Building a site without Bloat

Hello all,
I’ve been diving down a rabbit hole as of late and it’s how to build a website with as little bloat as possible, but still have a nice fully functional site that has the bells and whistles that customers want. Is there a “Best Practices” tutorial somewhere. I was recently looking at another framework that considers it’s self a micro-framework, but I like Foundry and really don’t want to learn another frame work, shoot, Foundry might not even be bloated and I’m just chasing my tail. At the end of the day, I would just like to know I’m building the most efficient site I can build, and right now I don’t have a way to measure that. Any advice or help would be awesome.

I’ll start here – The most efficient site you can build would be hand-coded and wouldn’t have any extra code whatsoever. You’d make use of everyone of javascript and CSS, as you’d have written each line with a specific intent.

When using something like RapidWeaver you’re foregoing that. The tradeoff for not having to hand code it is that there will undoubtedly be some code in your site that is not getting used. This is what I suspect you’re referring to as “bloat” correct? This extra code is there as we the developers of themes, stacks, etc have to provide extra code that allows each user to customize things to their liking, setting their site(s) apart from others. If not for those settings each users site would look the same. These compromises are made even in the most basic theme or stack in order to provide customization for yourself, the end user.

My advice would be this – Build a site you like and then test it to see if it loads properly and quickly when you visit your pages. Don’t overdo things though. Use only the stuff you need. The fewer flashy effects the better, at least most times. That’s not saying don’t use them, just don’t overuse them. Also make sure to optimize your images. Large, uncompressed images will lead to slower load times. Make use of lazy loading images where you can and it makes sense. Use only the video embeds you absolutely need. It takes time for YouTube, Vimeo, etc to send content back to your site when requested. This can slow things down. This goes for Google Fonts and the like as well.

There are sites out there that can measure metrics for you, and that can be helpful in tuning some things, but in an environment like RapidWeaver you’re only going to have control over adjusting some of that stuff.

With all that said, I go back to this though – Build a site you like and then test it to see if it loads properly and quickly when you visit your pages. If you’re happy with the way your site looks, loads and functions, then that is what matters, right?

The alternative to all of this of course is that you can hand code your site. There’s that option as well.

Hope this helps.


Wow Adam, now that’s a detailed response. :slight_smile: I fore sure don’t want to hand code, all I’ve ever known is Rapidweaver and a little Wordpress. I am conscious of all the things you mentioned when building my sites, but being self taught with the exception of videos and documentation I sometimes wonder if I’m doing things the right way. It’s my type A coming out… I love me some Foundry, thanks for all you do.

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I’m currently working on lots of optimizations for Foundry, among a LOT of other things. So the amount of unused code should decrease. Things will only get better as time marches on.

Thanks for your kind words, and I hope you’re having fun building your site!


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