There are some well-known general best practices you can follow to overcome some of these technical and human factors and ensure a quick response web site:
- Optimize all the HTML and dependencies as much as you can without losing quality (this can include stripping the HTML documents of any comments and superfluous linebreaks, which should be part of the publication process. In order to keep sites maintainable you still need those in the source documents)
- Reduce dependencies by using the least amount of file includes (collate several scripts into one include, use CSS sprite techniques to load all images at once)
- Make sure that you don’t include third-party content from their servers: set up a script that caches RSS feeds locally and use that one instead. The benefit is not only that you don’t have to deal with the DNS server delays but you are also independent of the other server should it go down.
- If possible, define dimensions for images and their container elements. This will ensure that the first rendering of the page will be correct and there won’t be any “jumping around” when the images are loading.