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A Way to Preload Images without JavaScript that is SO Much Better

Responding to my first attempt at preloading images without JavaScript, CSS-Guru David Bowman graces his audience with a most enlightening triage of comments. Apparently, the image-preloading technique explained in the article is “major overkill” and “totally ridiculous.” Of course, I will be the first to admit that I am no expert in CSS, but I do enjoy sharing my discoveries and watching as people improve upon them. My first attempt at preloading images without JavaScript may indeed be “pretty crappy,” but it certainly works. Fortunately, several weeks prior to Mr. Bowman’s dazzling performance, insightful reader Duarte helps the community by […] Read more »

How to Cache Mint JavaScript

NOTE: This post was written many months ago under the erroneous assumption that caching Mint’s JavaScript was a good idea (for Y-Slow compliance, performance, et al); however, after a brief chat with the man himself, Shaun Inman, I was quickly informed that this was a bad idea: caching Mint JavaScript files will cause Mint to stop functioning. But, for what it’s worth, and for the sake of retaining potentially useful information, I present the original article here for your amusement.. Recently, I spent some time addressing a few of the performance issues pointed out by Yahoo!’s very useful YSlow extension […] Read more »

Taking Advantage of the X-Robots Tag

Controlling the spidering, indexing and caching of your (X)HTML-based web pages is possible with meta robots directives such as these: <meta name=”googlebot” content=”index,archive,follow,noodp”/> <meta name=”robots” content=”all,index,follow”/> <meta name=”msnbot” content=”all,index,follow”/> I use these directives here at Perishable Press and they continue to serve me well for controlling how the “big bots” 1 crawl and represent my (X)HTML-based content in search results. For other, non-(X)HTML types of content, however, using meta robots directives to control indexing and caching is not an option. An excellent example of this involves directing Google to index and cache PDF documents. The last time I checked, meta tags […] Read more »

Consolidate and Localize Your WordPress Feeds

Recently, I found occasion to consolidate and localize my WordPress feeds. A couple of years ago, shortly after I first began using Feedburner to deliver and monitor my site’s feeds, I began listing my Feedburner-assigned feed URL in addition to my localized WordPress feed URL. As time went on, inconsistent feed linkage here at Perishable Press had greatly convoluted the feed-subscription process. Confounding factors include: Read more »

Perishable Press HTAccess Spring Cleaning, Part 1

While developing the 3G Blacklist, I completely renovated the Perishable Press site-root and blog-root HTAccess files. Since the makeover, I have enjoyed better performance, fewer errors, and cleaner code. In this article, I share some of the changes made to the root HTAccess file and provide a brief explanation as to their intended purpose and potential benefit. In sharing this information, I hope to inspire others to improve their own HTAccess and/or configuration files. In the next article, I will cover some of the changes made to the blog-root HTAccess file. As always, suggestions and questions are always welcome — […] Read more »

Pure CSS: Better Image Preloading without JavaScript

After reading my previous article on preloading images without JavaScript 1, Nanda pointed out that adding extra markup to preload images is not the best approach, especially where Web Standards are concerned. Mobile devices, for example, may experience problems when dealing with the following preloading technique: /* ADD THIS TO CSS */ div#preloaded-images { position: absolute; overflow: hidden; left: -9999px; top: -9999px; height: 1px; width: 1px; } <!– ADD THIS TO XHTML –> <div id=”preloaded-images”> <img src=”http://perishablepress.com/image-01.png” width=”1″ height=”1″ alt=”Image 01″ /> <img src=”http://perishablepress.com/image-02.png” width=”1″ height=”1″ alt=”Image 02″ /> <img src=”http://perishablepress.com/image-03.png” width=”1″ height=”1″ alt=”Image 03″ /> </div> Thus, as Nanda suggests, […] Read more »

XHMTL/CSS Remix: Creative Commons License

Not too long ago, I played with the idea of releasing article content under a Creative Commons (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0) License. At the time, I wanted to host my own copies of the two associated CC license pages. During the process of uploading the pages to my own server, several minor adjustments (regarding image paths, etc.) needed to be made to the source code. After tweaking a few things in the XHTML code, I began snooping around in the pages’ CSS files. Eventually, I found myself rewriting the entire CSS and XHTML files for both documents. Although this sort of activity […] Read more »

Improve Site Performance by Increasing PHP Memory for WordPress

During the recent ASO server debacle, I raced frantically to restore functionality to Perishable Press. Along the way, one of the many tricks that I tried while trying to fix the dreaded “white screen of death” syndrome involved increasing the amount of PHP memory available to WordPress. This fix worked for me, but may not prove effective on every installation of WordPress. If you are unsure as to whether or not you need to increase your PHP memory, consult with your host concerning current available memory 1 and overall compatibility with a localized increase. Note that if your blog is running […] Read more »

