WithCake gets bought out

"WithCake gets bought out by young, exciting entreprenuer." Okay, I'm neither young nor exciting but to be a tad cheeky, I've decided to merge the WithCake articles into Snook.ca. I had originally set up the other site as I felt the continuous chatter on all things CakePHP might be annoying but as it turns out, my chatter hasn't been so continuous. A quick survey seemed to say it'd be good to share, anyways.

From a technical perspective, it'll be easier to manage, as well. WithCake used a hacked-up version of existing blog software that was developed by someone else. Whereas, this site is run off something that I built on the CakePHP framework. The WithCake blog suddenly started finding itself the victim of spam attacks and there were no mechanisms in place to combat it. To be clear, the original comment form was ajax driven which would have likely kept spammers at bay. For Snook.ca, I have some spam filtering in place which does a surprisingly decent job. It's probably about 98% accurate. Who knew spam was this predictable?

Along with moving over the content, I've had to make some other changes:

View Caching

I've enabled View Caching, which should seriously speed up the performance of the site. As I slowly add more and more content into the templates, things were taking just a little too long to display. The view caching in CakePHP creates a fairly static version of the page and simply loads it from there on subsequent calls. The view caching using CakePHP is problematic in my situation, though, in that it only caches based on the URL. Which leads me to my next item.

No More Theming

I've currently turned off the previous designs for now. Theming meant that a cookie was stored to remember which design you were using. But because the view caching is URL specific, once a page was cached using a particular theme, every subsequent visitor would see the template of the cached version and not necessarily the template that they had selected.

And while I like the feature, I'm actually torn. I'm really starting to like this design and I feel like everyone should have to use it, too. How fascist of me.

Coming up

More tweaks to come over the next couple weeks. Since I pushed this live, I've been continually tweaking the look. I added some style to the comments including alternating colours and the custom 'author' style. I also added gravatars (although, their slowness at most times is frustrating). I added some related content links right after the article.

Stuff I still need to do include more footer information which may show in a collapsed state to keep the more minimalist look. I need to actually add some style to the home page. Category-based RSS feeds will be coming soon and I might do something that Shaun Inman had done giving users the ability to customize which categories they wanted to see in their feed. I'm still not 100% sure on that last one because I'd like to avoid RSS rot as much as possible. A single feed is certainly easier to track.

So, while nothing earth shattering by any means, I'm definitely feeling pretty good about it. And for all of you who took the time to say hello, I just wanted to say thanks. I appreciate it.

Published October 21, 2006
Categorized as Other
Short URL: https://snook.ca/s/684


7 Comments · RSS feed
Ryan Brooks said on October 21, 2006

One RSS feed to rule them all, one RSS feed to bind them. One RSS feed to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

Yeah. I support this decision! w00t!

Joshua Brewer said on October 21, 2006

Nice! Now I can just visit one site to get more goodness. BTW the new design is outstanding.

EJ said on October 22, 2006

I think it's a definitely good decision. I've been checking your withcake site almost daily for articles but don't think you post frequently enough to warrant a separate domain. (Just personal opinion).

Also, I'm setting up my own personal web development business for the local city where I live. I was wondering if you could perhaps write an article about how to successfully "bid" a project and how you determine costs, overhead, etc. For example, when is the right time to turn down a client, when is the right time to outsource? etc.

I'm finding it a really huge problem determining how much my work is worth against maintaining a living, paying one or two programmers, and bringing in capital in which to invest back into my company (so I can perhaps hire more, buy an office space, purchase better equipment). I'm a student attending a university but am heavily ambitious that I could realistically make this work. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Even a personal email would suffice but I think many would be happy to hear from your experience regarding this subject. I'm very new to this area and want to be competitive as well as profitable.

Thanks Jon!

Tijs said on October 22, 2006

Just switched feeds... some of these tips were really useful, thanks for that. Too bad the bakery isn't a bit livelier.

Montoya said on October 22, 2006

I agree with all your decisions, and look forward to more CakePHP advice from you! Love this new theme too, it's so suited to the content, and easy to use. Keep up the goo work.

gwoo said on October 23, 2006

This design is a beauty and I think there is a lot of consoidation going on everywhere, so its good to see you still keeping up with the trends. Dang I just noticed that my comment is filled in as I type. You crazy, crazy man. Btw, I will get around to changing the link to point here instead of withcake very, very soon.

Bakery is coming along pretty nicely. About 2-3 new posts a day. We do not always publish them right away as several are in need of revision.

Kiper said on October 24, 2006

Smooth, stylish and artistic... (the new design, that is)
It's soo... Snook :)
I am glad that you're merging WithCake into Snook. It makes it easier to keep an eye on you...

You're the Da Vinci of the internet!

Sorry, comments are closed for this post. If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to send them to me directly.