Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Speeding Up The Blog #JusJoJan

So a couple of weeks ago I ran a post where I shared my top twelve posts of 2016 and asked for any suggestions. Stephen, my blogging friend who sorta-kinda runs the Battle of the Bands and who has a new blog that you should be reading, complained (that’s a little strong, don’t you think?) that the page was taking forever to load, because I imbed a lot of YouTube videos that have to be loaded as the page is being built in your browser.

He was right; it does take a long time to load the home page with all the videos there, and I’ve tried several possible solutions to the problem. One was building YouTube playlists and embedding those, which seemed to work except I was getting complaints that people were having a hard time playing the playlists. So I did what Stephen suggested and reduced the number of posts on the initial screen, and that seems to have been the best solution so far. It still requires making calls to the YouTube site and loading the videos as the page is built, but since I’m doing less of that, it moves faster.

There are a couple of other changes I could make that might have a positive impact on the load time.

  • I could give a quick summary of the post on the home screen and give the viewer the option of clicking on a “more” tag to see the remainder of the post. This wouldn’t affect people who go directly to the post from a feed reader (e.g. Feedly), from a Linky or by clicking on a pingback, though it might affect those who receive the blog by email. I’d have to experiment with that.
  • I took a class in HTML5 some time ago which gave me the impression I could delay the loading of a video until the reader requested it. Whether that’s available when the video is coming from YouTube is a question I need to answer. This presents another problem: IFTTT, which I use to simulcast the blog to The Sound Of One Hand Typing FM, doesn’t do well with HTML5 commands, and I end up with a blank post on the Blogger side. As it is, I’m doing a lot more work behind the scenes when I embed pictures with captions.

So this leaves me with a bunch of questions I have to answer, and a couple of questions I’d like your input on.

  • Have you noticed my home page is loading faster now with fewer entries on it?
  • Are you reading this on the FM (Blogger) side? If it were to go away, would you visit me on the WordPress site?

One thing that won’t change, at least not for the foreseeable future: I’ll continue to post at least once a day. If you look on the sidebar, you have links to my last fifteen posts, if you can’t find what you’re looking for. Cathy Kennedy suggested that a while ago, and I think it works pretty well.

Toay’s prompt for Just Jot It January, “complaint,” comes to us from Willow, who has a blog you should be reading. And many thanks to Shan Jeniah, who also has a blog you should be reading, for stepping in for Linda the last couple of days.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

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