November 10th, 2010
Data URIs are one of the best techniques in CSS, allowing developers to avoid referencing external images and instead embed them directly into a stylesheet. The main advantage of this approach is to save HTTP requests.
HTTP requests are a huge performance bottleneck, and the reason techniques such as CSS image sprites have been popular for some time. Basically, if you can avoid requesting an extra file, not only does it save your server the work of looking up the file, but it also saves your user the download time. In fact, HTTP request management is so important, that it is the top issue in the Yahoo Performance Rules.
Data URIs are an excellent way to reduce HTTP requests and speed up your pages, so let’s walk through how to use them in all major browsers.
August 17th, 2010
With IE9 in development and Opera 10.5 released, CSS3 is a few steps away from being supported by all modern browsers. But users may take a while to upgrade, and responsible developers will support legacy browsers for years to come.
For some, cross-browser development means making websites that look exactly the same in all browsers. But if developers continue to cater websites to inadequate browsers such as IE6, then they’re just holding back modern browsers from performing to their potential.
Graceful degradation is not about allowing websites to look bad in older browsers, but about making them look great in modern ones. It means taking advantage of CSS3’s useful features to progressively enhance web pages for the vast majority of users.
July 29th, 2010
Yesterday’s CSS Summit featured some the best CSS minds presenting on cutting edge CSS issues. There was a ton of great information presented across the 8 sessions, but here’s a wrap up of the single best piece of information from each presenter:
Denise Jacobs – Advanced CSS Troubleshooting
The highlight of Denise’s talk was some specific coding tips about clearing floated content.
She started with the standard overflow: hidden method, which falls short with support for borders & margins and also doesn’t allow scrollbars if they’re needed. Denise suggested instead using overflow: auto; width: 100%; which avoids these issues. You don’t have to use the exact values above, you just have to set some type of overflow and width / height value.
Denise went on to discuss a .clearfix:after method, see the gist.
Denise likes this clearing method since it doesn’t include any extra, non-semantic markup (as … Read more…
May 11th, 2010
When it comes to front-end performance, good asset management is just as important as good code. Simply put: downloading assets takes time.
These factors, combined with the rise of the mobile web, have made bandwidth the primary bottleneck in website performance.
Here are 5 simple steps to reduce download times with better asset management on your sites. Read more…
February 10th, 2010
1. Define local variables
Simply put, the deeper the engine has to dig into this … Read more…
December 22nd, 2009
Appending a stylesheet is better for performance when styling 15 or more elements.
CSS allows you to leverage pseudo-classes and define styles with the simple a:hover selector instead of both onmouseover and onmouseout event listeners.
December 8th, 2009
Installing TranslateThis couldn’t be easier—simply copy and paste the widget code anywhere on your website, you don’t have to upload any files or change any settings.
What can you customize in TranslateThis?
November 19th, 2009
There were a lot of good speakers at today’s jQuery Summit, but Paul Irish‘s talk on jQuery Anti-Patterns for Performance & Compression was my stand-out favorite. Covering a number of advanced jQuery performance optimization techniques, this speech put my knowledge of jQuery optimization to shame.
Before Paul’s talk my understanding of jQuery performance tuning was fairly simplistic:
- Optimize selectors to descend from an id if possible.
- Use tag names when selecting classes and don’t use an excessive number of selectors.
- Define variables instead of selecting the same object repeatedly.
- Optimize your code replacing repetition with object oriented functions.
But the information Paul presented blew all that out of the water. Here are 10 jQuery performance rules I gathered from his presentation:
1. Optimize selectors for Sizzle’s ‘right to left’ model
August 12th, 2009
My favorite thing about web development is the wide variety of skills it uses. Being a good developer means staying on your toes and always learning, because there are so many important skills and these are constantly changing.
Here’s a checklist of 10 skills that are some of the most important for good web developers to have. These focus a bit on front-end skills, but they apply to all developers:
July 13th, 2009
I’m happy to announce the release of QuickFlip 2, a major reworking of the jQuery plugin that flips any piece of HTML markup over like a card. The new version is faster and even easier to use—simply call the flip animation through a jQuery selector and the QuickFlip will flip the front panel to show its back. The flip effect is similar to the UI animation on the iPhone
Download QuickFlip 2 for jQuery
Read the QuickFlip documentation
QuickFlip works by using an animation shortcut that is barely noticeable when flipped quickly (hence the name). This shortcut improves performance while allowing the flip effect to work smoothly with any piece of markup regardless of images, backgrounds or CSS.
It provides an attractive alternative to other slower and more resource heavy Flash and jQuery flip animations. However if you want a smoother option with … Read more…