NerdQuery has received some tender loving care from Erik Hess this week. He’s added some custom styling for some of the sites indexed by the search engine and I think it looks great. Each site now has a little favicon on the main page to give it a bit more recognition. He has also been at work making themed result pages that match the parent site a bit better. For example, Brett’s results look more like Brett’s site.
NerdQuery moved to a new server yesterday and the speed improvements are noticeable. This is the value of a good hosting provider. I moved Macdrifter to WebFaction1 a little over a year ago and I’ve been very happy with the service. But a few weeks ago I noticed that NerdQuery, which does not run on the same host as Macdrifter, was very slow. I submitted several support tickets and the responses from WebFaction support did not seem satisfactory.
NerdQuery will be moving on December 18th to a new host that can handle the load a bit better. Performance has really sucked recently and it bothered me enough to commit to a full scale move. I’m not sure what will break or how long it will be down. But, since I use it so much, it will probably be a priority to get it fixed. The URL will be exactly the same.
Erik Hess talks about the design work behind NerdQuery. This was all news to me. I love hearing about the process of design, because it’s such an enigma to me. He did a great job, in spite of me.
This is the post where I give away a few behind the scenes secrets and make my own project useless to most people. Before breathing life into NerdQuery, I used a couple of tools for multi-site searches. In fact, I still use these tricks for sites that are not part of NerdQuery. Straight Up Google You can force Google to do a multi-site search with some Google-Fu. Here’s an example of searching “multimarkdown” on three different sites:
Did you ever start something just to scratch your own itch.? Then it started to be better than you expected so you kept building and polishing until it became something you wanted to exist in the real-world? Yeah? I just did that. Backstory I steal a lot. Everyone steals. When I write a script or macro, I’m not ignorant of those that came before me. Before I embark, I do a few searches.
I’ve been using Sphider for the search on Macdrifter and I am extremely happy with the move. For my purposes, I find the search results to be more relevant and the ranking more appropriate than either Google or DuckDuckGo. I’ve been tinkering with Sphider Plus this week and I’m planning to switch to this fork. It has more powerful search logic, better indexing rules, word stemming and better overall performance. There’s a weird forced-donation model but I honestly don’t mind.