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website performance advise

im working on a project and i want to make it so its performance is maximised.

when i develop sites i try to follow a few guidelines like using CSS sprites, external CSS and JS files instead of inline CSS and embedded JS, using cache control, using gzip compression and so on.  However i want to see what you think is the best approach to maxmising a websites performance.

1) would you use combine all your images into one big image (aka CSS spirtes) or would you use lots of separate images (which requires more HTTP requests) ?

2) would you separate your CSS into many files such as form.css, table.css, menu.css etc etc so they are easier to handle and manage or would you use use a CSS file for the whole site and cache it?  (im aware that this question isnt 100% related to website performances but im still curious to know what you think...)

3) im a little embarrassed with this next question as i should really know this. it refers to cache control.  if i make the components of a webpage (image, CSS & JS files) cache-able, how can i use cache control to tell the browser not to make new HTTP requests for fresh versions of the component during page load?
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ellandrd
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ellandrd
1 Solution
 
Ashish PatelCommented:
I suggest going with point 2 as a part of performance as they will be handled all separetly aos you cant control cache to tell the browser not to make new HTTP request, as it all depending of many factors like client's browser settings and more over if the date time saved changes for a file, then it will definately look for newer versions. Option 2 is recommended highly for good performance and tuning.
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