I try to stay away from cutting edge releases and let things cool off. But YSlow is one of my favorite web development toys tools and newly released Page Speed is perfect rival for it.
So two tools, two huge companies, both want to help us have better web pages. Who is better?
I am no optimization guru. Just a techie who likes fast and responsive sites and wants his blog to be one. I guess exactly someone such convenient and simple to use tools are made for.
What they do
- both YSlow and Page Speed are plugins for Firebug (which in turn is Firefox plugin);
- both benchmark web page and analyze components to provide checklist of things that can be corrected and improved for better site load and rendering speeds;
- both seem to be based on research of Steve Souders who created YSlow while he worked at Yahoo and now works on same things in Google.
Since both tools use roughly same set of rules for their evaluations their core function is almost identical.
What differs are additional functions.
- much more attention to CSS with extended advice on selectors – that is quite original (and, as some put it, questionable);
- awesome Page Speed Activity function that is similar to page load timers but provides load graphs in real time.
- latest version got massive interface update with convenient visualizations and sorting capabilities, as well as option to print checklist;
- different (editable) profiles to separate needs of high traffic sites from smaller ones;
- boils results down to single grade that frankly tells you how much your site rocks (sucks).
While YSlow had remedied my last gripes (mostly habit of assuming my tiny blog could benefit from worldwide content delivery network) Page Speed brought fresh ones.
I had noticed that Page Speed offers minimized versions of scripts and images already from my hard drive (these have to be requested manually in YSlow). And bingo –
Page Speed created two folders for its temporary files in my profile folder.
- not Firefox extensions folder;
- not temporary folder;
- not local settings;
- not application data.
Which would all seem like sane choice unlike profile root. At least it had courtesy to delete files (not folders) on closing Firefox.
Update Page Speed now uses sane temporary folders for those files on all platforms. :) Excused on this one.
Frankly large reason I try to stay away from desktop software by Google is their sickening habit to treat my PC as their own, filling it with files and background services as they see fit. Is there no one working for them who has clue about portable?
While Page Speed brings some new powerful functions to the table, overall first release feels like what it is – internal tool released to the public.
YSlow has edge – around for longer, more developed and more convenient.
In the long run if Page Speed can throw YSlow from the throne will depend on amount of effort and open source contributions it gets.
Google Page Speed http://code.google.com/speed/page-speed/
Yahoo YSlow http://developer.yahoo.com/yslow/