the hazardous server
Above: loading the website over traditional HTTP/1.1. Below: loading the same page over HTTP/3.
The benefit of using a custom nginx server is the ability to take advantage of Brotli and cutting edge technology such as the http/3 protocol. As you can see in the above waterfall, after establishing a secure handshake with the browser, multiple simultaneous connections can be established with the server, allowing for vastly improved load times compared to http1.1, where waiting for each piece of data was transferred before beginning the next was appropriate for the average computer performance of the internet it was designed around.
Thus, when I built my website, I was able to take full advantage of things like the
preload tags at the code level, and optimize both text and graphics thanks to gzip and brotli, resulting in an already-optimized website to be served lightning fast over QUIC. The result is almost a full milisecond shaved off of what was already an incredibly short load time.
Typography provided by Inter, a fantastic font with a focus on web readability. I wanted something beyond the default font choices on major operating systems, but I also wanted to avoid relying on the Google Fonts service as well.
In tuning the font to be legible and crisp, I've learned quite a bit about the rendering side of modern browsers, and how to use CSS selectors to tweak the font's presentation to my liking. I'm still very much a learner in this area, so if you see something I could improve upon, please let me know!
The heart of zardo.us is Mecha CMS, an incredibly nifty little backend for the hobbyist dev. It's deceptively flexible and endlessly tweakable - but it's a fairly small project, which means the documentation is very minimal. I really like that - it means to work on this website, I have to learn more about a variety of languages and running a webserver.