In case you haven’t noticed, our help pages reside now on a new website:
As you can see if you click the link, there’s nothing fancy. On the contrary, the pages are very simple and functional.
Before this change, all our help pages were hosted on our main website (timetune.center), along with our blog. And so far, they worked OK.
WHY THIS CHANGE?
The new website provides some important advantages:
- Multi-language support.
- Traffic analysis.
Our main website (timetune.center) uses WordPress to generate its pages. This means that all its content is generated dynamically:
A user wants to visit a page located under timetune.center –> The host server generates the page content in real time –> The host server sends the page to the user’s browser.
This process is slow and may take a few seconds, depending on many factors. This is not good for a help page.
On the other hand, the new help website (timetune.help) is a static website. This means that all pages have been generated in advance and the content is ready to be sent right away:
A user wants to visit a page located under timetune.help –> The hosts sends the page to the user’s browser immediately.
For help pages, a static website is the best approach.
We used Hugo as our static website generator. This framework is easy to learn and provides a wide range of tools and themes.
Apart from that, we used Firebase Hosting to host timetune.help. Firebase Hosting provides great hosting tools and a powerful CDN (Content Delivery Network) to deliver its content.
All this makes timetune.help as fast as it can be.
The Hugo framework includes built-in support for multi-language websites. Translating the web to a new language with Hugo is an organized and streamlined process.
Another useful tool in Hugo is the ability to show automatically the available translations for each page. In our case, we show this at the top of every help page (for the moment, our help pages are available in English, Spanish and Portuguese).
We used the same font we use in the TimeTune app (Roboto) for the new help website. This creates a consistent experience for all those users who check the help pages from the app (who in fact are the majority).
As we commented before, we used Firebase Hosting to host timetune.help. Firebase Hosting provides automatic SSL certificates for your websites by default, avoiding the hassle to add and renew SSL certificates manually.
This means that all pages in timetune.help will always be delivered securely, no matter what.
When we previously hosted our help pages on our main website (timetune.center), the traffic to our blog was getting mixed with the traffic to the help pages.
Although we could filter by page in our Google Analytics console (the tool we use to analyze traffic to the main website), it was annoying.
Separating the help pages to a different website makes things easier for us and provides a better picture of how many people visit our blog.
The new help website is simple, fast and functional. It makes things easier for us and opens the door to future improvements, like better tutorials and new translations.
In the end, the idea is to provide a better service for you in the help area progressively. If you have any suggestions about it, please let us know.
(Top illustration by Freepik)
Leave a Reply