Impact of HTML, CSS and JavaScript on Application Performance

Is front-end web optimization out of fashion? Front-end optimization generally involves standardized coding solutions and procedures, and frequently relies on optimizing HTML, CSS or JavaScript code. Other optimization techniques can reduce the number of application software components like scripts and images.

The front-end is considered a perfect place for performance improvements: it is estimated that a minimum of 80% of the time needed to download and render a web page is expended on the front-end.

There are newer languages and many performance boosting techniques, but applications coded in HTML, CSS and JavaScript are still front-end workhorses. It is worthwhile to lead development teams to examine and follow-up on how HTML, CSS and JavaScript issues that impact application performance.

The Front-End Workforce

Turf wars, for example between front-end and back-end developers (front-end developers being considered somehow less accomplished) can prevent focusing on the issues that will improve performance. Skills for front-end developer include:

  • HTML – still crucial and assumed to be present.
  • CSS –for improving the appearance of a web page, is crucial, along with pre-compilers for efficient code.
  • JavaScript –for dynamic effects such as rollover images and scripted slideshows, Drag-and-drop, and videos

Front-End Performance Monitoring

Monitoring of front-end web applications can reveal problems which can in many cases be prevented with forceful and strategy-based approaches to front-end development. Results from performance monitoring tools and services can be used to improve application design. Some improvement options include:

  • Increased control over third-party content and performance
  • Smaller footprint and faster loading and rendering by reducing the number of objects on a page
  • Application structural considerations including separation of content and behavior
  • Techniques including domain sharding, minification, asynchronous JavaScript, and prioritization of content

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