In the previous post about speedy sites, we discussed the static assets of a site, and how providing them to users can be optimised through selective use of aggregation and HTML. Let’s move away from considering what to give the user, and instead look at how we provide it to them: the stack.
How do we define "the stack"? For the purposes of this article, the stack represents everything between the user and the PHP generating the content they see. As with all performance tuning work, you will need to have a sandbox to try out these techniques, and see what works for you. Often this will be a mixture of several technologies, which I affectionately refer to as the "Speed Sandwich", with each layer doing a specific role to improve the overall performance of the user experience, while aiming to limit complexity to a few distinct components. We want to give the end user the page they requested as fast as possible. So how can we achieve this? (more...)