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Best website performance tips from Velocity 2008

Velocity conferenceOn June 23-24, O’Reilly held the 2008 edition of Velocity, a conference focused on web performance and operations. Unfortunately no one from Pingdom was able to attend (much to our great dismay considering the subject matter), but luckily for us the slides for a lot of the presentations have been made public.

We have scoured the Velocity 08 website for interesting material from the conference and have put together this collection of what we consider the best presentation slides on the subject of website performance. If you’re mainly looking for things concerning website performance, this post spares you the work of doing the same.

The best presentation slides on website performance

Click on the titles in the list below to download the slides for that presentation. Note that most of these slides are Powerpoint files, and can be quite big (several MB).

  • Hotmail’s Performance Tuning Best Practices – Aladdin Nassar from Microsoft covers what Microsoft has learnt about website performance from Hotmail.
  • High-performance Ajax Applications – Julien Lecomte from Yahoo! looks at different techniques and best practices for developing high-performance Ajax applications.
  • Lessons Learned in Live Search Moving to and then Away from Ajax – Eric Schurman from Microsoft presents the lessons learned from tuning the site performance of Live Search.
  • Even Faster Web Sites – Steve Souders from Google (author of the book High Performance Web Sites and also the creator of Yslow) take a look at even more ways to speed up websites.
  • Image Optimization: How Many of These 7 Mistakes Are You Making – Stoyan Stefanov from Yahoo! goes through image optimization tricks and tools that will help you speed up your website.
  • Improving Netflix Performance – Bill Scott from Netflix gives plenty of insight into how Netflix improved their site performance in this interesting case study.

We took care to pick presentation slides that can be followed and make sense on their own.

Though looking at slides without the actual presentation can be occasionally confusing, the slides still contain heaps of interesting information and we thank the contributors for making their material public like this.

On a small side note, our favorite quote from these slides has to be from the Hotmail performance presentation:

“Newer technologies ~ bigger guns to shoot ourselves with.” :)

More, more, more

If you weren’t able to attend this conference, or if you did and want to refresh your memory, the presentation files are freely available on O’Reilly’s site, though only for the speakers who chose to share their material.

For those interested, some material from the conference is also available as video.

There really is a lot of interesting material here, so hopefully next year we’ll be able to join the crowd at the actual conference.


Glad to hear that you approve of the conference. We’d love to have you there next year, especially as speakers!

-Jesse Robbins
Velocity Conference Co-Chair

hotmail as a fast website? oh really?

thanks for the post!