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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


What is "domain sharding"

It's a term that Steve Souders uses to describe intentionally splitting web page resources across multiple domains to make pages load faster.

Steve Souders has done extensive research on improving front-end performance of website. He has shared his findings on "domain sharding":
  • Most of the U.S. top ten web sites do domain sharding.
  • The optimal number of domains to shard across is 2-4. After 4 domains, response time degrades
  • Domain sharding is especially useful for older browsers as they are restricted to just two parallel downloads per hostname. The newer browsers however do better. Opera 9+ and Safari 3+ do four downloads per hostname. Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3, and Chrome 1+ do six downloads per hostname.
Also see:
stevesouders.com: Domain Sharding revisited (September 2013)
HOW TO improve the front-end performance of a website
HOW TO speed up a ASP.NET AJAX web app

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