Website update

websiteupdateYou might have thought that my website was finished the moment I launched it, but it wasn’t. In fact, I make improvements to it all the time. Most of those improvements are barely noticeable but today I added two major features to my site: caching and comments.

Caching is something that will help make my website load a lot faster. I’ll explain how. All of the data on my website is stored in a database, and every time you want to load my page your computer will make a request to my database and say “show me all the content of http://www.mereltheisen.com “. And then my database will answer this request by sending all the data and then my website will load on your screen. But all of these requests to the database take quite a lot of time. So this is where the cache comes in. The cache stores data that your computer has requested from the database before, so your computer doesn’t have to ‘talk’ to the database again. So for example, suppose you loaded my homepage 5 minutes ago, and now want to load it again. Before, both these loads would require your computer to talk to my database, which takes a lot of time. But now, because I implemented caching, your computer only has to talk to my database the first time it wants to load the homepage. The second time, the cache will have remembered the homepage data and send it to your computer a lot faster. You will probably not really notice this change, because my website is not that big (yet) but your computer will definitely notice the difference. If you want to know more about how to implement caching you should check out Udacity’s Web Development course.

The second feature, comments, is probably more interesting for you. Because now you can’t only read my blog posts, but also comment on them! I didn’t develop this tool myself, but decided to use Disqus. Disqus is very easy to implement on any website and allows visitors to leave comments by logging in on Facebook, Twitter, Google or Disqus. I hope you’ll enjoy these new features!

The next improvement for my website will be adding pagination. I’ll keep you up to date about how I’m going to implement that feature 🙂

Summer in Puglia

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I have been to Italy a lot of times, but this was the first time that I went all the way to the south, to Puglia. My first impression of Puglia was that it is very different from Tuscany, Umbria and other areas further north. In fact, it reminded me a bit of Greece, with its turquoise sea and white city, Ostuni. But Puglia is very Italian when it comes to the delicious food, coffee and friendly people. Some of the highlights of my summer in Puglia were definitely the sandy beaches at Torre Guaceto and Pilone, the trulli village Alberobello, Monopoli, Martina Franca, and the fantastic food shop Eataly in Bari.

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The harbour of Monopoli

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Ceglie Messapica

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Martina Franca

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Pilone