade software or hardware, tweak some settings on their browser, or choose a faster modem or ISP. HTML authors can reduce the size of the content being transmitted. Programmers can do quite a bit to improve the execution of CGI programs or other scripts. Most importantly, administrators can reconfigure server software or their website design to greatly reduce the load. Most of this chapter concentrates on the administrator's role in improving performance.


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