Improving performance is a process that starts with minimizing, or at least, optimizing the data that users download. Understanding how a browser renders those resources is a prerequisite for improving code efficiency. After improving it, you need a way to test it.
We have all seen apps whose displays tend to jump raggedly during animations, scrolling, or other user interactions. This visible inconsistency is a performance issue commonly called jank or judder and is an annoying distraction for users; it interrupts their flow of thought while using the app and it makes the app look less polished and professional.
If the browser takes too long to make and display a frame, it gets skipped and you don’t see the frame at all. Instead, you see the next one (or the one after that), and the object jumps across the gap instead of smoothly moving through it.
Optimizing Content Efficiency
To deliver great performance you need to optimize delivery of each and every byte of your site.
Overallweb applications continue to grow in their scope, ambition, and functionality — that’s a good thing. However, the relentless march toward a richer web is driving another trend: the amount of data downloaded by each application continues to increase at a steady pace. To deliver great performance we need to optimize delivery of each and every byte!
What does a modern web application look like? HTTP Archive can help us answer this question. The project tracks how the web is built by periodically crawling the most popular sites (300,000+ from the Alexa Top 1M list) and recording and aggregating analytics on the number of resources, content types, and other metadata for each individual destination.
Critical Rendering Path
Understanding Low Bandwidth and High Latency
It’s important to understand what using your app or site feels like when connectivity is poor or unreliable, and build accordingly. A range of tools can help.
The PRPL Pattern
PRPL (push, render, pre-cache and lazy-load) is a pattern for structuring and serving Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), with an emphasis on the performance of app delivery and launch.
What you should know before you start?
Frames and frame rate: You should know how the browser constructs frames and why the 60fps rate is important for a smooth display. Learn more here: https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/performance/rendering/ and here: Udacity course on Browser Rendering Optimization: Building 60 FPS Web Apps.
Application life cycle: You should understand the Response, Animation, Idle, and Load parts of a running app and recognize the windows of opportunity that each part presents. Learn more here: The RAIL Performance Model
Chrome DevTools: You should have a basic understanding of DevTools and how to use them to analyze a web app, especially the Timeline tool. Learn more here: Analyze Runtime Performance.
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