Thoughts on optimizing our search web site

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The code for our search front end has over time grown to a considerable size and we have started to suspect that the web site’s response time could be better. With this in mind I have for some time now been keen on looking into optimizing the speed of our front end – especially when the underlying search engine Summa has proven to be blazingly fast.

There are a lot of things we could do better such as:

1. Optimizing the javascript code by trawling through the lot and removing redundancy as well as rewriting some of the methods to be more efficient.

2. A thorough cleanup of the css. There is a lot we can do here as we have loads of redundancy, classes which are not in use anymore and declarations which could be handled way cooler. Another thing I noticed is we like divs – loads of divs.

3. Taking a critical look at our numerous DOM transformations. Some of them are down right unnecessary.

4. General optimizing of the server side code. In fact this part isn’t all that bad but a general clean up once in a while doesn’t hurt anybody.

Because my summer holiday is coming up soon I have chosen to start with some light weight stuff. I have tried out the newest version of the YUI Compressor – tool to compress/minify javascript and css. As we don’t use minifying at the moment we should be able to benefit from it performance wise. In order not to clutter up this post I will post my experience with this in a separate post soonish.

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One Response to Thoughts on optimizing our search web site

  1. Pingback: Quick and dirty test of the YUI Compressor « Software Development at Statsbiblioteket

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