Over the last few months, we’ve been working on adding “SSR” to Plow. What does that mean?
Well it means:
Speed: Page are created on the server as well as in your browser. It comes up much faster and many actions respond more quickly as well. On average, the app is moving about twice as fast as it was before SSR. In truth, we’ve optimized a bit on the back-end as well, but even before the back-end tweaks, the front-end was 2x as fast. It makes the app more fun and responsive to use.
Gorgeous Twitter, FB, LI sharing: Without SSR, we were needing to pass a custom set of attributes to properly display post titles, images, etc. each time you wanted to share to a social network. These were a pain to manage, as their api requirements would shift over time (looking at you, Facebook …), and worse yet — some of the networks would start ignoring our post details, deferring instead to what they could infer about the post page independently. With SSR, post page details are provided automatically to each network when they parse the page, and they render properly and beautifully. This also means that post images are appearing by default for the first time, including on Twitter. So your tweets from PLOW are now suddenly much more impactful.
The focus is now squarely on the content first and foremost, followed by you as the sharer and any commentary you choose to add.
Discoverability: We’ve already seen a significant spike in traffic since our SSR launch a week ago. This is in part due to the increase in attention our social media shares are attracting, but there are additional benefits, including search engine optimization and others, that we expect to compound over time.
SSR for the non-developers, ‘SSR’ allows a web app to load not only in your browser, but in significant parts, on a remote server as well. It may not be immediately apparent why this should matter to the less technical, but we’ve launched the updated app in stages over the last week, and the results on basic user experience are … exciting.
SSR for the developers in the audience, we’ve rolled out an updated version of the app that uses Server Side Rendering (SSR). Feel free to join us on Slack, where you can connect directly with our devs for more on their experience updating the app configuration, our Vue.js codebase, etc. If there is a enough interest, we can post a technical blog entry outlining their perspective.
We’re pretty tickled by the SSR launch, as you can probably tell.
Other features in the last release:
- Repairs for FB connections
- Repairs to user share links (posts with @username in the url)
- Updated the corp pages, including the team pages (welcome Alex!)
- Typeahead once again honors anchor aliases
- Extensions to replace the bookmarklet in Chrome and Safari
- Linkless posts: make your own posts — no link required
As always, thank you for your continued support and please let us know what you think.
All the best,
If you liked this post, we’d greatly appreciate if you’d click the clapper below and leave us some feedback here or on Twitter. We have lots of more to say on how content filtering and social needs to change but very much want to hear from the community.
PLOW is an independent social platform and collection of communities where people find and share the best content without the noise of big social media, and get the information that matters with less effort.
Background on what we’re building: