We just launched our new website yesterday evening. Launching is always a frantic event. No matter how much you pre-plan, it always seems to be a frenzy of last minute to-do's that make a launch an especially stressful event. It took us about 6 months from the moment we decided to do a redesign to get it launched. Take into consideration that we were doing client work concurrently. The standard "cobbler's family with no shoes" syndrome.

what we changed

There are many changes that we made on the new S4 site and I'll address the programming aspects of the new site that are unique and interesting.

Static Content Filtering

Most web browsers only allow 4 concurrent connections per domain. So, for the domain: stationfour.com, when the browser is downloading the HTML from the server, all of the CSS files, images, and Javascript, and all of the content get downloaded using those 4 connections for that domain. Now, suppose right before the server sends the HTML to your browser, we replace all of the domains for the images, CSS, and Javascript to an alternate domain? Then we'll be able to have 8 concurrent connections. Those 8 connections are making our website load faster.Programmer's Perspective

Web Services

Our old website did not have the blog posts integrated into the homepage, or any other section of the website for that matter. We've added a few web services that allow us to communicate with our blog engine which is running under a different application. Now you'll notice that we have our current blog posts on the home page as well as our individual "about us" pages.

Twitter Integration

I'm sure you all know what Twitter is by now. If not, a simple Google search will answer all of your questions. We've integrated our own personal Twitter feeds into our website. Twitter offers some "off the shelf" Javascript to accomplish this but this did not fit our needs. We only wanted to display Tweets that we have specially tagged with the tag #s4. So, I've created a method that pulls only our Tweets that match the given criteria.

The S4 Feed

We've added to the homepage a column that holds the S4 Feed. This is a combination of our Posts, Tweets, and News Items. It's a work in progress but it serves as a "what's new" section for our homepage. Guaranteed to keep it lively and never stale.

Chris Lahey Chris Lahey

Co-founder and Development Partner at Station Four

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