M-Dot or RWD

M Dot or RWD. Which is Faster? outlines some great research conducted by Doug Sillars on whether m-dot or responsive sites are faster. Redirects slow m-dot sites from the very start while those sites might turn out to be lighter in requests & KB weight (potentially due to incomplete experiences, I’d argue).

But what is really interesting is the idea that RWD sites are VERY competitive on Visually Complete and SpeedIndex scores. The median values are within 5% for both metrics. Even though it appears that RWD is faster, there is enough fluctuation in the data that we should probably call it a dead heat.

Be sure to read the full post. It’s well worth your time.

TBT: Flash Edition

I was cleaning out an old hard drive and found this ridiculous little 8+ year old Flash (SWF) gem hanging around. Its issues are too numerous to count, but I think I was having a good time when I made it.

Optimizing Images

Friends don’t let friends load 300kb PNG images on their websites no matter how cool the transparent photo of a happy customer waving over a gradient background looks. That said, when raster graphics are required, one should always optimize them. My favorite tools for this are ImageOptim and ImageAlpha. The more I use them, the more they inform how I design.

CSS-Zen-Garden

While working on this page design for my Apothecary CSS Zen Garden theme, I knew I would be exporting a handful of PNGs with alpha transparency. Page weight could have easily surpassed the 1mb mark because of that, but I knew that if the texture graphics were only 2 or 4 colors that Image Alpha could get me massive savings.

Image-Alpha

Note the bottom-left of the above screenshot. I reduced textured-border.png by 85% in file size (34,760 bytes to 5383 bytes). I consider that free money. Whatever you do, use apps like ImageOptim and ImageAlpha on everything, and donate because, holy shit, they’re free.