Xing

New Year, New Site

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Happy 2020.

I've made some changes after the last post which are actually fairly visible, so it only seemed fair that they got a post as well.

First, and most obviously, there's a new home page! I took my love of fancy obnoxious scroll effects and decided that it was time to bring them to my personal site. The actual content is still basically identical; at some point, I'd like to get around to actually writing some new copy for the home page as well as the about and contact pages. For now, just the pictures and animations are new. I'm probably the last person to discover this but there's this cool site called Unsplash that hosts free high quality reusable pictures and I took my new home page splash image straight from their site. I also wrote the parallax, scrolling animation, and lazy loading code all by myself this time, instead of relying on a third-party library. I spent a lot of time trying to optimize performance, and at least in Chrome on a decent internet connection, first content paint seems to happen in under a second and scrolling almost always maintains 60fps with minor hiccups, so I think it's not too bad. There are still some performance issues in Firefox and mobile browsers, so it's clearly a bit heavier than I'd like. Still, on net, I like it.

Second, I rebuilt my Dihybrid Cross Solver from 9th grade, and the new version is available at the same URL the old one used to be. This is because I logged into my Google Search Console for the first time in probably years and noticed that my dihybrid cross tool was the most trafficked page on my site by an order of magnitude. A bit of digging revealed why. Apparently, if you Google the words "dihybrid cross maker" or "dihybrid cross solver" and look at the results, my site is (on average) the second result on the entire internet. Which is kind of insane, given this was a crappy and unfinished thing I threw together back in freshman year of high school. Among many other issues, I promised phenotype ratios back in 2013 and never actually implemented them. So what the heck, since people seem to actually be using this tool, I remade it. This time, it's nice and responsive, detects errors, and has all the functionality I promised back in the day. I kept it at the same URL so Google would keep pointing to the new version, which is why I broke my normal self-imposed rule of keeping old things where they are for the purposes of preservation (that's why michaelxing.tk links still point to the correct pages even to this day).

Speaking of domain names, I've begun standardizing on michaelxing.com as the canonical home of my site. My last post explained the story behind why I own three different domains; what changed is that on January 3rd, the transfer lock on michaelxing.com expired, which meant I could transfer it out from the sketchy auction company that sold it to me over to Cloudflare's registrar, where it currently sits. Now that I'm much more comfortable about actually owning my own domain, I've decided that michaelxing.com should be my official site, and to make everything else redirect to it. I set up 301 redirects through a Cloudflare page rule and even informed Google of my move (since my Google search ranking actually means something now, apparently). Over the new few weeks, I'll go around and standardize all incoming links to my site to point to the new domain where, hopefully, my site will now permanently rest. I've bounced from michaelxing.tk back and forth to michaelxing.ml multiple times back when Freenom kept deleting my domain, and then to xingmichael.com when I bought that last year. The whole time, I've always wanted michaelxing.com but it was never available to me. Years later, it finally feels like I've come home. Hopefully here my site will get to stay.

Posted By: Michael Xing

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