Website Optimization Measures, Part XXI
Hello and welcome to the next episode of my open-ended series of things I do and improve on my websites, providing everyone who’s interested with a random supply of refactoring and optimization ideas:
Reviewing style sheets… On Beatriz’s and my trip to the Canaries this year I ended up a little bored and decided to—review project style sheets. That, how else could it be, led to various small discoveries and, therefore, improvements, like consistency fixes (alphabetical sorting) and minification where that hadn’t been in place yet.
Checking on editor performance optimizations. Since 2001, my main IDE has either been JetBrains’s IntelliJ IDEA or WebStorm. (Never used even half their feature set, but the IDEs are awesome.) Maintaining a few sites of several thousand pages, and putting all exports under version control, I observed some sluggishness though. I checked on optimizations. How to improve WebStorm performance was just what I needed. (Check on optimizations for your editor, too!)
Removing ads. I’ve had enough—not because of suspected entitlement, but because we all need to take action against waste. I’ve removed all display ads from meiert.com, following worlds-highest-website.com as the then last of my projects with such ads.
Optimizing CTA positions and wording. Optimizations can unblock other optimizations. In the case of meiert.com, the ad removal freed up a key location that could have been put to better use on landing pages—to place calls to actions there. You find one example in action on the book page for The Web Development Glossary 3K.
Making more use of the
:where()) pseudo-classes. I love
:is()as a style sheet simplifier (I wish we had had it at the time I wrote CSS Optimization Basics!). However, with relatively low cost of problem, it’s not a high priority to refactor all project style sheets to make use of it. And yet, one vacation day I noticed so much repetition (largely around heading styles) that I took that particular opportunity to update and improve the respective style sheet, shaving about 70 lines off the raw file.
Blocking more AI crawlers. Running into Neil Clarke’s Block the Bots that Feed “AI” Models by Scraping Your Website, I extended those robots.txt files where I wanted to block crawlers with “Google-Extended” and “Omgilibot”. (And a few days later, “FacebookBot”.)
Updating Google Custom Search Engine references. I believe it changed years ago, that Google Custom Search Engine was rebranded as Google Programmable Search Engine. But I had missed updating the name and some URLs, and eventually did so now—a good example of something not important or urgent that may take this time.
Redoing social graphics. I spoke about them in the last episode, those “social media card image things.” On meiert.com, there are a few generic ones, but all pretty bland, using solid pastel colors. I’ve added some effects (example). To test.
Reviewing server log configuration. Eight years ago, I stopped using Google Analytics in my projects. Still, one of my providers enables server logs. That’s something I look at occasionally, for errors as well as traffic trends. Said server logs use Webalizer. That I used to tweak its settings. Website maintenance.
That’s it, thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!
This is a part of an open article series. Check out some of the other posts!
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!
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