re: SPA frameworks in particular are good on slower connections because the browser does most of the work up front to load the page structure and resou...

Indeed

I feel like I could write another post entirely about the fetish of initial page load at the expense of the performance of everything else.

You totally should. I would read it. People freak out over this.

There are a handful of fast languages, Go, Elixir etc.. that are excellent at rendering html very quickly. For slower languages, using simple caching can speed things up considerably as well as optimizing queries using EXPLAIN in sql.

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