Posts

  • Micromanagement Ruins Teams

    It seems that the management thinking these days is that managers should empower their employees to make decisions and implement the actions behind these decisions. This works great when you have a team and management that has mutual trust with a mutual goal. However, when the manager does not trust the members of the team, or thinks that they have to be the one to make every decision or have input into every task, the empowerment disappears.

  • Unintended Consequences with Magento Observers on Sales Orders

    Anyone that uses Magento to place orders will be hard-pressed to consider this process a speedy one. While it takes a while to process the order under the best of circumstances, there are a few things that you can do that actually make it worse.

  • Magento Version 2, is it just Microsoft Windows Longhorn AKA Vista?

    Magento version 2 was first introduced in 2010. It is now almost halfway through 2014, and the public has not seen any alpha or beta release of Magento version 2 as of yet. The new version of Magento promised to replace PrototypeJS and Scriptaculus with jQuery as well as reorganize the database schema to remove the slow EAV tables and migrate to a bit of a flatter table structure. However, it seems that the latest updates on the direction for Magento 2 show that the database schema will not be changed much after all.

  • Why Use AddThis.com Sharing Buttons

    AddThis.com produces a bit of JavaScript that enables website owners to quickly and easily add social sharing buttons/links to their website. In addition to allowing users to easily share your content socially, they also provide analytics information about what content is shared via which method, giving a greater insight into visitor behavior.

  • Always Namespace Variable Names in JavaScript

    After running into a few issues with variable naming collisions over the past few days, it drives home how much we all should be namespacing our variable names in JavaScript. When writing JavaScript code that is only in use on your own website, you should still always namespace your variables. If you are writting a JavaScript library that will be in use on any website a user puts it on, namespacing your variable names is a minimum requirement.

  • Avoid jQuery.bind()

    When chasing down performance issues, you never know what kind of problems you will find. I was looking for something that would cause jitter when scrolling on the page. After looking at the custom code that runs on every scroll event, I still had not found a reason for the jitter. Looking at the JavaScript CPU profile when scrolling in Chrome showed that there was an overwhelming majority of the time spent in a function in the Prototype JS library.

  • Improve jQuery Performance With $().addClass()

    When looking at things that make a website seem sluggish, you might assume that the most popular JavaScript framework out there always does things in the most efficient manner. However, as I have found, jQuery does not always produce the best performance due to it having to support many different browsers with version 1.x. As a general rule, instead of setting CSS attributes directly on the selected nodes, I prefer to instead add and remove classes on those nodes instead, as it seems to perform much better.

  • Optimizing Website Load Time

    Assuming you have already done a few things to improve the page load time of your website, such as using a Varnish caching server, GZipping your content in transit, minifying that same content, and turning on all caching options that Magento or your web platform of choice have available, there is still more you can do. When it comes to website performance, the 80/20 rule definitely applies. 80% of the performance tweaks that you perform will only provide a miniscule improvement to the site load time, while the 20% of things you do make a big difference. Any time I am looking to speed of the performance of a website, I seek those 20% items that give you the biggest bang for your buck.

  • Optimize Magento Time To First Byte

    When looking at the performance of your site, waterfall charts are one of the first places you should investigate. The first thing that is represented on these charts is that the HTML for the website is the first resource that is downloaded every time.

  • Magento appending __SID to URLs

    When trying to fully optimize a Magento website to run as fast as possible, I tend to opt for turning on all of the caching options in Magento, and then put the Varnish caching server in front of the web server with the Turpentine plugin. However, when you do this with some configurations, you start seeing the __SID query string parameter added to the end of the site’s url. Unfortunately, when the Turpentine plugin sees the __SID query string in the URL, it means that this page request will bypass the cache and load it directly from the server, slowing things down.

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