This is a long one, but bare with me and read on. It’s IMPORTANT
As you may be aware, our new website is still in its infancy and under continual development. Feedback so far has generally been good and many features have been changed or improved as a result. However, and there’s usually a “however”, the load time of the site is still a problem.
The speed a web page loads depends on 1) The bandwidth and memory allocated by the host company. Professional sites are hosted on a single server with unlimited bandwidth and memory. Others like ours, share a server with other sites, sharing band width and memory. 2) The bandwidth, or download speed provided by your Service Provider. If you’re getting a download speed of 8MB, pages will open faster than if you were only getting 4MB. And 3) The speed of your computer or laptop. Knackered slow computer = slow surfing.
I’ve addressed the first of these contributing factors: the other two I can’t do much about. The main problem that remains with the site is the Galleries. Well, not so much the galleries as the images in them, and It’s all down to image size.
This new gallery software has everything we didn’t have previously, like comments, star rating, uploading, social do-das like Flickr and lots more; but, after much research and testing, it’s apparent that image optimization is a critical factor in its efficiency. That is to say, the existing images and those recently being uploaded are far too large, much larger the what’s actually required. So, what I’m about to propose is pretty drastic, but it’s the only way I can see as a means to an end in ensuring the wellbeing and future growth and development of the site. This is it.
- I delete all the existing albums and create new empty albums
- If Registered Users want to take advantage of the Upload feature, it is CRITICAL that images are resized correctly. To this end, I will produce instructions on resizing and uploading, together with a Web Conversion action for those who are Photoshop savvy.
- Those who are not sure about resizing can still submit their images to me and I’ll resize and upload them.
- Images for the Assignment Gallery and Competition Results will still have to come through me.
There you have it. I’ve told it as it is from my side, lets hear it from your side. JS