Front-End web performance has always been a hot topic but it started getting even more attention in recent years. It is 2015 and completely acceptable that users want their sites load faster. Also, it is 2015 and apps and pages are packed with features, new libraries, or application logic delegated to the browser. Payload and demand are both higher.
Star rating widgets are a great and simple visual representations of two numbers: X out of Y. Drupal has support for those types of fields through contributed modules, the most popular being the excellent Fivestar module. However, using Fivestar could be just too much to display a static static value as a rating.
I have created a preferred configuration for hosting Drupal sites on the excellent nginx web server. I tend to prefer nginx over Lighttpd and/or Apache for at least over a year now and I’m extremely happy with its reliability and performance.
So you want your Drupal site perform as fast as possible and you have set up the CDN module and patched imagecache and everything is working fine. Then you realize that any asynchronously generated asset—images, compressed stylesheets, etc—will send a session cookie to your visitors.
Using Lighttpd as a proxy for Apache is a popular solution to achieve smaller web server memory footprint and to speed up websites. However things can get messy when it comes to Drupal and the brilliant Imagecache module. Imagecache transforms images using presets and then caches them.
I usually develop and test my webpages on various VirtualBox virtual machines and since I work a lot in the console I use a framebuffer which enables larger resolutions than the default console.