There are so many sites that have no optimization at all. Images are huge and scaled, scripts are large and uncompressed. Some even have 70+ requests being sent for additional content on 10-20 different domains. They are slow and hog bandwidth. I’ve found the worst of these tend be the the massive news sites dominated by flash content and 3rd party widgets. Swift-loading search engines like Google and Yahoo even lack quality optimization. I’ve put countless hours of work into perfecting performance on this site and it is still far from optimal.
Shared hosting easily rivals content distribution backed websites when properly configured. My redesign of Newbieworks loads extremely rapidly with as little of overhead as possible and matches loading times of Google. I’ve taken advantage of Google App Engine and used it as a free CDN thanks to a guide by Digitalistic.
Websites to help with optimizations:
Site-Perf – Measures website performance and displays a chart showing load time of elements
GTMetrix – Analyzes loading performance using YSlow and Page Speed
PunyPNG – Compresses images while maintaining quality
Smush.it – Image compression service acquired by Yahoo