My portfolio site which went live in its current guise start of January 2012, is still always a work in progress and due to the iterative nature of the web is always being tweaked and improved. Time doesn’t stand still for your website, even though a site may appear the same, a lot goes on underneath the surface.
This year I made a concerted effort to improve my sites speed and efficiency.
- Went flat. I removed the texture from the site background, saving 1 background image. Removed the gradient from my share button, saving css. Later I rewrote my footer to use a linear gradient instead of a background texture, saving a further image. 2 additional http calls and 4.3Kb saved.
- Dropped many prefixes when I could, making judicious use of can-i-use? and my analytics stats.
- CSS Reduction 10.9Kb vs 11.3Kb at the start of the year, a small reduction but fair considering the additional lifting I am placing on it: rewritten left nav with CSS transitions, new footer gradient, plus enhanced contact and about pages. I worked hard to remove any excess.
- Spring Cleaned. A Pingdom page load test revealed I was still preloading an old [.jpg] version of my left nav sprite unnecessarily, rather than the newer .png. Important to take a look at if you have used methods to preload assets.
- Kept updated. WordPress has gone from v3.5.1 to 3.8 in the space of this year, the new automatic update feature will be a welcome relief.
- Started caching using W3 Total Cache which slashed 2 seconds from my page load time.
touch-action:noneto my left nav category dropdowns to remove the 300ms click for Windows touch devices.
- Overhauled my contact page, to refresh away from the stale business card layout of old.
- Rewrote Welcome Bio on homepage, reducing the bounce rate by 12%.
- Google Drive Button for my cv to allow easier saving of my details.
- Windows 8 Tile support added for site pinning.
Now with all the fat trimmed and a design that doesn’t keep me awake at night – in typical designer fashion – a new portfolio site is already past the concept stage and shall be appearing in the new year.
Anything else this year?
During the holidays I just released ‘Pi Prompts’ a crib sheet of basic Pi commands.