Front-End Optimization

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What Does Front-End Optimization Mean?

Front-end optimization (FEO) is the process of optimizing the delivery of website resources from the client side. In IT, there are two different areas where technology works: the client side, or front end, and the server side, or back end. FEO reduces the number of page resources needed to download a given page, allowing the browser to process the page more quickly. For many popular sites, front-end bottlenecks account for a large percentage of users’ wait time. Best practices in FEO include methods such as resource consolidation, versioning, domain sharding, minification and use of compression. New technologies are also emerging that automatically optimize Web pages.

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Front-end optimization may also be known and front-page optimization.

Techopedia Explains Front-End Optimization

Part of understanding front-end optimization is to understand where the front end and back end are for any given tech system. In a Web service, the back end is where servers at the service provider’s locations handle user requests. The front end is where the user’s browser downloads and presents code.

Front-end optimization uses several processes to streamline Web page HTML code and resources, making it easier for a Web browser to load. In back-end optimization, on the other hand, companies upgrade their servers to handle more requests or more sophisticated jobs involving delivering services to users. Experts point out that a major issue with front-end optimization, and a reason why it may not be pursued, is that it competes with back-end optimization for the allocation of time and money. Another reason that companies may not pursue front-end optimization is a lack of understanding of how their services and technology work, or in other cases, an unwillingness to put resources into handling the maintenance of a website or service, which can be difficult to outsource and rather labor intensive. However, as Web pages become larger and continue to use more JavaScript and AJAX, this puts more weight on the browser, making FEO more important for optimization.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.