Easy website performance testing

Now DHTML is back in the form of presentational javascript, it's always interesting to see how all these scripts influence the performance of a website.

There are probably all kinds of sweet tools available for testing performance. However, my main tool is the most user-friendly of all: my three year old Toshiba laptop computer. It contains a desktop computer grade 1.6ghz Pentium 4 processor with a very large cooling fan.

The laptop used to be my main workstation, but since I bought a new desktop machine it is mostly used for e-mail, chat, and light surfing. This doesn’t put a big load on the CPU, so I can browse most sites without the very noisy fan kicking in. This taught me most standards based websites are relatively easy on the CPU.

However, when a site uses lots of JavaScript, like Flickr, Hyves or some weblogs whose owners JustLoveā„¢ all those neat JavaScript counters and superfluous AJAX, the fan immediately starts to blow at full force. Unfortunately, the advent of Web2.0 (excuse me while I vomit in the corner), sees more and more of these websites.

And that is a direct problem, as the laptop tends to get too hot in the summer. So sometimes when I load one of these JavaScript-heavy sites, the laptop shuts down to prevent nasty smells.

How do you test the performance of your websites?