This chapter covered the techniques we've used at Yahoo! to reduce the number of HTTP requests in web pages without compromising the pages' design. The rules described in later chapters also present guidelines that help reduce the number of HTTP requests, but they focus primarily on subsequent page views. For components that are not critical to the initial rendering of the page, the post-onload download technique described in Chapter 10 helps by postponing these HTTP requests until after the page is loaded.
This chapter's rule is the one that is most effective in reducing HTTP requests for first-time visitors to your web site; that's why I put it first, and why it's the most important rule. Following its guidelines improves both first-time views and subsequent views. A fast response time on that first page view can make the difference between a user who abandons your site and one who comes back again and again.
Make fewer HTTP requests.