I'd like to introduce you to this great book by Steve Souders. There already have been several reports on the Internet about it, for example on the Yahoo Developers Blog. There is also a video of Steve Souders talking about the book.
The book is structured into 14 rules, which, when applied properly, can vastly improve the speed of a web site or web application.
I had the honour to do the technical review on this book, and I love it. Apart from some standard techniques (for example employing HTTP headers like Expires or Last-Modified/Etag), Steve certainly has some tricks up his sleave:
For instance he shows how it is possible to reduce the number of HTTP requests (by inlining the script sources) for first time visitors, while still filling up their cache for their next page load (see page 59ff).
The small down side of this book is that some rules need to be taken with care when applied to smaller environments; for example, it does not make sense (from a cost-benefit perspective) for everyone to employ a CDN. A book just can't be perfect for all readers.
If you are interested in web site performance and have a developer background, then buy this book (or read it online). It is certainly something for you.
Some more links on the topic:
- Yahoo!'s Chief Performance Guru Talks about Writing his New Book
- Slides from his presentation at WebEx 2007
- Podcast on YSlow