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:
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.
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.