From My Desk

State of Change

2 Jun, 2018 @ 17:55

One that this site has proven so far is that things are in a constant state of change.  What do I mean by this?  It seems on a daily basis I’ve learned some new thing, or better way to build a page, or even just added some content!  I have no idea how many people actually come on here on a daily basis but I’m sure it’s a surprise each time.


Today’s project though has been a general cleanup of the gallery home page.  Its still not done but functionally it’s much better.  Before when you hit the home page of the gallery you had a few buttons to select a category, then the entire page refreshed and loaded in the appropriate ones, and then to change categories required another refresh of the page.  Now though there is a single load and clicking the buttons merely uses jquery to fade in and out non-appropriate results.

The drawback to this approach though however is page load time.  On the first load right now there are 130 requests being made, with 2.0MB transferred.  DOMContentLoaded takes 4.16s and the full load takes 4.8s.  While that seems reasonable to consider that most users navigate away after 3 seconds, so I’ve already lost them, and that’s on a pretty decent internet connection.  After the first load, though things start to look a little better thanks to caching, with 130 requests also being made still, 133KB transferred, and DOMContentLoaded taking 3.13 seconds with a total load time of 3.93s.  Not much faster but hey we didn’t transfer nearly as much data so that’s a plus for those not so fortunate.

Granted now though we have to stop and consider that this is a picture gallery first and foremost, is it reasonable to expect it to take a bit to load? I think so, can things be done to improve this?  Again I think so.  How though?  Part of me thinks that maybe we should lazy load some images using jquery, or skeletonize the images and load when they come into view?  Or maybe just leave it alone and see how it does when content numbers really start rising.


Next, on my list today was the archives page. still not done of course if you visit the  Archives page but it’s coming along.  As silly as it sounds I’ve always struggled with archive pages even with my previous employer, usually had to be coached through the process, and I think I’m finally getting there with it.


Whats next after that though?  Maybe some mobile optimizations, everything functions decently on mobile, but just so.  Many things need to be tweaked to display better, but that also circles back to needing a cohesive design plan.

One of the great things I’m enjoying about this project is that for one I’m building the theme from the ground up versus building out templates here and there as needed.  I’m also using newer tech and sort of leaving a legacy behind.  Of course for work, that’s not an option but I want to learn the new tech not how to make it work for old.  I’d love to convert from flexbox to grid, and still may at some point as I hear in my use case for layout it would work wonderfully.

Till next time though, keep those fingers busy!

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