Network v4.0 Released
Sunday, June 07, 2020
Revision 4.0 of this site introduces a number of changes to improve the speed, stability, and flexibility of the entire site.
The visual design of the entire website has been updated, with minimal changes to page templates:
- Much of the site utilizes the same structure as in the previous version, to keep resources organized and easy to access.
- All user-interface elements have been redesigned to accent a more simplistic, minimalistic, unified, and modernized experience.
- Icons in the sidebar have been removed to reduce clutter and align with the new design theme.
- Typography throughout the site has been adjusted to improve readability.
In previous versions of the site, network and page assets were stored offsite on various Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) in order to segregate assets for purposes of security and to improve website load times. At least for a site of this size, this proved to be counter-productive, and in many cases actually caused extraordinarily slow page loading times. In response to this, all network and page assets along with their references have been migrated to the local site storage.
To improve backwards compatibility with clients using older browsers, the site no longer forces HTTPS communications. Forms have also been updated to adhere to the standard, whereas they previously forced redirection to the HTTPS version of the site, breaking compatibility with clients using older browsers that did not support the necessary security protocols.
The all-new News system has been introduced, and includes a dedicated News page that shows previews of the past five articles, along with links to a dedicated page to view full article entries. A miniature version of this is also featured on the site's home page.
The home page has been updated in this update. Replacing the old wall of text is a convenient search box, featured links, popular resources, and a miniature News preview. A generic slideshow/carousel lies beneath the main content: it was added last-minute and is buggy, so don't be surprised when it glitches out if you click anything. It will likely be removed some point soon.
In any case, I hope everyone enjoys this update. There is far more to come, however I was excited to make this release public due to the many optimizations. Internal testing showed a 600% average increase in page load times. More features are to come, but that is all for now while other features are tested for stability. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, or experience any issues while using the new site, please feel free to contact me