How To Find Big Images That Makes Your Site Load Slowly

Images is one of the biggest reasons why sites take a very long time to load. I should say big image to be exact. Some website owners are not aware of this fact and they still upload big images to their website and set the size smaller by using width and height attribute. A classic example is you use your images from a digital camera (or your phone) and upload directly to your website without scaling it down first. The images could be a few MB to over ten MB in size. This is a big problem if you know that in order for a web page to load fast, its total size should not exceed a few MB (except you own a gallery site).

How to find big images in your web pages

Fortunately, finding big images in your web pages is very simple with browser’s tools. You can use any browser to find big images. However, I would recommend you use Google Chrome for the ease of use.

Step 1: Navigate to the URL you want to inspect

In this example, I go to a post in my local site which writes about tiger:

Step 2: Right click any where on the post and select inspect

You will see the console panel appears. Click on Network tab:

Step 3: Reload your page

You will see a new panel appears listing all request your make to the web server.

Step 4: Click on the size tab to sort the request in size order

As you can see, the image is the biggest resource listed at the top.

How do you avoid using big images in your posts

Images is an indispensable part of your content. Without images, your site will look boring and your visitors may not return the second time. However, uploading big images can cause a strain on users’ precious data limit (especially when they use 3G connection). The obvious solution is to resize the image before uploading. Doing so not only help you serve smaller images but also save your server storage. However, this task is tedious, especially when you have to upload many pages for your posts.

A better solution for WordPress users

If you use WordPress, the solution is very simple. WordPress allow you to set the size of the images after you upload.

When uploading images, you notice this section after the image is uploaded:

You can see that we can select sizes for the image. In this case, my picture has the original resolution is 2560 x 858 pixel, which is very large (both in dimensions and in size ). However, I see that if the image is 640 x 214, my visitors can view the details just fine and it saves me a huge amount of bandwidth. So, I choose this option.

Conclusion

Many of us have the luxury of unlimited connection, fast wi-fi… However, there are many people access the internet with limited data plan. Reducing your images size can reduce the time your visitors have to wait on your site and also their cost on mobile data. Your site will also load faster and your visitors will be more happy.

 

Grunt-contrib-sass and grunt-sass hang on watch – What is the alternative?

Configuring grunt to compile sass, scss file is quite simple and straightforward. However, as I use the recent version 1.01, the task just hangs without doing any compiling. I’ve tried using grunt-contrib-sass and grunt-sass without any luck.

What’s the solution

I’ve spent hours searching for solution on Google but couldn’t find one. So, I came up with an idea: why do I have to rely on grunt? Using sass directly in the command line is very simple and the task completes quite quickly.

How do I set up?

The setup is very simple, you can write the following code in the command line to compile a sass/scss file to css file.

sass --watch source-file1:destination-file1 source-file2:destination-file2

As you can see, you can pass multiple source:destination pairs

Now, as your source files change, sass will compile to the destination file automatically.

What if I want to compress the destination files?

If you want to minify the destination files, simply put –style compressed option into the command

sass --watch --style compressed source-file1:destination-file1 source-file2:destination-file2

Now, your destination files will be minified.

I want to watch a folder with many files, what should I do?

Honestly, if you watch changes from a folder contains many files, sass may take a long time to compile to .css file. This is why I only watch changes on a few .scss files which import other partials. When I want to compile to .css file, I simply go to that file and add a space.

This strategy will save your computer from compiling sass all the time. On old computer, you may hear the fans’ noise constantly.

Flexbox Align-Content: Space-Between, Space-Around and Space-Evenly

What is align-content

According to the documentation

The CSS align-content property defines how the browser distributes space between and around content items along the cross-axis of their container, which is serving as a flexbox container.

So, in short, this property governs the available space around the items of a flex container in the cross-axis. That means if your flex-flow is row, then the direction of the distribution is vertical. Otherwise, the direction of the distribution is horizontal.

Available values for align-content

You can find all the possible values in the documentation. However, these are the most important ones (I think):

  1. start
  2. end
  3. center
  4. space-between
  5. space-around
  6. space-evenly

What are the space-

Let’s look at the alignment of the items in each case. In our examples, we have a list of boxes. Each box has 5px border(green color) and 10px margin (orange color)

space-between

This is the case where the available space is distributed between the items only. There is no space between the container’s border and the first row of the items. The same effect is applied to the last line.

space-around

The difference between space-between and space-around is there are space between the container’s border and the first and last lines of items. As you can see in the image below, the height of the space marked number 1 and 4 is a half of 2 and 3.

space-evenly

Similar to space-around, space-evenly assign space between the first and last lines of the items and the container’s border. However, the difference is the spaces marked 1 and 4 are equal 2 and 3.

So, those are the space- values of align-content. I think this property is very useful when align items in a flex container. One last caution is that if the items are arranged in just one line, then you will see no effects applied. The items must be on more than one line.