2007

  • December 8, 2007

    JavaScript can expand hierarchical menus in place, without a page reload, but often these scripts are too fancy for their own good. Large scripts and lots of pretty icon images slow down page loads while trying to make fast menus. The result is a net loss and a slower web site. The main problem is network latency, which slows down loading external icon image and JavaScript files. Instead, use Unicode symbol characters to replace custom image icons, then minimize and embed the JavaScript on the page. The result is smaller, it has no external files adding latency delays, and it enables web pages to load much faster.

  • November 24, 2007

    CSS defines only three bullet shapes: disc, circle, and square. To get custom bullets, web designers use small bullet images. The network latency cost for these images is high, slowing down the web site. Instead, avoid bullet images and use Unicode symbol characters as bullets. Unicode bullets require nothing extra to download and provide thousands of bullet shapes to choose from.

  • November 10, 2007

    A typical web page bar chart uses an image from a presentation or spreadsheet application. The network latency cost for the image is high, slowing down the web site. Instead, create bars using rows of Unicode block characters: █. The characters are much faster to download and they scale well as the font size is changed.

  • October 27, 2007

    A typical web page color gradient uses a thin GIF or PNG image repeated for the width of the page. However, the network latency cost for the image is high, slowing down the site. Instead, skip the image and draw the gradient with a table and thin rows of varying background colors. The table is much faster to download and looks the same.

  • October 13, 2007

    Numbers in prices, quantities, dates, times, phone numbers, and addresses may not be of interest when processing a web page for a PHP search engine or keyword analysis tool. In international text there are around 900 different types of digits, currency symbols, and units of measure marks that need to be removed. This tip shows how to remove numbers and number-related characters.

  • September 29, 2007

    Most symbol characters, like + = © ™ ← → ☺ ♣ ♠, need to be stripped out of web page text before processing it in a search engine or text analysis tool. For international text there are thousands of symbol characters, but some should be removed in one context, but not in another. This tip shows how.

  • September 15, 2007

    When processing text for a search engine or analysis tool, code needs to strip out punctuation, formatting, spacing, and control characters to reveal indexable text. In international text there are hundreds of these characters, and some should be removed in one context, but not in another. This tip shows how.

  • September 1, 2007

    The HTML tags on a web page must be stripped away to get clean text for a PHP search engine, keyword extractor, or some other page analysis tool. PHP's standard strip_tags( ) function will do part of the job, but you need to strip out styles, scripts, embedded objects, and other unwanted page code first. This tip shows how.

  • August 4, 2007

    Most Drupal web sites have a set of blocks that line the left or right sides of its web pages. Typical blocks are menus, lists of recent posts, and forms for logging in and searching. Every block adds to the work Drupal must do to assemble a page, but some blocks are particularly slow. To speed up your site, install the Block Cache module to create cached versions of your slowest blocks. This article benchmarks the impact of block caching for 29 common blocks.

  • August 1, 2007

    Drupal blocks provide secondary content that often lines the left and right sides of Drupal web pages. Typical blocks are menus, lists of recent posts, and forms for logging in and searching. But every block on a page increases Drupal's work to assemble a page, slowing down your web site. Speed it up by disabling the blocks that have the biggest performance impact. This article benchmarks 32 common blocks and concludes with a few guidelines on what to watch out for when selecting blocks for your site.

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Nadeau software consulting
Nadeau software consulting