New site improvements

I finally set aside some time to make improvements to the site. Here are some of the things I was able to get done this weekend.

Performance Improvements
Now that we have been getting a lot more data, there have been some noticeable slowdowns on certain parts of the site. Here are some areas where we improved performance this weekend.

  • Home page average render time was about 3 seconds, now the average is 0.03 seconds
    • This 100x performance improvement was achieved by using a technique called Partial-Page Output Caching. We couldn’t use the simple output caching because we display the number of items in your shopping cart, and this always needs to be calculated.
  • Search page render time was commonly 3-10 seconds, now it is almost always less than 1 second

Quantity Manufactured now displayed in the search results
You no longer need to dig into the card details page to see if a card is serial numbered. The quantity manufactured is now tacked on to the end of the description. Also, you can choose to sort the search results by the quantity manufactured.

Sort by Quantity Manufactured

Sort by Quantity Manufactured

More Meaningful Sorting by High Book Value
Cards that are listed in Beckett but do not have a book price are now mixed in with the rest of the cards when sorting by highest book value.

We have been getting more and more cards that have very low serial numbers and do not have a price listed in Beckett. The previous default sort order would put all of these at the top, and this kept burying the legitimately high priced cards further and further down. Now we try to weave in the un-priced cards approximately where they might be if they had a book value.

2 thoughts on “New site improvements

  1. What’s the difference between “biggest discount” and “highest percentage off” when sorting results?

  2. That is a great question the difference can be very subtle. “Highest percent off” is just like it sounds, and “Biggest discount” is just the difference between the book price and the asking price. An expensive card might have a very big discount but a very small percent off. An inexpensive card can’t have a very big discount, but it may have a very high percent off.

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