Permalink Evolution: Customize and Optimize Your Dated WordPress Permalinks

How to streamline and maximize the effectiveness of your WordPress URLs by using htaccess to remove extraneous post-date information: years, months, and days.. Recently, there has been much discussion about whether or not to remove the post-date information from WordPress permalinks 1. Way back during the WordPress 1.2/1.5 days, URL post-date inclusion had become very popular, in part due to reports of potential conflicts with post-name-only permalinks. Throw in the inevitable “monkey-see, monkey-do” mentality typical of many bloggers, and suddenly an entire wave of WordPressers had adopted the following permalink structure: /%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/ The benefits of using this format are primarily organizational […] Read more »

Optimizing Google Analytics Performance

It has occurred to me lately that I no longer use Google Analytics for Perishable Press. Instead, I find myself keeping an eye on things using Mint almost exclusively. So, the question now is: do I continue serving the GA JavaScript to keep the profile active just in case I ever need the additional stats? I mean, Mint already does a great job at recording all of information I could ever need, so I no longer see the use for Google Analytics. I do wonder, however, if Google ranks GA-enabled sites a bit higher than non-GA sites. Hmmm.. it seems […] Read more »

Laser-Focused Feeds and Smarter Feed Management

My current adventure into the fascinating realms of site redesign and optimization has yielded several chunks of fruit related to managing and delivering feed content. One of my primary concerns regarding the overhaul of Perishable Press is streamlined content delivery and rights management. An important area of convergence for these two factors involves the management and delivery of a site’s syndicated content. In this article, I explain the shortcomings of many default feed configurations and present an effective overall strategy for better feed management. When it comes to managing syndicated content, most blogging platforms enable bloggers to provide a multitude […] Read more »

First 30 Days without Bad Behavior

Approximately 30 days ago, I completely uninstalled the Bad Behavior plugin from Perishable Press. As you may recall, many Bad Behavior users were unexpectedly locked out of their own sites and forced to either uninstall or upgrade in order to fix the problem. Of course, in my perpetual battle to optimize and streamline everything, I decided to drop Bad Behavior from the otherwise obligatory WordPress anti-spam trinity. 30 days later.. I am happy to report that Perishable Press has not seen a noticeable increase in comment spam since the removal of the Bad Behavior plugin. Of course, during the past […] Read more »

How to Enable the Default WordPress Object Cache

Recently, while attempting to optimize site performance, I found myself experimenting with various caching mechanisms currently available for WordPress. Specifically, I explored each of the following caching options: WP-Cache 2 [WordPress plugin] (404 link removed 2012/08/10) WP Super Cache [WordPress plugin] WordPress Object Cache [built-in caching mechanism] While working with the two plugins, WP Cache 2 and Super Cache, I was pleased to discover crystal-clear instructions on each their respective sites. Having access to installation and usage information greatly facilitated the implementation of each of these caching techniques. On the other hand, finding information about the default WordPress object cache […] Read more »

Optimize WordPress: Pure Code Alternatives for 7 Unnecessary Plugins

In this article, my goal is to help you optimize WordPress by replacing a few common plugins with their correspondingly effective code equivalents. As we all know, WordPress can be a very resource-hungry piece of software, especially when running a million extraneous plugins. Often, many common plugins are designed to perform relatively simple tasks, such as redirect a feed, display a random image, or return a database value. For those of us comfortable with editing PHP and htaccess code, there is no need to bloat WordPress with additional plugins for the sake of a few routine tasks. For each of […] Read more »

Focus on the Details: Optimizing Images for Humans and Machines

In this article, I discuss how to get the most out of your site’s images by optimizing them for both people and search engines.. For many sites, images play an important role in the communication process. If used correctly, images have the power to make your articles come alive with clarity and vibrancy. Some visitors may merely notice the image and continue reading, while others will want to know more about your images and dig deeper. While checking out your images, inquisitive guests will explore any clues available to them: alt tags, title tags, and captions, for example. Likewise, when […] Read more »

Prevent JavaScript Elements from Breaking Page Layout when Following Yahoo Performance Tip #6: Place Scripts at the Bottom

By now, everyone is familiar with the Yahoo Developer Network’s 14 “best-practices” for speeding up your website. Certainly, many (if not all) of these performance optimization tips are ideal for high-traffic sites such as Yahoo or Google, but not all of them are recommended for smaller sites such as Perishable Press. Nonetheless, throughout the current site renovation project, I have attempted to implement as many of these practices as possible. At the time of this writing, I somehow have managed to score an average 77% (whoopee!) via the YSlow extension for Firebug. Of the handful of these tips that I […] Read more »

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