High Performance Web Sites

We’ve long believed that one of the side-effects of Web 2.0 and the demands of the internet as platform is that more is required of web sites than ever before in terms of availability, performance, and scalability [Radar posts]. As a result, we’ve been doing a lot of publishing in that area, with titles such as Cal Henderson’s Building Scalable Websites, Jeremy Zawodny and Derek Balling’s High Performance MySQL, and now Steve Souders’ High Performance Web Sites. (In contrast to Cal’s book, which focuses on the back end, Steve focuses on front-end performance issues.)

As a result, we were very pleased to see Steve’s book, which was just released, jump to the top of the Amazon computer and internet bestseller list this morning, validating our belief that a lot of you realize that those issues are important too!

Amazon C&I bestseller list

I also want to give a shout-out to Yahoo! here for sharing their knowledge, earned through hard experience running one of the world’s largest web sites. Cal, Jeremy, and Steve all work for Yahoo!, and while their books are not officially endorsed by Yahoo!, they are an indication of how willing Yahoo! is to support and give back to the technology community from which they sprang. We’d love to see more authors from top web properties sharing their experience in this way, because as the web continues to develop, the demands experienced today by only the top few sites will be democratized along with the advantages. (It’s a bit like the old “no one will need more than 640K of memory” canard. When I first started pushing to get books on back end operations for large web sites, probably as far back as seven or eight years ago, the general wisdom was that no one would need to know this stuff.)

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