I’ve spent all day (well ok, from 12pm until 3pm – i only got up at 11.30am) working on this blog. My portfolio page has been updated. My current projects page has been added to. Likewise my new logo page has seen some new additions. It’s not just a case of adding in some text and hitting ‘publish’ either…
I’ve created a standard ‘template’ for all images on my current projects page. It requires use of photoshop and a lot of cropping / resizing / messing about. But the end result looks fantastic and it’s now all starting to look the part. The sheer volume of projects and work i’m doing online is finally coming across.
I also spent a lot of time today mulling over stats and behind-the-scenes plugins and code on this blog in a bid to speed up the site. I’ve always been plagued with speed issues on this blog and having seen first hand how fractions of seconds can make huge differences in browsing habits (having installed firefox 3.5), i wanted to do my best to cut down page loading time on this blog.
I installed several new plugins to try and test and track speed and help me narrow down the problem areas. After a lot of trial and error, i found a plugin called ‘debug queries‘ which tells you how long stuff takes to load on your homepage.
By using that data & messing about with plugins (disabling and enabling them), i was able to reduce load time significantly. I also optimized & repaired database files and generally gave the blog a good service.
You should see visible results for yourself (if you’re a regular visitor). To test speed, try clicking on a few pages and see what you think I’m delighted with the blog’s speed now… as i said to someone earlier in the week, the reason the blog is hosted in the US is really for three reasons;
- I’m too lazy to move the site to new server and change hosts.
- Majority of my traffic comes from the US so the blog should perform better over there than here (speed wise).
Of course they’re all excuses, bluffer’s points and it’s tip-toeing around the problem One day i’ll move smemon.com to an irish server but for now, i’m happy with lunarpages (my current host) and i’m now reasonably happy with the blog’s speed.
Tomorrow, i’ll be launching another new site… this time it’s a .ie and it’s a joint venture with a classmate from college (sean lucas of leateds.com).
We’ve kept it under wraps until now, but the site looks great and we believe we can make it work. Because it’s a .ie and in a relatively competitive niche, it’s not going to hold massive potential, but we can definitely attack some of the bigger fish in the irish pond and with us both being IT students, it should be an exciting project to work on and this time next year, we should be in a position to custom build our own features and add more functionality to the site.
I also designed the logo for this one and came up with a twitter background for it too. I’m actually struggling to find the time to update my portfolio page these days Right now i’ve about 6 logos to add to the ‘logo page’ and a further 2 or 3 sites to add to my ‘current projects’.
Hopefully i’ll get on that tomorrow. Anyway, tune in tomorrow to see what this new site is all about….
Up until now, i’ve just been using Firefox 3.0 (the official latest version of Firefox)… but i decided to install the BETA version of Firefox 3.5 and i’ve been mighty impressed so far.
They boast it’s twice as quick as Firefox 3.0 and i have to agree. I think i mentioned before i was using Google Chrome these days quite regularly on my netbook in particular, mainly due to it’s quick start up time and ability to load pages slightly faster than Firefox.
But Firefox will probably win me back now… there isn’t much between the two in terms of speed now (just from my observation – i have no stats or anything to show). Because Firefox has an endless amount of plugins and extensions available for it, it will always remain the king of internet browsers.
I think Chrome will eventually start to take over the reigns from Firefox, but that’s way down the line. Right now, Firefox is still no.1 and Firefox 3.5 confirms and strengthens it’s position. It’s amazing how a little boost in speed here and there can make a huge difference to your daily browsing. Gmail was always pretty slow opening up for me in Firefox 3.0 but now it’s as quick to open as it is in Google Chrome.
Up until last week, i was just using notepad or textpad or even firefox to find and replace keywords. CTRL + F does the job in most applications. I always love saving time and energy so i was delighted when i came across a way to search through entire FOLDERS to find and replace keywords.
You can do it in Dreamweaver. You can’t do it in textpad or notepad (you can only search within files). Needless to say, Dreamweaver has now become my no.1 editing tool
Simple CTRL + F, which will pull up the find and replace box… the click on the ‘find in’ dropdown menu and change it to ‘folder’…. navigate to your folder and there you have it… find and replace keywords in an entire folder of files or subfolders….
Hugely valuable to web developers. I’m not sure if this is well known or whether i’m just slow to pick up on it, but it’s almost worth getting Dreamweaver for this feature alone Apart from dreamweaver i use notepad, notepad++, textpad & wordpad for basic text editing. I never use word unless i’m writing an ebook or tutorial for someone or something. What do you guys use and why?!
For the past couple of weeks i’ve been creating. Twitter background, logos, designs for applications, registering domain names, building sites, customizing themes… all of that is ‘creating’ or ‘building’.
Today is the first time i’ve slowed myself down and focused on strengthening what i already have. theleavingcert.com had over 1100 unique visits yesterday, topping the 1,000 mark for the first time in it’s 3 year history.
Over the past few days i’ve been agreeing to take a partner on board and will dilute my own share in it. The timing might seem strange to some (when the site is setting new records for itself) but the move is an attacking one and it should see the site progress further over the coming years.
We’ll have new ideas, more content, more overall drive and ambition. It’s the best thing for the site. From september 2009 – june 2010, it will be the first year i’ve really pushed and tried to establish theleavingcert.com as the no.1 leaving cert destination.
Yesterday, i launched iwantideas.com. There were a few bugs and issues with it. None noticeable, but they’ve all been taken care of. I’ve also SEO’d all the links and added more categories and subcategories for ideas.
Finally, i’ve started adding friends to the iwantideas twitter account. Like any twitter account i use, i won’t just add random people. I spend a huge amount of time reading people’s tweets and asking myself if they’d be interested in the site before i add them. In fact i’ve spent most of today doing that
Anyway, all of this strengthening is necessary. At some stage, there comes a time when you have to stop creating and focus on improving things you’ve already created. Today is one of those days for me, but don’t expect it to last long – i’ve got tonnes of creating to do next week and beyond!