The web performance diet

If you can, I would like you to suspend your disbelief for a moment and imagine that you’re a retail website.

Like many people, you had a busy Christmas, with its fair share of excess. Like many people, you have a few regrets about that excess.

You spent a lot of time binging on festive animations and huge Black Friday offer pages. You’re not sure, but you think you might have had a couple of Flash animations running at some point. Continue reading

Highlights from the web performance hackathon

Every so often, following the annual lockdown, we give some of our best and brightest minds free rein to work on anything that takes their fancy. Fuelled by pizza and a passion for their work, they’re given just two days to come up with working solutions in a two-day hackathon. We try to make the atmosphere as relaxed as possible to help spark some creative thinking. There’s also the incentive of a number of small prizes for the most imaginative ideas.

Last year’s event took place on 14–15 December, and here are a few of the highlights:
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How to dispose of unwanted Christmas GIFs

No, it wasn’t a typo. We’re talking about huge, Christmas-related animations that slow web pages down. We’ve come across a few this year, including a 640KB GIF that depicted snow falling over a static, photographic backdrop.

Sometimes, animated GIFs will be the right tool for the job. For example, they can be perfect for very small, simple animations, such as a spinning wheel. However, for banners that take up significant chunks of the screen, there are better ways.

To test the point, we tried a simple experiment – how would the performance of an animated GIF stack up against a CSS solution?
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