Check These 3 Things Before You Deploy
There are a number of steps to complete prior to deploying any web software into production, and every development shop or department has (or should have) its own very thorough process. But outside of that process, we’ve found these three very important performance items that are often overlooked. Any software development team would do well to check these three things before deploying production software.
1. Combining CSS and JS Files
2. File Versioning
Adding expiring headers causes the page load time to decrease (meaning a faster page load) for subsequent page views/return visits from repeat visitors. However, you can use far future caching only if you have a way to change the URL when the content changes. Do you have a system in which the URL for each file will change when the contents of that file change? If not, you should consider including an embedded date/time stamp or build number in your URLs, so the URLs change with each build. Many developers overlook this performance gaining technique.
3. Performance Testing
From each release of your software to the next release, your team may make a few changes or lot of changes to your code. But a change is still a change. How do you know if performance has improved or been compromised with each change to your code? One simple method of determining performance changes before production deployment is to do an audit using free tools like WebPageTest.org, and Zoompf’s free report and see if new problems have been introduced. When you test not only for bugs, but for performance, you may find that new issues impact whether you should release the software into production.
Performance is something you need to think about during development, rather than after your software is already in production. In order to keep performance top of mind during development, rather than only after deployment, you must have a plan to develop for performance. These 3 things are a good start on your path to build fast websites. If you are interested in building in performance, you will love Zoompf. We have a number of free tools that help you detect and correct front-end performance issues on your website: check out our free report to analyze your website for common performance problems, and if you like the results consider signing up for our free alerts to get notified when changes to your site slow down your performance.