Site Update – 22nd Feb 22

A fairly big update today.

Not so much in terms of overall climbs tracked, though this figure did jump by over 300,000.

Today’s changes were more about improving the site generally, mostly focused on page load speed.

Front Page

The country list is now split between 1 and 4 columns, depending on your screen size.

The container has been widened as everything was previously far too squashed in at the bigger screen sizes.

The individual rows are now larger, and hopefully less prone to annoying miss clicks.

Speed of both the big list of countries and the Top 100 Climbs has been improved, though as the front page is statically generated (don’t worry if that means nothing), you won’t notice much else here.

Country Page

Much the same changes as for the “World” page.

Increased the speed of finding the ‘states’ within a country. Still not quite sure why Scotland and Alba / Scotland are two different things, but we continue.

The Top 100 hardest climbs list is faster.

As above, this page too, and all those other countries like it, are generated statically at build time. It’s unlikely you would notice too much of a speed bump here.

State Page

Again, the same changes as previously.

On the larger screen sizes the content is now more generously spaced out, and the text is no longer truncated if too big. An example above would be Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole where the climb count dips on to the next line.

County Page

Whoops.

So in a recent update I completely broke the county and suburb pages.

The map wasn’t working. As you can see above, it now is. Great success!

Not only is it working, but it should be faster to load. So that’s a result, isn’t it?

These pages are generated when you visit them, so you really should be seeing a nice boost in page load for all parts of the page.

Suburb Page

Very much the same thing as the County pages for this one.

Speed boosts are the name of the game.

Climb Page

Individual climb pages were previously running 6 database queries to get all the data. Those queries were hammering the server, particularly when Google bot came along and loaded every page, one after another.

I’ve managed to get this down to two queries, both of which are highly optimised.

I’d say the speed boost here should be noticeable even to a casual viewer.

Search & Search Results Page

I’m not entirely sure how popular the site search feature really is.

However, I spent some time making sure all of the search results are coming back far faster than before.

As you might imagine, this page takes several database queries to produce. There’s one for each block of content – countries, states, counties, suburbs, and individual climbs by name.

Each query is now optimised, and I changed the search method slightly.

Truthfully I’m still not happy with this page, but it’s better than it was.

Wrapping Up

There’s still plenty on my todo list.

I’ve put off a bunch of the tasks I mentioned here because I’ve been so busy fixing bugs and stuff mentioned above.

Anyway, I’m enjoying working on the site. I still think it could be massively more useful to me at the moment, so hopefully as I make it better for me, I make it better for you, too.

If there’s anything you’d like to see, do leave a comment and let me know. I’m always open to ideas.

Chris

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