A website is like a car, every now and again you need to give it a service to help keep it running smoothly. So for the past week or two I've lifted the bonnet on my site, poked my head inside and given it a bit of a going over. Chances are you won't have noticed anything that different (especially if you only subscribe to my feed) but if anything you might have thought it loaded a little quicker, or noticed something different about the sidebar. So without further ado, to help those who don't notice every little change, here's what I did:

  • Removed the Blogger and PayPal image buttons from the side bar.
  • Merged the “Code Projects” and “Mini Sites” sections into “Stuff I've Done” in the side bar.
  • Removed some of the deadwood from the new “Stuff I've Done” section, like the image tag cloud and infobar.
  • Tidied up the various bits of JavaScript that were kicking about in the main source of the page into a single JavaScript file.
  • Used the minified versions of the YUI library.
  • Made sure my CSS file validates, and is as small as possible.
  • Got my entire site validating to XHTML Strict 1.0 again.
  • Removed extraneous html from my templates.
  • Updated my site map.
  • Overall these changes have helped to reduce the overall inital download of my site by a 1/3, to around the 173k mark.

So, all that done, things are a lot better under the hood. The next pages I want to tackle are the search page, and my sitemaps site wide validator. The search page needs updating to get the Google search working again, and the validator needs a complete redesign outside of this sites template, to make it useful and show what it is, not to make it fit in to my site. If you have any thoughts on either of these pages, or any of the changes I've made, please let me know, and I may incorporate them!