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Schnell, schnell! Speed boosts for PainScience.com

Paul Ingraham ARCHIVEDMicroblog posts are archived and rarely updated. In contrast, most long-form articles on PainScience.com are updated regularly over the years (see updates page).

Website programming is never done: like painting a big bridge, as soon as you finish you go back to the other end and start over. I am perpetually catching up to new technologies. And so I’ve just been through another phase of boosting page speed, and PainScience.com is now getting an A+ for most pages, which is not easy to do. Some highlights…

Images and embedded YouTube videos now load lazily so readers don’t have to download every picture on every page they visit — just the ones they scroll down to. It’s a big thrill (I am easily amused) to feel free to use bigger, snazzier pictures, knowing that they will be downloaded only by the people who actually read that far — and not by the 90% who just scan the first screenful and then bounce away.

Related: YouTube videos have also been stopped from using trackers. And I’m gearing up to replace Google Analytics with Fathom (“Fast, simple and privacy-focused website analytics”) for the same reason.

The scripting that powers “popups” was simplified down to almost nothing,popupA “script” (Javascript) is a program that is delivered with the webpage that runs in your web browser and, ideally, adds features to the page (as efficiently as possible). This popup would not work without some code, but much less now than before — barely there. and several other lesser scripts were given a trim or just sent to the Great Script Graveyard.

Some huuuuge lists of updates have been exported to archives for that purpose rather than bloating the pages they’re on. For whatever it’s worth, there’s now also a dedicated page for the massive list of nearly 2000 updates I’ve logged since about 2016. That’s a lotta updates.

PainScience.com average page speed 2018-2020

The “bad” old days weren’t really bad compared to many bloated modern websites. PainScience.com was pretty fast even when it was slow.

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This is the MICROBLOG: small posts about interesting stuff that comes up while I’m updating & upgrading dozens of featured articles on PainScience.com. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. Sorry, no email subscription option at this time, but it’s in the works.