I know I’ve asked these questions in the past, but I’m going to ask them again on the off-chance that opinions have changed. Seeing as I’m completely unable to come up with a new layout for the site that I’m happy with I’m in the process of trying to clean up the current layout a bit to improve the rendering speed a touch. For example, if I completely remove the left sidebar the page rendering time jumps up significantly so I know I’m doing a lot of crap on the side that slows things down a bit. I need to know what aspects of the sidebar folks use and want me to keep and which parts I can remove starting with the Stupid Evil Comments list. Does anyone actually use that list to check out what the most recent comments are? How about the Threads With New Comments list? Is that useful? The Archives List doesn’t take too much processing time so that seems to be safe to leave there, though I suppose there’s no real need to list off the months in that spot. I could just make it a link to a subpage. Additionally, do folks use the Most Recent Comments list I put underneath each entry? That uses a custom query which would probably speed up rendering a bit if I removed it.
Another question I have is in regards to the comment pages themselves. Currently I have the recent comments list set up to link straight to the comment in question, but this prevents me from using one of EE’s better features: Comment Pagination. Some of the threads here get really long and I’ve had to close them down because with nearly 400 comments it takes forever for the page to render, but if I were to use the pagination feature we’d eliminate that problem because it would only render 25 or 50 or however many comments we wanted per page. Because pagination is handled directly in each module of EE, though, I can’t build links in the Recent Comments list that take it into account. I figure the only way I could generate a Recent Comments list that is pagination aware would be to come up with a custom plugin for it as it would need to not only query the comments database for the most recent comments, but also the weblog database for each entry to see how many comments each one has and then divide by the current pagination setting.
So speak up and let me know what you want to see stay and what you want to see go and I’ll see if I can’t improve the speed of things around here a bit.