A bunch of site improvements to brag about today! Nearly every image on the site is now smaller, sharper and fully supports Retina/HiDPI displays. Images, and thus pages - should all load faster as a result. The already outstanding search feature has also been tweaked.
Let's talk about images, and the biggest change. Previously, most were the full-sized source image, responsively scaled to the size needed. On one hand, that meant that only one image had to be downloaded/cached. The downside of course, is that the file size is fairly large, slowing down loading of pages. There was another downside, which has bugged me for a while... It meant any image size other than full size - wasn't as sharp as it could be. Considering that smaller, resized images are the ones most used on the site, it was time to fix this.
Every image displayed on the site is now generated for the sizes needed and sharpened. Technically, these images are generated on demand for the first request only, thereafter saved as files on the back-end and cached in-memory by the server (as is everything else). Since that initial request happens when it's first posted on the site, it shouldn't affect anyone normally.
The file cache was cleared out to force new images to be generated - so give it a little time for the full effects to be realized.
Going forward, this means that each image is as small as can be, as sharp as can be - and automatically supports Retina displays for the highest quality.
The other changes are to the search feature.. The number of results displayed were bumped up from 12 to 15, for an extra row of results. The responsive layout has also been improved - the larger your browser window, the more columns (up from three to four). This means less paging and scrolling to find exactly what you're looking for. The column widths are also fixed now, for a neater arrangement. Also, There's no more "Read More" button displayed in the results, since it was superfluous and just took up space. Now you can find that #soap or #aftershave even faster!