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Whoops, My Bad

Submitted by on August 14, 2012 – 7:03 pm5 Comments

The short version - I made some changes to the site last night and in the span of about 10 seconds we went from being slower than 85% of the tested websites to being faster than 71% of the tested websites.  Biking in Dallas should load much faster for you now.  Continue reading if you’re really bored and need something to do.

Compare the “Page Size” and “Load Time” details below -

Before:

before...Yikes


After:

For those of you who have wondered why the site performance has become increasingly dismal, I have an explanation.   If you’ve read this site much you know I’m as nutty about photography as I am cycling.  I had been looking for a sidebar widget that would rotate photos from the various galleries I’ve created on the site.  I settled on the JJ NextGEN JQuery Cycle widget and was pretty happy with it, mainly because it worked and looked nice.

Originally I would show the gallery photos from a specific ride, like the Tweed Ride or the more recent Black Tie Ride.  But changing the gallery every day started to become I hassle so I configured it to use ALL of the photos in the combined galleries.  So when you’d visit the site, even though you did not see them all at once, it would load about 300 photos (66MB worth).  Over time it got ugly, as far as page loading speed goes.  But I didn’t really notice because my cell carrier is a pig and my home internet is not that much better.  So I never realized how long it was taking to load the site until I started running some tests last night.

After disabling the gallery widget the front page load went from 66MB to less than 1MB, loading time dropped from >9 seconds to <2 seconds.  Mission accomplished.

I’d like to have some sort of rotating photos on the front of the site again, but for now I’ll enjoy the better performance.

- Chris

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Chris started riding a bike again when he noticed the Preston Ridge Trail being constructed across the street from his house. Since then he co-founded Biking in Dallas, has gone through countless Craigslist bike projects (some better than others) and can be found pedaling around town on a Electra Ticino with a camera in tow.

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