Etc.

If loading up pages here at TR this morning feels almost violently snappy, it’s not just you. I mentioned a while back that we were working on improvements to the way our pages load on client browsers, and we rolled out a nice suite of changes last night. Kudos again go to Bruno, our resident developer, for making things happen.

What’s happened, specifically, is that a large portion of the Javascript on the site has been changed, including the bits that loads up ads, so that it executes after the rest of the page has been rendered. Also, we’ve enabled further compression of the data we send out, so most of those scripts should transfer more quickly. Bruno would probably tell you he made a lot of other tweaks, too, but those are the basics.

There’s now very little that should prevent your browser from rendering a page from TR almost immediately upon receiving it. Images and scripts that require some client-side processing will load up and fill in their spaces after the fact. If you click through one of our reviews, I think you’ll notice the improvement.

Oh, and the forums quietly got these same improvements a while back.

These changes, along with the new URLs, are part of a concerted effort to improve our Google rankings, something we really should have done sooner. We just didn’t realize how much SEO is a thing and not just, you know, cheating. We’ve made a few other tweaks to our page code along those lines. Nothing should look any different to you, but search engines should be able to parse our articles more easily. The results they present from TR should look better, too.

There’s still more of this stuff for us to do, believe it or not. We have a long list of needed improvements. Most of it will be behind-the-scenes, non-user-impacting work, but there are still some opportunities to drive down page load times even further. We’ll have to see about that. For now, click around the site and check out our new speed. If you notice any problems that the changes have created, do let us know, so we can address them ASAP. Thanks.

Comments closed
    • indeego
    • 7 years ago

    Just a late FYI. Site took about 6 seconds to load right about now, longest I’ve seen in a while…

    • JosiahBradley
    • 7 years ago

    Not to be overly critical, but sending the pages as valid XML, as the doctype states, would improve render times on every device. Also a touch of polish on those nasty pixel based styles would help those of us with less than hawk like vision. And not all the images are being cached (referring only to the ones from this domain).

    Other than that it always is great to see sites improving. Good work everyone.

    • moog
    • 7 years ago

    Great work!

    • Scrotos
    • 7 years ago

    Does the higher page ranking show an increase of spambots? Y’all keep track of that at all? Seems like the forums get hit more often than before.

      • UberGerbil
      • 7 years ago

      Actually, this didn’t seem any worse than a typical summer / back-to-school timeframe.

    • deathBOB
    • 7 years ago

    The text of all articles and comments is double spaced on my iPhone 4S running iOS 6. It’s kind of annoying, and I imagine its unintentional because it’s single spaced in my computers.

      • Damage
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah, but that’s not a change we made; it’s a change Apple made on iPhones in iOS 6. Just one more dimension of the fail they’ve injected into this rev of the OS.

        • Scrotos
        • 7 years ago

        I’ve never had good luck in IE8 on XP SP3 in the forums. Specifically, when typing a reply past a certain length, the text box stops scrolling down and starts, with every keystroke, trying to move the view to the upper-left of text. Just speaking of browser issues… been like that for a while but I’ve been too apathetic to mention it. I think it happens on my Win7 IE8 box as well.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah, me too. Compatibility View fixes it. Same with IE9.

        • deathBOB
        • 7 years ago

        I don’t care what caused it. TR is the only site I visit that is affected, and I thought you should be aware the issue. I don’t know why that deserved a snotty response.

          • ludi
          • 7 years ago

          Are you the physical embodiment of iOS6? Because that’s what Damage was insulting. If you are not iOS6, then don’t take it personally. You mentioned the problem, Damage indicated it was caused by client-side breakage, and as you may have noticed, the entire World+Dog is pretty annoyed with iOS6 at the moment.

          • Damage
          • 7 years ago

          No offense intended. I was just frustrated with Apple.

          Anyhow, Cyril’s fixed it. Should be all better now!

            • deathBOB
            • 7 years ago

            Thanks! I guess I’m just tired of the Apple/EveryoneElse religious war popping up wherever/whenever.

            • indeego
            • 7 years ago

            I think you should therefore ask Apple to stop acting like a religion and proclaiming magical things happen with their products.

            • deathBOB
            • 7 years ago

            Hahaha are you serious? Do you really think that?

    • desertfox
    • 7 years ago

    Awesome work guys, the improvement is definitely noticeable.

    The improvements regarding ads also reminded me to disable AdBlock for your site–you definitely deserve financial support for your hard work!

    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    Quick ‘n snappy. Cheers for a job well done!

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 7 years ago

    Need for speed, huh? Seriously, awesomely fast and well planned. Tested it on a hand-held and loved that fact that the posts come up a lot sooner than the ads! Awesome job!

    • grob49
    • 7 years ago

    Good job! It’s always good when the best gets even better!

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    You can still make it load FASTER? It’s loading pages in the blink of an eye, literally, for me. And that’s on my crummy T1 office internet connection.

    • Jon
    • 7 years ago

    Is TR still running on this: [url<]https://techreport.com/review/4625/building-tr-new-web-server/1[/url<]

      • Forge
      • 7 years ago

      Nope. There was no article proper about the most recent web server rebuilds, but there’s something ridonkulous like 48GB of RAM per machine now or something. I could get you the details with some Google work.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        I think it was in the comments to Scott’s post about being able to test the most recent big changes on a test server. But yeah I remember he said he could basically cache the whole site in RAM.

      • Damage
      • 7 years ago

      Here’s my post about the new boxes. They’re fairly recent additions:

      [url<]https://techreport.com/news/23507/everything-is-different-now-a-little?post=665676[/url<]

    • Ryhadar
    • 7 years ago

    The pages always loaded really quickly for me using vanilla firefox 14… 15? 16? I don’t remember. Anyway, I probably won’t notice but excellent work nonetheless.

    As a fellow web developer I know how much of a pain in the tukhus these changes for the better can be.

    • My Johnson
    • 7 years ago

    Your site is crazy fast now. And to think I considered it the gold standard before!

    • ratte
    • 7 years ago

    Yes definitely faster, good job!

    • Left_SHifted
    • 7 years ago

    compared you guys to a shared hosting site, way slower loading than yours, but it beat you guys in google pagespeed (78 to your 62-65)….

    only difference you guys should work on is getting a CDN like cloudflare, sign up is free, you should test it out, it will solve most of your inline images, css, and html serving needs, just my 2 cents without causing you guys too many programming headaches

    • IntelMole
    • 7 years ago

    Just for my own amusement, I viewed the source of this page to see if the changes were particularly obvious in the HTML to my not-a-web-guy eyes. It wasn’t.

    I did find amusing comments in some of the javascript though. Programmers are funny.

    [quote<] // No, Mr. Hacker, setting this to "true" will not magically grant you moderator powers var moderator= false; ... // ... neither will setting this to a moderator's UID, for that matter var user_id= 1;[/quote<]

      • Forge
      • 7 years ago

      I’m glad this subtle improvement has impressed everyone. I’ve paid for it for you with many, many missed games of Civilization V, because morphine is too tired to stay up. 😛

    • Duck
    • 7 years ago

    Seems good, but the blue theme is so much easier on the eyes, I think I would have made it the default 😉

    I know that’s not really relevant to Javascript performance, but there you go.

      • theadder
      • 7 years ago

      Yes. Definitely blue by default.

        • pedro
        • 7 years ago

        It’s the only way to fly.

        Site is indeed quicker peeps. Top work. Google also released a new stable Chrome today so I’m positively zipping around here.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    Thanks for making your tubes clean and fast!

    • Jigar
    • 7 years ago

    Thanks for making my favorite tech site amazing.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This