Website Optimization Measures, Part XX

Published on September 20, 2023 (↻ October 8, 2023), filed under and (RSS feed).

We spoke so recently! (This is my open-ended series of things I do and improve on my websites, reflecting and providing a steady supply of refactoring and optimization ideas.)

  1. Defining and cleaning up publisher information. I had a problem. Frontend Dogma features and mentions (tags) authors and publishers. Apart from finding these on social media, it’s not enough to identify authors and publishers—attribution also requires telling them apart from platforms. Medium, for example, is (what I consider) a platform. DEV, however, is—a publisher? That’s what I worked with at first. Now I redefined a publisher as someone controlling, backing, or being associated with the content. Just hosting it not enough (as with DEV, which therefore isn’t a publisher). That new definition has proved workable, and led to a refactoring of Frontend Dogma’s publisher attributions.

  2. Reviewing and rewriting bios. One easily gets blind to content on one’s own website. (That’s why I pay for error reports.) One area where I noticed that were bio and bio blurbs. They weren’t inaccurate, but felt dated and too broad. I rewrote them.

  3. Enabling debug mode for all static site exports. Having used Eleventy’s debug mode (just prefix your eleventy run with “DEBUG=Eleventy*”) to optimize Frontend Dogma’s export performance, I’ve found it so useful, I’ve enabled it for all site exports.

    How do these exports look like? That’s a different and longer story—the short one being, I perform several steps and trigger them manually via an alias.

  4. Renaming social graphics. For those social media card image things, I’ve always used the name “logo-social.” Yeah. I know. That doesn’t quite feel right… they may (and for me, often did) depict a logo, but likening them with typical logos started to feel odd to me. I refactored them, for all projects, to just… “social.” Like “social.png”. Feels a bit off, too, but… for the moment, it works.

  5. Removing “tweet” calls to action. I’ve moved to Mastodon pretty much with the hostile Musk takeover, and I’m grateful for it as I don’t even idolize pre-Musk Twitter—it was still toxic. But since Musk, it’s been awful even to keep profiles on life support. I had early on removed or de-emphasized my Twitter profiles; then, in August, I removed “tweet” calls to action, too.

  6. Reviewing DNS entries. Not my favorite pastime. When checking on the configuration of some email addresses (DMARC, anyone), I used the opportunity to also review the DNS entries for several of my domains. Now you may think, “nothing to see here”—sure—, there were two domains with entries that weren’t needed. Removed. That’s it. (How odd that there may be something to clean up here!)

  7. Adding dimensions to—i.e., sizing—SVGs. I heeded Aaron Gustafson’s advice (on this site, and on WebGlossary.info).

  8. Reviewing filler words, “doubles,” and inconsistencies [again]. The most important thing about being an author is—having a good editor. (I’ve worked with many, and wish I could work with one for everything I write.) One of my previous editors gave me a list of filler words to eliminate, and it’s a list I then modified and extended to go through at least once a year, per an annual reminder. That’s what I’ve done again recently. To make this more worth your while, here’s some of what the list includes:

    • Fillers
      • “quite”
      • “really”
      • “very”
      • “whether or not”
    • Doubles
      • “of of”
      • “the the”
      • “are are”
    • Spellings as per latest glossary documentation (not public)
  9. Reviewing PHP versions. Another housekeeping task. While DreamHost (with whom I’m still largely happy) auto-updates PHP versions, ALL-INKL, my other hoster, does not. So I toured my domains to upgrade PHP everywhere. (Which isn’t actually used everywhere, but, well. I do use it more often than I thought!)

This is a part of an open article series. Check out some of the other posts!

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About Me

Jens Oliver Meiert, on September 30, 2021.

I’m Jens, and I’m an engineering lead and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for companies like Google, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly and Frontend Dogma. I love trying things, not only in web development, but also in other areas like philosophy. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.

If you have a question or suggestion about what I write, please leave a comment (if available) or a message. Thank you!