My name's Barry Pollard and I've spent most my whole career as a software developer trying to improve software applications. I've an active interest in website development, performance tuning and security (check out the resource page to see some of the books, blogs, twitter accounts and web tools I recommend). I've even started writing a book on one of the topics I discuss on this website - HTTP/2 in Action from Manning publications should be available from September 2018 or so , but you can pick up a raw, unedited, version of the first chapter for free now and if that is of any interest to you, then each Chapter will be published pretty much as it's written as part of Manning's Early Access Program (MEAP). If you do decide to purchase then use the code 39pollard for 39% off.
I started out this website initially as a way to test out various things that I couldn't easily test out at work (our development sites are behind our firewall where various online tools can't be used, and our production site isn't exactly the best place to test out things!). I then decided to blog on my experiences and instead of using a dedicated blogging environment decided to set up this website from scratch as that would give me greater control over the every aspect of how the web was run. The kind people at AWS are offering a free server for a year, so although this has taken a fair bit of my time, actual costs have been fairly low so far (a certificate, a DNS registration and some e-mail hosting). In future I may have to add advertisements to help fund the costs of this site, as it is a personal site coming out of my own pocket, but will to try to hold that off as long as I can. It's been an interesting challenge to get this up and running and certainly taught me a lot.
What is aim of TuneTheWeb.com?
So what do I hope to get out of this site? Well the main thing is to give back to the community. I've learnt an awful lot from some very generous people out there, and this is my way of paying that back, and I think I've something to add with my experience of using all the tips and tricks out there. I hope I don't end up just regurgitating information that's already out there, and hopefully people don't think I'm stealing other people's ideas. I've linked to other websites all over my site and fully intent to promote and give credit to the other sites and people who I have gained from.
I do think there is an opening for an overall "here's how you can make your website better" site, and that's what I hope to have created here. There is a great deal of help out there on various aspects of making a website better. There is a thriving community on web performance tuning, a separate one on web security and lots of resources on everything else (which I've lumped under the "usability" heading), but I found I had to go to different places to get the information. I'm aiming for this website to be a place where people can find all things that can improve your website (performance, security and usability). That is not to say I think I know better than all the other websites out there, or that I'm trying to replace all the great resources there, I just think there's an opportunity to bridge across all the different communities and people out there helping to make the web better.
I also want to provide a basic resource for those new to web tuning. A lot of the performance websites, for example, have long moved past the basics and delve into more and more obscure tips and tricks. This is great if you've spent a long time reading up on the subject, and have a genuine interest in it (and I definitely do!) but is less useful for website owners who perhaps are looking at the subject for the first time. There's also lots of great books out there on all the subjects I cover here, and I definitely encourage everyone to read them, but that does involve a commitment that some people aren't just ready, able or willing to commit that much time. So, while I'm happy to delve into arcane topics in future updates, I intend to make this resource as accessible to newcomers as possible. I've started out with a "Top 5" in each section and hope that's a good start to things every website owner should consider. Hopefully that will whet the appetite on the improvements, make web owners that came for one aspect, also look at the other two "Top 5s" and start them down the path of making their websites even better.
And finally I hope to help, in whatever small way, to make the web better. Slow websites frustrate me, security breaches scare me and good ideas that are backed by a poor website upset me. Everytime I stared at a blank screen on my phone waiting for it to load, I thought to myself that someone should teach the owners of this site to make it better. While I don't for a minute think I'll ever have the reach to fix every website I use, I hope by making this website available some people gain from it and if even one less person staring at their screen is less frustrated with a website they use (even if they don't realise it) then I will sleep a happier man.
I've added Disqus commenting on nearly all pages (scroll down to see the one for this page), so feel free to add comments, questions, disagreements or suggestions. I'm also active on Twitter, or if you prefer you can e-mail me at email@example.com. So get in touch if you've any feedback, suggestions or just want to rank about something I've written about that you fundamentally disagree with. Discussion is good and will hopefully just lead to more improvements!
So thanks for taking the time to look around my website. I hope you found it useful. It's taken a fair bit of effort to get those up but I also have a wealth of other topics I want to write about so have quite a bit more content to put up there. And with the changing nature of the web, I don't see myself running out topics to write about for some time!
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