Website Optimization Measures, Part XXII

Published on February 4, 2024, filed under and (RSS feed).

Web design is a process, running our own websites is awesome, and together it means there’s always something to tweak and improve and optimize. Here are select things I’ve done over the last few months (please share what you did on our mutual socials):

  1. Double-checking on use of cookies. On my own sites, I generally don’t collect—even want—personal data, and accordingly, I don’t set any cookies. On running tests, however, I noticed that tooling would set some. I wasn’t aware, and then upset about what I deemed a breach of trust,—until I investigated and it wasn’t any of that, the cookies came from tooling specific only to me. Well.

  2. Improving tooling. For adding entries to Frontend Dogma I use my own homemade tooling. For the longest time I ignored how I ended up manually removing hyphens from slugs that specific tooling generated. Finally (nudged by a monthly automation reminder), I set aside some time to update the respective PHP script. And that’s that—a small improvement that already feels like saving time every day.

  3. Relabeling “feeds” as “RSS feeds.” I’ve always labeled feeds just as “feeds.” Somehow, following a hunch, I thought it could be clearer (if only to unlock the additional search term) to prepend this by the type of feed—in the respective cases, RSS.

  4. Unblocking AI crawlers… Having blocked AI bots in the past months (cf. WSO XIX, WSO XXI), I “suddenly” found myself not so sure. I can’t find and credit the posts that contributed to this shift in thinking, but let’s say that 1) trusting that there’s going to be some attribution at some point and 2) testing whether this would explain some changes in traffic patterns are two factors in the mix.

  5. Reviewing and feeding tags. I think I mentioned tag maintenance in the past? đź¤” Now, that wouldn’t be surprising, given how it’s part of website maintenance. In this particular case, over a number of days, I reviewed Frontend Dogma’s tags on their usefulness. That led to surprisingly few changes (merging “tips” and “tricks” as “tips and tricks”?)—but to feeding little-populated tags with additional material. And so I scouted and added perhaps 100 articles from the years 2020–2023 to complement the already substantial selection of entries from that time.

  6. Consolidating social images… For meiert.com I had at some point created several social images—Open Graph images—which I rotated through. I started to doubt this solution, and consolidated the images. At the moment, meiert.com has one graphic for the two (German and English) homepages, and another for all other pages. I’m not sure this has been the last word in terms of maintenance and optimization.

  7. Adding accent-colors. I try not to jump on anything that’s new, because it’s stress and can be wasteful. accent-color is an example of this, a now not-so-new-anymore property to refine form elements. I’ve added and am test-driving it on this site as well as on Frontend Dogma.

  8. Making use of text-wrap: balance. Having monitored this for a while, the time felt right to give the text-wrap shorthand a try, starting with its balance value. (Shorthands are fine, they have a place just like !important.) The test was… good, but the result too drastic for my taste, and I quickly went for pretty instead, which I like and am now monitoring.

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!