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TAMU Webmaster's Blog

Information and insight from the A&M Webmasters

Website Optimization

August 8th, 2017 by Erick Beck

After being online for two years, we had noticed the university website starting to take longer to load.  We have therefore started a project to identify any bottlenecks and start re-optimizing the site for speed. As we identify issues we are also making adjustments to our other sites to maximize our users’ experience.

We won’t claim to have done anything extraordinary.  There are hundreds of websites that detail the steps you need to take, many online services that will analyze your site and offer suggestions, and even Google Chrome has much of this built in.

A few things we noticed:

  • Server settings are easy to verify and reset if necessary.  Things like compression and enabling browser caching are straightforward.
  • Optimizing images sizes should be an easy thing, but was our biggest point of failure.  Over time and as responsibilities shifted, saving images for the web somehow got dropped from the workflow.  Coupling this with having to produce larger images to look good on high-resolution screens only made the problem worse.
  • Today’s use of CSS and Javascript frameworks leads to a lot of bloat.  Many classes and functions are included but never used.  Even concatenating into a single file and minimizing can be problematic when every page needs a different combination of scripts included in the package.

Our process isn’t complete, and we will probably never be able to make all of the “recommended” improvements, but we have seen a definite improvement.



Tuesday, August 8th, 2017
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