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Chris Coyier on speeding up your website, life at CodePen, and fighting giant ducks


Chris Coyier recently left his role at Wufoo to focus on his enormously popular CSS-Tricks and his online coding site CodePen. We caught up with Chris in advance of his keynote at the Future of Web Design conference in New York later this month to talk about what he's up to and ways designers can get better performance out of their sites. 


You recently left Wufoo to focus on CSS-Tricks, CodePen, and other projects. How's it going so far?

It's going pretty great. I love primarily working from home again. That was something I had to give up when we moved to SurveyMonkey. I'm crazy busy. I somehow had the notion that leaving a full time job would free up some time, but I feel busier now than I was then. Just how it goes I suppose.

You talk a lot about site performance. What are one or two simple things we can do to speed up our sites?

Here's a super big easy one: losslessly optimize your images. Download ImageOptim (Mac) or PNGGauntlet (PC) and drop your web project's entire image folder onto the app. It will reduce the file size of all the images without affecting their quality at all. Just outputting optimized images from Photoshop isn't enough. You'd be surprised how much weight you can strip away from a website optimizing images.

Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized Chris Coyiers or one Chris Coyier-sized duck?

Easily the one big duck. Haven't you ever seen The Lost World: Jurassic Park? Those littile Compy dinosaurs looks pretty cute and harmless but when there was 100 of them they tore up that dude pretty quick. If those ducks were hungry, it could get ugly. One big duck I can outsmart. Or shove a stick in its beak or something. 

Any other speakers you're excited to see at FOWD?

I'm sure everyone is going to be great. I love meeting other speakers that I've never met or seen before, and there are a lot of them at this event so that's awesome. Just a few: Claire Chandler, Lis Hubert, and Ted Booth. I've also talked a bunch with Darcy Clarke online but never met him so that'll be cool.

Name: Chris Coyier
Company: CSS-Tricks, CodePen
Speaking at: Future of Web Design, NY
When: October 22-24, 2012 

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