Victoria and albert museum: 1.2 million works of art on static websites

Victoria and Albert Museum: 1.2 million works of art on static websites

While many websites focus on dynamically generated content, the Londoner Victoria and Albert Museum goes as an old-fashioned path: It provides its offer "Explore Our Collection" in line with static websites. Currently, more than 1.2 million objects are online. The extensive waiver of server access should make the pages as soon as possible.

Like the VA-employee Patrick Cartlidge exports to a blog post, the data of most artworks hardly changed. Therefore, there is little sense to associate the websites for this purpose via JavaScript again with each query. Instead, they have decided to generate them once as static HTML documents.

With Hugo to HTML

For this purpose, the museum uses the free Static Site Generator Hugo written in GO, which generates from MarkDown files and HTML templates HTML pages. The records come in 10.000er packages in the JSONL format. This creates individual JSON files whose content moves to the headers of Markdown documents. At the end, Hugo creates 10.000 HTML pages that are transferred to the web server.

Cartlidge reports that Hugo needed for each of these packages about 30 seconds. For 1.2 million records, the process should last around an hour. However, this is rarely necessary anyway, because mostly there were only a few changes so that only a few HTML pages are updated.

With the performance you are at VA satisfied: The pages built up without delay, and Google’s web tachometer Lighthouse give for speed the full score of 100. The complete collection can be found under Vam.AC.UK.

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