Earth Notes: On Website Technicals
Read my nitty-gritty tech updates and daily learnings while keeping the Earth Notes site up and running (index); site stats also.
These notes will be updated intermittently, usually when I should be doing something else!
These notes are all about the interesting (and mundane) behind-the-scenes tech bits to grow and optimise this site, including purely technical measures such as speed, but also user experience beyond just adding new articles and updating existing ones.
Please try the useful tools, reasonably recently used and re-used by me, and encountered while writing these entries, listed under
Sources and Links.
Also please take a look at the simple automatically-updated
site stats below.
I welcome feedback on any of the issues that I have discussed. I share this stuff because it's interesting and because writing it here may save someone else some unnecessary head-scratching! No longer do we need to really
know anything technical, nor own a shelf full of reference books (so '90s!), we just need to be able to compose queries for our favourite search engines!
The newest pages are at the top of this list, and the newest items are at the top of each linked page. Enjoy!
Notes On Site Technicals: Greatest Hits # 5: On Website Technicals (2017/10) Tech updates: rounded corners, mobile usability, HTTP/2 vs mobile, bad bot, uncss tweaks, latency, unit tests... # 4: On Website Technicals (2017/09) Tech updates: ImageMagick 20 years and Brew, autogen banners, old eyes, optimised ads, mobile traffic, brotli, doctype, JPEG fun, purifycss, UnCSS, OnDemand. # 3: On Website Technicals (2017/08) Tech updates: Atom sitemaps (un)pending, Googlebot bandwidth, HTML improvements, big beast hunting with regex, heroes, Cache-Control, restart drill, minifying. # 2: On Website Technicals (2017/07) Tech updates: ad injection, meta, static precompression, zopfli, HTTP/head response overhead reduction, Bing Webmaster Tools, FeedValidator, Share42, utf-8. # 1: On Website Technicals (2017/06) Tech updates: CDN revoked, structured data, 10 years old, XML sitemap at long last and lastmod, HTML5 conformance, PageSpeed. Stats
Stats updated: 2017-10-23T06:42Z
Stat Value Fraction bot hits 0.456 Fraction GET 200s 0.651 Fraction GET 206s 0.006 Fraction GET 301s 0.022 Fraction GET 304s 0.010 Fraction GET 403s 0.277 Fraction GET 404s 0.021 Fraction GETs 0.985 Fraction human main-page GET 200s 0.048 Fraction human m/(m+www) main-page GET 200s 0.096 Fraction m/(m+www) site hits 0.072 Mean human m main-page transfer bytes 13196 Mean human www main-page transfer bytes 16268 Mean m transfer bytes 8079 Mean www transfer bytes 12496 Sources and Links Accessibility According To Actual People With Disabilities: this site's two main sins would seem to be walls of text and black-on-white; let's not talk about my long-sentence habit. Share42.com social sharing buttons: lightweight and non-tracking. Google's Webmaster Central Help Forum. Feed (eg Atom) validation and W3C's tool. Google's Structured Data Testing Tool. Optimizing the Critical Rendering Path. WebPagetest for site performance testing. Test My Site With Google for mobile performance. Nibbler: a free tool for testing websites and insites. Screaming Frog SEO Spider: "The SEO Spider is a desktop program you can install locally on PC, Mac or Linux which crawls websites’ links, images, CSS, script and apps to evaluate onsite SEO." SEO Web Page Analyzer with interesting point about value of link anchor text (eg when read out by screen reader) to be able to decide to follow the link or not. Alleged 8 major Google ranking signals in 2017 and Google's 9 major ranking signals and Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List: things to get right to have visitors actually come and read the content! Check My Links Chrome extension to validate links from the current page. CSS minification at cssminifier.com. HTML minification at htmlcompressor.com: gives me courage to know what I can safely tune myself! Also see the Google-recommended Kangax HTMLMinifier; this tool in its command-line version is now used in generation of this site. UnCCS and purifycss static analysis tools to allow trimming of unused CCS, per-page. Image compression online with TinyPNG or off-line with zopflipng or OptiPNG. ImageMagick portable command-line image processing suite. Progressive JPEGs and green Martians: smart use of progressive JPEG scan scripts. PageSpeed Insights from Google, which will provide compressed/minified versions of assets, as well as reporting what should be fixed/optimised. W3C Validator and HTML outliner. CSS validator, including embedded in an HTML page. TagCrowd, Wordclouds: create custom word clouds from, eg, your Web own page. Normalise characters in response to a W3C validation warning "Text run is not in Unicode Normalization Form C" with FileFormat.info. Pixabay for some handy images: thanks!