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Randsco News

It takes time to create blog entries and not everything that happens, merits an entry. So, we've created this 'news' section, to keep readers up-to-date with our misadventures and accomplishments. Read about it here FIRST, before it makes it into a blog entry.

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New Year Speed

January 5th, 2012  · stk

NewsBrief: [Need for Speed] We're in the middle of revamping our website so that it's much speedier to access (links to tools & techniques) • [Happy New Year] What's planned for 2012 (besides finishing a myriad of projects)?

Need for Speed

Maidenhead, England - Those who follow Randsco.com know that news has been slow-coming during 2011. In an effort to get 2012 off to a good start, we've been busy working behind-the-scenes. One of the areas of focus over the past few days has been website page speed. You can say, "We've felt a need - for speed!"

Ironically, this blog hails not from Canada, but from England (randsco.com is currently hosted on an Apache server in Maidenhead, a tad west of London). Hopping over the pond - even electronically - isn't the fastest connection, but thankfully, electrons move quickly! The server location speaks more to economy, than speed (read: We're lucky and are currently hosted for free).

Despite the electronic distance, there's still lots we can do to help speed up our website. This past week, we've been busy learning about all these nifty things ... and putting many into action. Here's the big list:

We've also found some nifty tools that help to evaluate page load speed. We use Pingdom to monitor server uptime. We learned they also offer a free tool for testing the load time of a web page (includes a waterfall diagram, performance grade, page analysis & keeps a history chart).

Another good tool is Site Load Test. This no-nonsense tool quickly shows areas that can be improved, to make websites load faster (identifies potential savings from minify'ing CSS, JavaScript and combining small images to make CSS sprites ... reducing the number of server calls).

All good stuff and part of our commitment to positive visitor experience. (We ALL hate slow-loading websites!)

Randsco.com ... it's a work "in-progress", eh?

Happy New Year!

Hutton House - We want to wish everyone a healthy, happy and prosperous 2012!

On that note, we took stock of our own situation right after the new year. Alex and Scott started the New Year by being sick! Joy.

Scott also quickly realized that he started off the New Year behind on most everything. (Rachel might say he started it of as a "big behind", but I digress).

The list of Scott's unfinished projects is long:

  • Rental trailer renovations
  • Chicken coop renovation
  • Pumphouse reno
  • Kitchen reno
  • Utility room reno
  • Woodshed #2 construction
  • Camper improvements
  • Upstairs bath reno
  • Hot tub / deck
  • Raised bed garden(s)
  • Orchard & watering system
  • Firebox heat ducting
  • Boat repairs
  • Auto repairs
  • Kayak repairs

The list goes on and on!

Of course, this is all on top of maintenance, yard work, fire wood gathering, fire hall duties, at-home dad duties (cooking, cleaning, homework, etc), chicken farming, website work, blogging (who has time for THAT?) and "me-time" (rinse, repeat)!

So ... what resolutions for 2012? It may be the year of "finish stuff"? ... or maybe ... the year of "don't worry - be happy"? Scott is hoping for a bit of both, including more time to enjoy life & update the blog.

We're all hoping for a little less death in 2012. (2011 was bad in this regard, as we lost Scott's grandmother, a business partner and friend, our trailer renter & our cat of 19 years.) :(

Do you have any New Year resolutions?

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