A year in review: paulfosterdesign.co.uk

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.
  • Removed jQuery from all but the home and LEDfin specific gallery where I use Nivo Slider for my carousels. My left nav accordion was re-written using ~1Kb of vanilla javascript and CSS3 transistions – instantly losing ~90kb of jQuery, for all but 2 pages of my site where it is needed.
  • 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.
  • Amended touch-action:none to 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?

I was busy too here on Tumblr where you can read my posts and I continued with updates for Print Theme, my Tumblr theme in the Tumblr theme garden.

I also joined CodePen, a site to post code demos, where I had moderate success with ‘Much Content’ and my CSS 1K entry which ‘became a thing’.

During the holidays I just released ‘Pi Prompts’ a crib sheet of basic Pi commands.