Administrivia: Screens, searches, speed, and summaries

I’ve modified the screen layout for the author pages and the individual post pages to be two-column, rather than three. That should make reading a bit easier, and improve the crawling of the pages for the author info and quotation text.
The Google search feature is currently not working as well as I’d like, since I managed to inadvertently ban Google’s spiders from the site. My bad. That problem is fixed, but it may take Google a while to get up to speed. In the mean time, the non-Google search works passably well.
Most of the WIST pages are produced dynamically, which means the server builds what they look like on the fly from the WIST database. That’s very space-efficient, but it does slow down page loads and makes WIST more sensitive to any server slowdowns. I’m pondering going to static publishing, which creates a physical file for each page (i.e., for each quotation, for each author’s quotes, etc.); that would significantly speed up loading to any given page (and probably improve Google’s searches), but would each up a chunk of disk space, and would make each posting a bit slower for me to make (and redesigns aot more painful). As I said, I’m pondering.
Finally, I’ve now got a little “X quotes and growing” line at the top of the main page. The number is a little misleading, as it’s an entry count, and so it includes these occasional Administrivia items. That’s a small number (a couple of dozen), so I feel good enough about the number to live with it.
UPDATE: I’ve gone ahead and done the author and quotation pages as static pages. Let’s see how that works.
UPDATE: I’ve also revised all page formats, except the front page, to use the same two-column format. It makes for a cleaner, easier interface, and a better standard across the site. I’ve also shifted to using SSIs for most of the sidebar information, to reduce disk storage.

Added on 24-Mar-08; last updated 24-Mar-08
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