Live blogging web 2.0 expo – web performance anti patterns and listening to your customers

See table of contents for full list of web 2.0 expo posts

I think the performance anti patterns one will be more interesting, but Microsoft does have good points about your customers being important and basics for most websites. And Hotnail has changed a lot over time.

Microsoft and Hotmail

  • Hotmail was one of the first webmails but is now largely popular only outside the US.
  • Gmail did well – big inbox, text ads, smooth interface,short release cycles
  • Recognized Microsoft asked users to pay for new features
  • If people don’t use something, it is an invention, not an innovation
  • I like that he identifies “real spam” vs newsletters that you subscribed to (and can presumably unsubscribe from)
  • The things Hotmail recognized must change are now things that one must have to do email – virtually unlimited storage, must filter spam out of inbox, performance, pre-cache content, mobile
  • ok. I know i said i wasn’t going to advertise hotmail, but the “sweep” feature makes setting up a filter less steps. Gmail: please copy. Except just the part about less steps to create a filter, not the part about having to schedule.
  • Encouraging ignoring all messages from a user vs unsubscribe. One day people are going to forget what unsubscribing means while all this bandwidth gets wasted and newsletter providers get labeled spammers
  • can create email alias for temporary person. Unlike gmail, can’t derive real email from alias.
  • “it might be cool, but i am fine where i am”. Lesson: once your customers leave, it is hard to get them bacK

How to make your website slow by Yottaa

  • Lots of requests to dowhload assets – really granular css, javascript, images. Can get yottaa score at to see how bad your site is in this space (coderanch did well with 95/100)
  • Fat resources – comments and whitespace in html, css, javascript (should use gzip compression), use larger images than needed (shouldn’t compress image in browser)
  • Bad server side -poor code, bad database design, inusufficient memory or slow hard drive, sharing server with others (gives unpredictable cpu use)
  • Randomness – things are fine for everyone except a few people. It only takes one resource to slow things down. This is why twitter widgets can be the bottleneck on page speed.
  • Do not use caching – set cache control properly. Both for repeat visitors and so subsequent pages in site share assets already downloaded
  • 3rd party plugins – not loading twitter, facebook, etc asynronously slows things down. A little for most users. 30-120 seconds in China because must wait for request to time out.
  • Redirect from www to other domain on the client side (use 302 not 301)
  • Add requests to resources that do not exist (404) – takes longer to return resource that does not exist than resource that does exist because looks in multiple places
  • Run javascript code while page loading

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