Lots of Small (and Big) Updates - Performance, Tags, Bugs Squashed!

Posted on January 24, 2020 by

It may not seem like we're always hard at work, but we've been making lots of little changes (bigger projects to come!) recently to our nutrition label maker. Some of these you can see directly as a user, while others are for the nerd/engineer in all of us, but should still make everyone's experience better at the end of the day :)


Tags were a quick feature we pulled together a while back. We left a lot of things up in the air to see if and how customers would use the tags, and finally got back to make the feature a bit more complete.

Here's a quick rundown of some recent changes to tags:

  • Fixed a bug of tags getting created twice when using the autocomplete option.
  • Bulk updates to tags! Now you can edit and remove your tags en masse rather than having to go recipe by recipe or ingredient by ingredient.
  • Make it more clear which tag(s) you have currently selected.
  • We also added some fun tech to it, so you can use the browser forward and back shortcuts for navigating tags you clicked on without losing your place.
Tags updates for recipes and ingredients

Improved Tags - bulk updates, clear highlighting of tag selection

Bugs and User Experience

There were a handful of little bugs that weren't causing any real issues, but were probably a little annoying when they came up. Here are a few:

  • Better error handling throughout site - namely on the ingredient statement and cost pages and when trying to remove stale ingredients in recipes.
  • Better handling of inventory updates when submitting some blank values.

Performance and Reliability Improvements

This is probably the biggest area we've made changes to, but the most boring for non-engineers, so it goes last :/

We implemented a much more robust and automated testing and continuous integration service. This means fewer bugs, faster development, and a more reliable product we can confidently iterate on. This allowed us to upgrade a lot of our internal technology to the latest versions and improve security as well.

We did a review of slow pages and queries and picked off a lot of low hanging fruit to make sure pages load faster. Part of this included upgrading our database and a major review of indexes to improve performance. We dropped a lot of indexes we thought we'd use but didn't (less is more in this case!) and added more effective ones in other places.

More to Come!

That's just a taste of what we've been up to recently. It is a somewhat slow and invisible process (especially the last section), but allows us to move on to more fun and exciting projects now that these are in our rearview! It doesn't even mention a handful of internal tools we've built and processes we've automated that will free up our time for working on the actual product and helping you create your own nutrition labels.

As always, leave any comments or questions below or drop us a line.

About Lev Berlin

Lev Berlin ReciPal SlantShack Author Bio

Lev Berlin is the founder & CEO of ReciPal. Having previously been a founder of SlantShack Jerky, he needed nutrition labels and simple tools to start and run the business. He's read the FDA food labeling code countless times in the process of creating ReciPal and helping small food businesses with their labels. He's reviewed and created thousands of food labels, and been a mentor and guest speaker at food incubators, food business courses, and regulatory conferences, like Brooklyn Foodworks and ICE.

After graduating from Princeton with an engineering degree, Lev was a management consultant, then founder or early employee at half a dozen startups. He loves nothing more than helping other small businesses get off the ground and achieve their goals.

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