ActorAgeCheck has been completely redeveloped and redesigned for a more modern experience. Both the backend and the frontend bring new changes that come together to offer a faster, more reliable, and all around better experience.
There are several quality of life improvements alongside major overhauls to the design to make the website far more useful. This change will help manage growth into the future (as the website now transfers TB’s of data and handles millions of requests).
Why the redesign?
ActorAgeCheck was released in 2013 as a side project of mine during school. It was a fun experiment that ended up requiring more investments in CDN and caching technology to keep up with the demand. It received some pretty big cosmetic updates in 2014 (mostly mimicking the OS X Yosemite flat design) and retained its old design and feature set for the better part of the next decade.
It received several behind-the-scenes bug fixes and improvements over the years as we slowly chipped away at the aging codebase. It was adapted with an all new caching system (two custom-built ones, actually) to support future development and ensure that the website was very fast. However, the aging codebase was proving to hinder performance as well as hindering potential future developments. The websites frontend and backend have had hundreds of updates since 2014; however, most of these were just patches (e.g. better international language support) or minor improvements to ensure the website still functioned as intended alongside server software upgrades.
There’s a lot to unwrap in the new version, so a summary of the most noticeable changes are below. Keep in mind that not every change is noted (and even some frontend changes may not be in this overview). The idea here was to completely modernize the website and prepare for potential future deployments and projects. The goal remained the same as was set in 2014: fast and privacy-centric. That means no accounts, no newsletters, no signups, etc.
The new release has a completely re-imagined UI with an emphasis on ensuring that relevant information is available no matter what page you’re on. It also focuses on accessibility and ensuring that the important information is legible and clear. No more blur/flat styling! This does not necessarily represent a final design, but rather indicates our new approach to designing new elements of the site. If you have any suggestions, use the new contact form to let us know. Your help in improving the site is always appreciated!
Dark mode is now also supported with a completely new darker UI!
An Improved Search
An all new searching system is now available with search suggestions as you type! The search experience is more responsive and now presents clearer and more relevant results.
Cast searching and movie credit searching
In addition to searching for actors, movies, and TV shows: you may now search on movie/tv show credit pages for the person you’re looking for. You can also search actor pages for a specific movie. These new in-depth search options give you the ability to quickly narrow down and focus on exactly what you’re looking for without needing to scroll through a ton of results!
TV Show Support
Introducing TV show support. This is an initial version of the release and more refined options will be released over time. If you have suggestions on how this feature can be improved, use the contact form.
Movie and TV Show credit pages now offer crew information (e.g. Directors, Writers, Producers) in addition to actor information. Crew credit pages for individual people are now available as well, allowing you to view their acting roles and their crew work as well.
Submission form for corrections/suggestions
ActorAgeCheck has always been receptive of corrections or suggestions through email; however, there hasn’t been an easy way to make quick suggestions to a pages content.
We now have a contact form that offers the ability to make a correction to any specific URL on the site. If you click the “Report a problem/concern” button at the bottom of any page, it will take you to a form where you only need to fill out your name (or nickname) and a small message field with your suggestions or corrections. This means that you can now more easily make submissions anonymously, if desired. It also means that it’s overall quicker to make improvements to the site.
We hope that these changes will help facilitate ensuring that the website has the most accurate and up-to-date information.
As previously stated: there’s almost too many enhancements and improvements across every aspect of the website. Even in the quick breakdown below, they are not all noted.
Quality of life enhancements
Several QoL improvements have been made across the site. For example: actor birthdays are now displayed on search result pages. An actors death day (if applicable) is now listed on search results and inside movie credits. Actor birthplaces are now displayed. Improved grammar on credit pages.
Critical information is now more prominently displayed across the site.
Improved CDN Distribution/Improved caching
An improved caching system and a more distributed CDN network means that pages are returned faster and more reliably, even during times of heavy use.
The main landing page of ActorAgeCheck now offers a clearer overview of where to get started. The main page still includes a list of recently searched, but this has expanded to now also include a list of the most popular actors and actresses.
There is new enhancements in both the frontend and backend that will make it easier to develop features moving forward. A new module based system ensures that feature development will be possible. This will be an ongoing improvement effort.