Reply to "Cut the fluff"
Quentin "editor of ANTHRO" Long here. Thank you for looking over ANTHRO and offering suggestions on how to reduce the zine's download time! Alas, three of your five suggestions are out of the question, and one of the remaining two may or may not be fully usable...
- Well, one is a lot better than none! I suspect the first two will be no trouble, and fortunately they would also have the most impact.
Enable GZip compression: If this can be fine-tuned to not mess with graphics, I like it a lot. Since I make a point of tryna reduce the filesize of graphic images just because, I am unsure how much more "hot air" can be squoze out of the zine's graphics WITHOUT mucking up the visual quality thereof. Also, it's worth noting that compressing a compressed file tends to yield results ranging from "insignificantly small additional reduction" to "BOOSTED filesize"... Anywho, I will look into this. Regardless of the effects on graphics, text (such as HTML files) compresses down real good, so this may be a win no matter what.
- Normally you would scope it to the file types you wanted to cover (e.g. HTML/CSS/JS, and not any compressed images or other files) - see here for an example.
Enable far-future cache control expiry: Sounds interesting, and whatever downsides it may have are, at the very least, highly inobvious. I am unsure how to do this thing (my webhost is GoDaddy, for what that's worth), but I will look into it.
- You could ask them - it's likely that you can add an Apache directive or two to a .htaccess file in the directory concerned (and that's probably the way you'd end up enabling gzip as well). An example of WikiFur's expiry settings:
<LocationMatch ^/favicon\.(ico|png)$> ExpiresActive On ExpiresDefault A34560000 </LocationMatch>
Use styled text in place of graphic headers: Not gonna happen. I want my titles to be Avant Garde Bold with seriously tight kerning; given the brute fact that it's a crapshoot whether or not J. Random Websurfer even has AGB installed on his machine in the first place, let alone whether or not his browser can do letterspacing properly, I think graphic-text titles are the least-worst way to ensure that every reader gets to see the titles the way said titles are supposed to be. Replace graphic elements with CSS: Not gonna happen. CSS works very well indeed whenever it does work... but when it doesn't, God only knows what you may end up with on your screen. From where I sit, CSS is a crapshoot and I just don't want to roll that pair of dice.
- Fair enough. Just understand the cost - the user has to download all those images. The cost can be reduced by combining images into a CSS sprite and using background-position to specify a portion of it for the image element, but that of course requires that you use CSS.
Convert main logo to PNG: Not gonna happen. One of my standard browsers crashes on contact with PNG-format graphics files. Yes, this browser is seriously old. If you think I should blow off those readers who aren't using This Year's Latest And Greatest Browser, well, we're just going to have to agree to disagree, is all.
- I'm confused - are you referring to Internet Explorer 4? The one which last had a noticeable percentage of users in 2002? IE6 isn't the best with alpha-blended PNGs (though there are workarounds), but for GIF-replacement you just need to save them as indexed-mode (256-color) PNGs anyway. Sites like Yahoo and Wikipedia (and WikiFur) use such images right on the front page.
- I suggest looking at what browsers your users are actually using - if you have log files, they should be able to provide this information. For this site, IE versions older than IE6 have less than 0.05% of the audience, and all of them are IE5. We get more visits from the PlayStation 3, and I didn't even know that had a web browser. --GreenReaper(talk) 14:21, 14 July 2009 (UTC)