Sadness and happiness simultaneously. Not sure what is up, but my YSlow grade has already dropped to 82 with only a few posts added some teeny CSS modifications and the addition of two plugins. Disappointing to see that happen so quickly, but I suppose it’s also an opportunity to do exactly what I’ve set out to-do with this install.

UPDATE. False alarm, Firefox or maybe Firebug was temporarily deciding to count some images from Feedly or some other weirdness into my score. I’m still at 92. Which is where I started off at. Maybe just to feel better I’ll go tweak my ETags which are currently not accounting for CSS. Then that’s it for tonight. My poor eyes are ouchy. I desperately need a new prescription or a couple months off from screen time.

UPDATE 2: Found a nice post that talks a bit about the particulars of some htaccess settings and WordPress (including some Media Temple hosting specifics) at http://www.dquinn.net/htaccess-adding-etags-gzip-expires-headers/trackback/

I’ve implemented the suggested config and have bumped my YSlow up to 95 JIT for bed. Goodnight nerds.

Tonight is about keeping some momentum and not letting another two week gap creep into my progress on this blog and my general attempts to get a better handle on my personal Web presence here, and beyond this domain. I’ve decided to knock the “install SEO plugin item” off my development to-do list and have managed to sidetrack myself into making a point about donating for open sourced software.

I’ve long been a fan of the All in One SEO Pack by Michael Torbert of Semper Fi Web Design. Tonight I sent a donation to Michael to show my appreciation for this plugin that I’ve been using for a few years now. There may be other alternatives out there, but All in One SEO Pack has always done everything I’ve asked of it, with very little setup and zero problems. The least I can do is click a few keys and press a button on my Paypal dashboard.

In recent years, I’ve really been trying to be better about donating for shareware and good open source software. If, as a front-end engineer, I want to argue and advocate for open platforms, then I feel like I should be backing up my opinion by supporting other developers. These folks are kind enough to lend their skills and expertise toward creating tools so the rest of us can do what we are passionate about and not spend our time coding PHP to generate site maps or rewrite WordPress template headers.

Done: SEO Plugin install

I sat down tonight with the question “where to next?” on my mind and immediately got a good eye twitch going as all of the to-dos in my brain starting swirling to the surface. This basically means that what I need to do is make a list. A roadmap if you will. I am definitely a list maker by trade. Without lists my poor little peabrain would be defenseless against the demands of juggling multiple projects in increments as small as .25 hours with a team of nine full-timers, a regular cast of contractors and near constant scheduling and scope changes.

Even without all that though, I’d still be making lists. I do it around the house for long term projects, weekends at home, shopping trips, you name it and I’ve got an scrap for that or more likely a striped index card size or 1/2 letter sized Post-it. I loves me some striped Post-its.

Anyhoo. It occurs to me that my road map will be something I update over time and there for not necessarily something I want to continue as a post. So we have our first item for the Road Map: 1. Add Road Map page to navigation hierarchy.

Stuff I did tonight: Started the list of stuff I want to do. Wrote way too much about my content ideas. Added a sitemap plugin. Eyes hurty. Time for bed.

So. Starting a new blog for myself. Been a long, long while. For my first few posts, my intent is to document the process of building the blog itself. Most of my Web development these days is focused on search engine optimization, metrics and data analysis and the front-end engineering necessary to creating a high-performance user interface. My goal with this new site is to explore building a site from the ground up to be fast and effective without the pressures of deadlines, clients and internal team resource management that are the constants in my day-to-day.

My team at VSA Partners strives to build accessible, progressively enhanced user interfaces that push the boundaries of our client’s IT teams and the third-party systems integrators and content management vendors. As is to be expected, we make a lot of compromises along the way. Everyone involved in any large-scale IT project does. The stakeholders, the writers, the designers, the application developers, everyone. Nothing would get done otherwise. Time and money are always factors in any development endeavor.

Recently, I’ve got to thinking about what it might be like to build a site from the ground up, or as near to the ground as one can be when you start with a fantastic piece of open-source software like WordPress. Now, I’ve taken thought to action and gone a registered a personal domain for the first time in several years, and here we are.

I’m starting as simple as can be. I’m using the super skeletal them, “Sandbox” built by Andy Skelton & Scott Allan Wallick. I’m going to take a pass through the theme to pull out anything I don’t need and from there will start to progressively layer on CSS and Javascript enhancements to the UI. Additionally, I’ll be adding plugins to help me we search optimization, metrics tracking, syndication and all the other staples of a well-oiled Web platform.

As things stand now I’ve got a YSlow performance score of 94 with 3, count them, 3 HTTP requests and total page weight of 6.4K. On my lovely UVerse FIOS connection I’m getting a 497ms page load. Gotta love that. Let’s see how much I can junk this thing up while still keeping the A.

To-Do for tonight: Reconfig MediaTemple to kill the default blog.mattielangenberg.com URL.
Done: Used the file manager to rename the domain folder contents and switched the settings in WP to point to the correct URL
Done update: Okay. Couldn’t resist updating the permalink structure and editing the post slug.