One of the wonderful things about building for the web is the ability to stand on the shoulders of our fellow developers, who release new frameworks and libraries to make our job easier. But nothing is free. We constantly make trade-offs, whether we know it or not. Sometimes this means added complexity to the developer workflow; sometimes it means reduced performance, security, or accessibility for our users.
The people building these tools have good intentions, but their specific experience and use cases mean that their tools will always carry some amount of inherent bias about what trade-offs are acceptable and what aren’t. And at the end of the day, you’re still the one responsible for the overall health of your site.
The answer to the incredible number of tools at our disposal is not to avoid them altogether. Tim Kadlec explains how to evaluate these tools to identify these trade-offs—a requirement for the health of your site.
Tim Kadlec is a performance consultant and trainer focused on building a web everyone can use. He is the author of High Performance Images and Implementing Responsive Design: Building Sites for an Anywhere, Everywhere Web and was a contributing author for Smashing Book #4: New Perspectives on Web Design and the Web Performance Daybook: Volume 2. He writes about all things web at Timkadlec.com.
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