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Author Topic: Enabling GZip on VGMaps's server  (Read 5228 times)
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_L_
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« on: December 27, 2014, 07:59:37 AM »

I was wondering if it's possible for VGMaps's server to have gzip enabled. (If you're not familiar, it's a text compression setting that reduces the bandwidth of HTML pages.) I'm asking because it currently has gzip disabled, and I think it would benefit the site a lot given that it consists of several 5MB HTML pages.
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Revned
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2015, 01:28:28 PM »

Good observation.

Jon, if you could figure out how to turn this on it would be a huge improvement. The savings could be as high as 80-90% on the html pages. It would speed up browsing considerably for slow connections, and would even likely be noticeably faster for fast connections.
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_L_
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2015, 04:11:41 AM »

No word about this?
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JonLeung
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2015, 07:43:09 AM »

Sorry, I hadn't set aside time to look into this and then I forgot about it.  I'll take a look soon.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 11:44:15 AM by JonLeung » Logged
alucard
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2015, 08:04:29 PM »

The problem will not be solved by gzip, the problem is that there are way, way too many links on pages.

How many links are on this page?

http://www.vgmaps.com/Atlas/index.htm

1,000?

What about this page?

http://www.vgmaps.com/Atlas/NES/index.htm

600,000?

The problem is putting the links to every single individual NES map all on 1 page, and then the same done for each system. That entire page with 600,000 or more links, plus hundreds and hundreds of images for game logos has to be loaded, even if you just want to look at maps for 1 individual game.

The entire site needs to be restructured and redone. It needs a better navigation system and modern html and css coding.

I can redo the entire site for you if interested.
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Revned
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2015, 10:46:19 PM »

It certainly won't be solved by enabling gzip, but it would be a decent improvement for the immediate term. On my good connection it takes 4 seconds just to download the NES index HTML. Cutting that down to 400ms would be a great start.

The NES index has 8860 links. That's pretty crazy, but doesn't appear to be a huge contributing factor. It's the 300+ logos. They take over 6 seconds to load for me.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 10:49:55 PM by Revned » Logged

JonLeung
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2015, 07:46:38 AM »

Would it be preferable to not have logos?  Would it be worth the trade-off to have faster pages?  I like them because it makes it visually easier to browse through a whole console's library, partly why I'm not a fan of each game having their own page (besides the number of pages that would involve).  If everything was just text and tables, well, that'd be pretty boring, wouldn't it be?  (Sometimes editing a title logo takes way too long, though...)

I could cut down the number of links by combining cells for the creator column, as maps for each game are usually by the same creator.  To cut down on text in general, I could also combine other cells where the details are redundant across each row (such as "main area/world/stage" or whether it's "ripped"/"original", etc.).  Or even eliminate one of the "area/world/stage" columns in games where two columns are not necessary.  However, I have avoided doing that before because I was worried that if we wanted to leave open the possibility of migrating to a new system, that if I had tables with various combined cells or inconsistent numbers of columns, that it might make any auto-migration procedures more complicated...probably?  Thoughts?

I've said before that an upgrade should include a considerable time-saving benefit on my end.  And I would have to find someone I really trust to help, and it might have to be someone local that I can work with more directly considering the scope of it all.  VGMaps is always growing, but I'd like to think it's still a rather linear growth, that even though it may be more difficult as time goes by based on the volume, it's not going to be exponentially more complicated between if it's 10,000 maps or 100,000 maps.  I hope.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 07:49:29 AM by JonLeung » Logged
alucard
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2015, 12:40:09 PM »

gzip wont be worth the time, the more and more links and images that get added to each main index page just adds to the problem. So the best solution is for each game to have their own individual page, so the URL's will be something like:

vgmaps.com/nes/batman

vgmaps.com/nes/batmanreturns

vgmaps.com/snes/smb

vgmaps.com/snes/smb2

etc, etc.

That way the NES, SNES, etc Map index pages can just be links to those pages, so it wont need the game logos on the Atlas index pages, nor would it have links to the thousands of maps for every single game all on one page. The logos and individual map links would be on the individual pages (vgmaps.com/snes/smb would display the game logo, and all links to maps of that game)

A few other things:

1. You should use all lowercase letters on URL's, not like this: (Atlas/SuperNES) and (NewsArchives/MapsOfTheMonth)

2. The URL's of the pages are too long (vgmaps.com/Atlas/SuperNES/index.htm) should be changed to (vgmaps.com/snes)

(vgmaps.com/NewsArchives/MapsOfTheMonth-2015.htm) to (vgmaps.com/motm/2015)

(vgmaps.com/Atlas/index.htm) to (vgmaps.com/atlas) etc, etc

A simple code can be used to automatically forward (Atlas/SuperNES/index.htm) to (snes), so anyone who has that bookmarked will automatically be sent to the correct page, and they get sent immediately without even noticing that the page was forwarded.

3. You should also stop using .htm extensions completely

4. Some of the fonts on the home page are way too small, the fonts on the left Atlas Menu's, and the fonts for the site updates.

5. New tables need to be created for the map links, new modern tables styled with CSS, different than the ones the site currently has.

6. The website needs a new logo, maybe that same font can be used, but the current logo reminds me of web sites created back in the 1990's.

7. Those Casino ads on the main home page should probably go, any sites that display ads like that usually get a bad reputation, also people tend to think those ads lead to virus or spam sites.

8. Project Wonderful should probably go as well, there are much better ad networks out there, I can recommend some.

For me, setting up the new layout and how the links will be displayed on the main Atlas pages, changing/forwarded the longer .htm URL's, and creating the codes best suited for the CSS tables for the map links is all very easy. I already have the entire layout in my head without even having to write anything down to remember. It will be an easy to use layout.

But the long, hard part will be adding the thousands of maps to the new layout. But in the end it will be all worth it, with the new layout you can easily add thousands and thousands of maps without hurting load time for users.
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Revned
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2015, 04:30:44 PM »

If enabling gzip is just a checkbox somewhere, why not enable it? A full rewrite of the site wouldn't launch overnight. Not disagreeing that it is desperately needed.
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_L_
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2015, 02:19:19 AM »

Yes, please, please enable gzip before considering any website redesigns. It has to be done regardless of the state of the HTML: every modern site has it enabled.
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Revned
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2015, 05:01:49 PM »

Looks like you need to paste a configuration line into a .htaccess file at the top level directory:
https://support.godaddy.com/help/article/6946/enabling-mod_deflate-with-your-hosting-account
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JonLeung
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2015, 09:24:58 AM »

Well, I reconfirmed my hosting plan, and put the appropriately required lines in the .htaccess file.  Now what?  The HTTP Compression Test seems to say VGMaps.com is compressed now, is that really it?  Did it affect all pages?  Do they load faster?  Was it really that simple?  If so, I really am boneheaded for not getting around to it earlier...sorry.
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Revned
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2015, 11:56:05 AM »

Yes, looks like it's working on all the HTML pages. Seems snappier to me!
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Peardian
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2015, 09:23:04 PM »

Snappy indeed! It only took a single second to load the HTML for the entire SNES page, and loading the whole page only took ~6 seconds from start to finish.
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vgmapsuser
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« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2015, 01:37:27 PM »

I can't believe how big of a difference that made.  It saves me 92% on average on the HTML and over 50% overall.  Thanks!
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