Overstuffed websites

I’m not ready to give up on the flexibility of WordPress for my main blog yet, but holy crap are those pages heavy. Even with compression. There’s no reason it should take 450K (before compression) and 20 requests to display a 500-word post.

And I don’t even do ads, popups, social sharing buttons or anything else like that.

By contrast, my Les Mis blog, where I post about once a year, is currently generated by Eleventy using a custom minimal theme that only takes around 10K of HTML, 3K CSS, and a third request for the icon. And another 40K for the header font, which I recently set up locally so it no longer has to call out to Google Fonts.

One domain, just 4 requests, and only 50K for the first hit and 10K for each subsequent page.

Compression cuts down on those 500K WP pages – all the text and code compresses really well so only around 200K bandwidth is needed. But it’s still got multiple JS and CSS requests going on.

I was able to cut it down significantly by switching to a lighter theme and turning on the minimize/combine feature in WP-Optimize so it’s making fewer script calls. But it’s still way bigger than the minimalist setup I have with 11ty

Some of it is images, though. I still have my latest Flickr posts in the sidebar, and I’m using Jetpack’s related posts feature which includes thumbnails. I could cut out a big chunk by removing those, but I kind of still like the idea of having them in there.

I think I need to take a look at how much extra stuff I really want on that site and rip some of it out. Eventually I’d like to replace all the JetPack features because they just seem to keep adding more scripts. Plus I want an entirely local stats package instead of one that’s offloaded to a third party even if they’re less awful than, say, Google or Facebook

Otoh, I want to keep Gravatar on the comments sections (on the older posts where people actually commented) because that’s actually useful to readers as an aid for following a conversation better. But that’s all on top of the base page size

Anyway, I should shut up about this and go to bed

Thread start on Wandering.shop

In reply to FiXato remarking that the Gemini version is likely even smaller:

It is! Not only does it not need the font, but instead of minimal layout and style, there’s *no* layout or style! Or even metadata!

What’s the minimum viable blog feature set these days?

– Rich text posts
– Titles
– Permalinks
– Tags/categories
– Navigation
– RSS feed
– Images hosted locally
– Media embed (remote or local?)
– Author info for multi-author blogs

I won’t back down on RSS/Atom, because there’s SO MUCH you & subscribers can do with it.

I also think images have got to be built-in & not something you bolt on clumsily afterward.

Not sure if I’d consider comments part of the base level.

What else am I missing?

On Wandering.shop

To clarify, by rich text I mean the *result* needs to support rich text. The source can be HTML, Markdown, some rich-text editor, whatever.

On Wandering.shop

Last I tried Plume and WriteFreely, they didn’t support images, though IIRC you could embed remote images in at least one.

Static site generators I’ve tried like Jekyll require you to bolt on separate commenting systems like Disqus, or jump through hoops to roll your own in a way that will re-generate the site when someone comments (and you still have to reinvent spam filtering)

On Wandering.shop

So it looks like #Jekyll doesn’t have a standard way of storing comments. OK, fair …

So it looks like #Jekyll doesn’t have a standard way of storing comments. OK, fair enough, it’s not like static HTML can accept comments.

But I don’t need to set up Disqus or Github issues or anything like that just to display *existing* comments on an old blog that I’m converting. And I don’t want to just paste the comments into each post.

I’m looking at this approach, minus the handler for new comments. Looks like it might be the best fit for the use case.



On Wandering.shop

Why I have more confidence in Flickr/SmugMug than Tumblr/Verizon

Why I have more confidence in Flickr/SmugMug than Tumblr/Verizon

Last month, Tumblr and Flickr both announced policy changes that upset a lot of users. Flickr announced that they’d be shrinking the storage offered to free accounts while adding features to paid accounts. Tumblr announced that all adult content was going to be banned, and immediately set about flagging posts and accounts. In the clumsiest way possible. With a lot of errors…

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On Twitter

On Tumblr

Cleaning up

So, with Facebook continuing to be a pain, Google+ shutting down, Twitter continuing to be a dumpster fire, and Tumblr clumsily kicking off a huge section of their userbase so that Verizon can better monetize them (making me wonder how long they’ll try before they decide it’s not worth it), I figured it was time to reconsider my social network presence.

Mainly I’m on my main blog at K-Squared Ramblings and on Mastodon at @KelsonV@Wandering.shop these days (Plus Flickr and Instagram.)

As far as Tumblr goes, I’m in wait-and-see mode. I’ve never been super-active here, and I’ll often go a few weeks without reading or posting, but I also have automatic cross-posting set up with Flickr, Instagram, and my blog. A lot of my posts here are duplicates.

I’ve saved a full archive of my Tumblrs, and I’m going to be going through over the next week or few cleaning out the duplicates, except for posts that got traction over here (like M’Hael’s, for instance). Hopefully it’ll result in a more focused blog going forward, with mostly Tumblr-original material (both my own stuff and reblogs), and it’ll be easier to pick out what needs to be saved in the event that Tumblr does go the way of GeoCities and Google+ (or even just the way of LiveJournal, which it’s halfway to already).

On Tumblr

Long-Form Twitter: WHY OH WHY?

Long-Form Twitter

Twitter is suited for short statements and back-and-forth conversation.

It’s terrible for anything long-form.

Long Twitter threads and images filled with text remind me of the old tech support days when users would paste screen shots of error messages into Microsoft Word documents and email me the document. It was a terrible tool for the job, but it was the one they knew.

Once you get past two or…

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On Tumblr

What’s in YOUR Social Media Archive?


I checked out what you get when you export your content from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress and LiveJournal, with an eye for both private archives and migrating to your own site.

Tired of Twitter? Fed up with Facebook? Irritated by Instagram?

If you want to leave a major social network, but keep your content — or even just make sure you have your own backup in case the site shuts…

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I’ve updated this article to include what you get when you use WordPress to import a Tumblr blog. It works better than I expected, though there are a few gotchas – videos don’t embed, single images come through as galleries, things like that.

On Tumblr

Manton Reece: Write locally, mirror globally

Are Facebook and Twitter a core part of the web…or are they just today’s portal into that core? The article argues that if you want your content to last, it’s better to post it on your own site, and mirror it on today’s social networks.

Manton Reece: Write locally, mirror globally

The Atlantic has an interesting essay on whether Twitter is on a slow decline, less useful and meaningful than it once was:…


I always feel weird when editing old blog posts at my main site publishes them here in Tumblr.  I mean, I like that it works, and that they get properly backdated, but they still show up as new in the dashboard.

Even if they’re about events that happened six years ago.