Working On A Website

This blog post will only be for the nerdiest among you. You have been warned.

I’ve Just finishing working on a new website. Like most of the sites I make, this new one will be thinly visited. It’s for a special event. It will be up for a month or two, then shuttered.

The site resides on a shared server. There are hundreds of websites all running on this one extremely beefy computer in Provo, Utah. It is one of many on a server farm.

Being in Utah is fine, but distance does count. Overseas websites are nearly always slower here.

This whole shared server business is called “web hosting.” It’s pretty cheap if you share. People are always shocked by how little hosting can be. Dedicated servers are available too, but for most smaller sites the additional cost isn’t worth it.

With low price comes limited resources. That’s why I do everything I can to avoid tasks my shared server might find difficult.

Webpages in WordPress, the software this site is built on, reside in a database. It’s time consuming to ask for a webpage from the database, assemble it, then serve it to your browser.

There are tricks. Pages that aren’t changing get pulled from the database once, then written to a cache. Later, if someone else wants the page, it’s served over-and-over-and-over from the cache . Less database use. Huge.

There are other tricks, like ‘minifying’ parts of the code. Smaller is better and moves more quickly.

Survey’s say “you” won’t wait if a website is slow in responding. That never leaves my mind.

Tonight Google gave the new website a 96 out of 100 for speed.