• June 6, 2021 at 11:50 am#49702
    Jamie
    Skipper
    @jamie-ftb

    Good day to you all,

    I do love website development. It’s a creative process combined with detective work, making sure the website looks good and performs well for everyone. Sometimes, however, it can be a royal PITA when something goes wrong!

    We noticed recently that the website had slowed down so I put my developer cap on and started tinkering under the bonnet. It was like opening a can of worms and I’ve spent the best part of this week problem-solving some issues that were affecting performance.

    One way we do this is to run the website through services that assess how well your site loads in different locations around the world. You can see in this example how our home page gets an ‘A’ score. Wonderful.

    FTBMates, however, has room for improvement. It’s a complex bit of coding with a lot going on, from the forum, the community back-end, the paywall, notifications, rankings and so on. Seriously, companies would pay literally thousands of dollars to have this system running on their website but I am one man and development takes me a little longer than a team of hired professionals. Bear with me.

    I’ve already implemented some improvements so you should notice pages loading faster now, but you may also have noticed that the FTBMates home page loads more slowly than, say, the followtheboat home page. The reason for this is that you are being redirected to a different URL… and redirections are bad! You won’t have noticed this as it’s redirecting you from /ftbmates to /ftbmates/. It’s simply adding a forward slash at the end of the address, but it’s still a redirect and it affects our performance. We’ll get it sorted but just be aware that this is the issue I’m contending with currently and is the reason why this page may appear to load slowly. Once you are past this page the remainder of FTBMates should load more quickly than they have been recently, but there are errors I can see (that you can’t), so there’s room to improve performance further. No one likes a slow website.

    I just wanted to clarify this because you may have noticed some oddities with the website these last few days, and you may continue to do so as I iron out the remainder of the issues. I am frequently clearing the cache while testing errors, which means the entire website has to load up from scratch when you visit it the first time after I do this. Normally cache helps speed up performance but every time I clear it, it has to fully reload, so just bear this in mind. All I ask is that if you see anything unusual, please let me know. You can email me privately, send me a Signal message, or post up in the Troubleshooting forum. I’ll need to know the URL you are having problems with, which you can copy from your browser address bar.

    Thanks for your patience and understanding. I’m going back under the bonnet.

    Peace and fair winds!

    June 6, 2021 at 6:45 pm#49713
    Peter Haliburton
    Deckhand
    @jphaliburton

    Noticable improvements to the site. We were able to catch up on the videos this morning. Appreciate all you efforts.

    Living and sailing in Newfoundland, Canada

    June 7, 2021 at 8:28 am#49716
    Jamie
    Skipper
    @jamie-ftb

    That’s good to hear, Peter, thanks for letting me know. We’ll continue to monitor it though as I have more work to do this week.

    Peace and fair winds!

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