Google Fonts Hurting PageSpeed Score?

A web site I’m working on began with a score of 100/100 on both mobile and desktop on PageSpeed Insights.

Desktop Pagespeed of 100

Mobile Pagespeed of 100

I added the Roboto Condensed Google Font to make the page look perty, and the Google Fonts page assured me the effect on page load would be minimal.

Page load for Google Font

I added the font to the page after the inline styles and before any script tags. The only change I made to the line provided by Google Fonts was changing http to https because I have SSL on this site.

<link href='' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>

But after adding that one line, the PageSpeed mobile score dropped to a 75! (The desktop score stayed at 100).

Mobile Pagespeed of 75

I was able to get it back to 100 using the method Thomas Bensmann posted about (I later learned it’s the async method from the webfontloader). Here’s the Javascript just before the end body tag (and I removed the line above that I originally added for the font).

WebFontConfig = {
    google: { families: [ 'Roboto+Condensed:700:latin' ] }

var cb = function() {
    var wf = document.createElement('script');
    wf.src = '//';
    wf.type = 'text/javascript';
    wf.async = 'true';
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
    s.parentNode.insertBefore(wf, s);

var raf = requestAnimationFrame || mozRequestAnimationFrame || webkitRequestAnimationFrame || msRequestAnimationFrame;

if (raf) {
} else {
    window.addEventListener('load', cb);

But with that addition, the page now suffers from FOUT (Flash of Unstyle Text). And the page won’t render the font if Javascript is disabled.

The webfontloader’s method had the same problem with FOUT.

<script src="//"></script>
    google: {
      families: ['Roboto Condensed']

The page feels faster to me with the initial method and it doesn’t have the FOUT, but I don’t like having a mobile score of 75/100. Sometimes there’s no best solution.

How Well Do You Read Other People?

A happy person

I love online quizzes. If you’re like me, check out this one on how well you read facial expressions.

I’ll lay down the gauntlet with my 17/20. ;)

How to Break the Habit of Typing Two Spaces After a Period

I learned the habit of typing two spaces after a period when I first learned to type on a typewriter. I’ve decided to break the habit, but it’s been really hard to do on my own. The extra space is ingrained in my muscle memory and I keep typing it, even as I’m writing about stopping.

In order to help me break the habit, I added a rule to my AutoHotkey script.

Here is the code.

; Break the habit of typing two spaces after a period.
:*?:.  ::
  MsgBox No extra space!

It removes the period and two spaces and pops up a message box reminding me to stop typing the extra space. This is to give me practice typing one space.

Here is the frustration process in action.

Me typing two spaces after a period.

You could use the following code to get rid of the extra space automatically, but that probably won’t help you break the habit.

; Turn a period followed by two spaces into a period followed by one space
:*?:.  ::.{space}

As to why I’m stopping, it’s more efficient and it’s a relic of a bygone era. Even with a typewriter, a single space after a period looked fine. Frankly, I’m not sure why I was taught to type that way.

I’m curious how long it will take to stop seeing that message box after every sentence. :)

Don’t Use SHA-1 for SSL Certificates

This week I helped a client re-key their SSL certificate due to having lost the private key. In the process, I was given the option to use SHA-1 or SHA-2. I figured 2 is better than 1, but then I read up on how SHA-1 is gradually being phased out in Google Chrome because it’s no longer considered secure.

Today I got an email from Namecheap (the best option for a cheap SSL certificate) letting me know SHA-2 would be used from now on, and I could reissue older certificates with SHA-2.

I checked my grade on SSL Labs and found it had dropped from the coveted A+ to an A due to the use of SHA-1. I’m pleased to see they’re keeping the test updated. My grade dropped without having changed anything since I got the A+.

Which gives me an idea for a service. It would be a security subscription service that would send you a monthly report card for all your SSL sites so you’d know when you needed to take action. It could also let you know about urgent updates when vulnerabilities like Heartbleed and POODLE were discovered.

Anyway, I recommend reissuing your certificates to use SHA-2. If you’re using Namecheap, here’s how to do it.

Step 1
Login to namecheap, and expand the menu on the top left and select Manage SSL Certificates. Click on the Reissue link of the Active certificate you want to reissue. All new certificates will be issued using SHA-2, so you don’t need to select any other options.

Step 2
Create a CSR following the same steps you used to create the initial certificate, using the same responses. Paste the contents of the CSR file into the Namecheap text area and click on Next. Keep on clicking Next, but make sure the defaults are okay.

Step 3
Click on the link in the confirmation email, then click the Approve button. Shortly after you’ll get your new certificate by email. Replace the existing files on your server, restart the web server, and boom, you’re back at an A+.

My coveted A+ score for SSL

Review: The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Ben Horowitz’s book, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things“, takes you from his start with Marc Andreessen in the 90s to the present day with his successful VC firm.

My main takeaway was: being a CEO is really, really hard.  It’s easy to share successes, and Ben has plenty.  But he chose to share the much more valuable stories of his inner turmoil and struggles.  I don’t know if the lessons he shared are something you can necessarily avoid yourself.  It’s entirely possible that they’re the kind of thing you can only learn from hard experience.  But I’m still grateful he shared them.

I had a different view of the Opsware / HP story than the typical reader.  As a software engineer at HP, I joined the Opsware team after the acquisition.  I worked extensively on the code base in different project areas, from the back end server management, to the front end and even on the client code deployed to each server.  I was impressed with both the architecture and the architects.  The developers and managers I was fortunate enough to work with were competent and helpful.

I believe the quality of a company is directly tied to the quality of the employees.  In the book, Ben explains his method of hiring great people.  After seeing the results firsthand, his methods worked quite well.

Shortly before he left HP, he called a meeting of maybe 20 random people out of the thousands he managed.  I was fortunate enough to be one of the attendees.  What impressed me the most about Ben was his authenticity.  I can tell when people are being genuine, and Ben was 100% authentic.  This is a rarity, especially in the corporate world, and it made him stand out.

If you haven’t had a chance to read the book, I highly recommend it.

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