[Deprecated; prefer birchlabs-site] Attempt 2 to provide a simple plaintext sitemap on the frontpage of Birchlabs.co.uk
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README.md

birchlabs-frontpage-2

Attempt 2 to provide a simple plaintext sitemap on the frontpage of Birchlabs.co.uk

Attempt 1 was here.

Goals

Intention is to optimize frontpage for search engines.

This means:

  • no Flash on frontpage.
  • fast time-to-initial-paint
  • text and hyperlinks up the yin-yang

This will also give mobile users the ability to find their way to any non-Flash content on the website.

Development

Pre-requisites

You may as well update Node and npm to the very latest versions.

Mac users who installed Node via Homebrew can update both of those like so:

brew update
brew upgrade node
npm install -g npm

You should globally install bleeding-edge versions of webpack and webpack-dev-server.

npm install -g webpack@^2.1.0-beta.4 webpack-dev-server@^2.0.0-beta

Note: it's possible that installing webpack and webpack-dev-server globally is not strictly necessary, as we npm install those anyway as dev dependencies, and we launch at least webpack-dev-server from the node_modules folder.

Acquiring code

Clone this repository.

git clone https://github.com/Birch-san/birchlabs-frontpage-2.git

Initial setup

Install, including dev dependencies.

npm install

Serve website locally for development

This launches (on port 8083) a webpack-dev-server

npm start

The website is served on http://localhost:8083/.

Build compressed production bundle

This uses Webpack, Babel, and UglifyJS to make a (relatively) small production distribution of the website.

npm run build

Notes

When designing the original layout: I used Brackets.app to edit the webpage live.

Page-load

Deferred CSS

I had some cheeky code from Google PageSpeed to defer CSS loading.

I edited it to have less conditions, and to favor binding over assignment:

(requestAnimationFrame || mozRequestAnimationFrame || webkitRequestAnimationFrame || msRequestAnimationFrame || window.addEventListener.bind(null, 'load'))(function() {
	["https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/marx/1.3.0/marx.min.css"].forEach(function(s) {
		var l = document.createElement('link');
		l.rel = 'stylesheet';
		l.href = s;
		var h = document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0];
		h.parentNode.insertBefore(l, h);
	});
});

This enabled me to present quickly a "minimum viable site" — styling can arrive slightly later.

Buuut, the "Flash of Unstyled Content" got to me, and I reasoned that it is an acceptable amount of CSS, and it's cacheable and comes from a CDN.

Deferred Image loading

Code from Varvy.

We prevent images from having the power to prevent a page's becoming "loaded".

We set the image src to a base64-encoded 1px image, so that the image can begin its life "already loaded" — without waiting for data.

Once the page has finished its initial paint, we can begin fetching images.

Also: we reserve in advance the dimensions of the image, so that there is no reflowing of content once the image arrives.

Further Attribution

CSS reset

I've always wanted an excuse to use Matthew Blode's Marx CSS stylesheet. So here we go.

Elevator

We use Tim Holman's Elevator.js for scrolling large webpages.

Elevator sounds

Bell

BenSound

Music

Full Moon Samba
Arrange:
Album: TOHO BOSSA NOVA 2
Album Artist: ShibayanRecords

Scrollspy

Bootstrap 4 Scrollspy

Thanks to Gableroux's example