1) Install Page Speed for Chrome and Y-Slow for Fire Fox
2) Run the tests
3) Combine images into sprites
4) Reduce images size with losslessly compressing
5) Host large images on aws
6) Add expire headers and Cache-Control to images on AWS with Bucket Explorer; bucket explorer is old and kinda sucks to look at, but the free version is enough to do what you need.
7) Check for repetitive HTTP requests – remove some api calls; Twitter/FB
10) Defer loading of DOM elements & HTTP request with AJAX
11) Confirm img tags tags have height and width defined
12) Confirm img tags are not being resized by the browser
13) Use caching to compress your css and js on production
15) Use gzip compression as a ruby script
17) Re-Run Page Speed and Y-Slow
Shablam! Now you have a fast front-end.