Let me give you some insights into the performance culture and recent achievements of one of the bigger news sites in Germany. A tiny thread. 🤓

In the last couple of months we as the dev team of @SZ@twitter.com got the opportunity by our stakeholders to shift a big part of our focus to the topic of performance, which is basically a dev dream come true. Boss: ☝️ ”Make the website faster!” Me: 😍 “Yeeeeeeeees!”

So what do we measure and how do we measure it? Our most important metric for now is the “First Meaningful Paint” (FMP) developers.google.com/web/tool, tested on a 3G connection on a mobile device. We monitor our perf. with @SpeedCurve@twitter.com (which runs WebPageTest tests in the background).

For the most important site types (e.g. homepage or article) we set up budgets that we regularly monitor and adjust (downwards of course). We have a monitor in our room with the current status of all budgets. We get Slack notifications should a budget break for 3 times in a row.

For us the number one thing to improve overall perf. was to eliminate blocking JavaScript requests. On the homepage we went from around six blocking JS requests to zero. This was quite a tricky thing to achieve due to complex dependencies of third-party scripts like ads, etc.

As a result the homepage FMP went down from ~ 6.3 seconds to ~ 3.5 seconds, and the article FMP from ~ 6 seconds to ~ 3.3 seconds. 🎉


There is still plenty of room for improvement on the technical side, but I guess the most important thing for us as a team was to get sort of a “performance mindset”, to include the topic in our daily work life and to be open and transparent about the topic.

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