PakiRecipes version 3.0 launched

After months of  hard work and sleepless (last few) nights I am proudly launching PakiRecipes’s version 3.0

The date was set as March 23rd 2011… 12:00 midnight Pakistan Standard Time which makes it 3:00 PM here in New York. This means I had to launch the site in the middle of work-day at my day-job. Plus… since I have made a mess updating test and production sites separately… lately due to delays in launch…. the launch was not expected to be a one-button-click event. I had to bring down existing site while copying over selective files/data from test to production.

That’s exactly what I did. I added a subdomain  “comingsoon.pakirecipes.com” with a single webpage that announces the launch. By editing the .htaccess file I redirected all traffic of the site to this subdomain. But I made one exception for a test domain that I added as an alias to PakiRecipes. I did this at 12 midnight ET (USA) and started copying over the files from test to prod. I was done before leaving for work. At 3PM… from work… all I had to do was remove the redirection from my .htaccess file and taadaa… the site is launched.

Of course there were some mistakes, some glitches.. but they were all minor ones and I waited to get home to fix them.

What’s new:

Technologies:
jQuery, AJAX, Open Graph Protocol, Custom JavaScript, Khan Combo, Advance mySQL (Views, Full Text Indexing & Stored Procedures)

Speed:
Server-Side Compression, Chache-Control, Optimized Images, CSS Sprites, Delayed Loading

Seacrh Engine Optimization (SEO):
Permalinks, Open Graph Protocol, MicroData and Advance Social-Network Sharing.

History:

Version 1.0 – November 3rd 2000:

  • Started as a test project to implement my newly learned skills of server side programming/scripting.
  • Built on CGI/Perl script with flat file (text file) so-called database.
  • Designed and maintained with MS FrontPage
  • No user management system was in place. Anyone could post recipes and comments (hence the mess).

Version 2.0 – August 14th 2006:
(Occasion: Pakistan’s Independence Day – August 14th, 1947)

  • Desperately needed a back-end database, user management and site-wide moderation capability.
  • Built around phpBB, the most popular discussion forum, with PHP and mySQL.
  • Used phpBB’s user/group management system and the forum system.
  • Built Recipes, Tips n Tricks, Video, Meals, Articles, Store, Album, and Search sections on top of phpBB.
  • Used Group permissions and authentication to moderate contents (recipes, comments, posts etc.).
  • Used cron-jobs to select daily recipe, video, tip/trick etc.
  • Used flash animation and XML to show daily picks on home page.
  • Created site-map for Google and Yahoo.

Version 3.0 – March 23rd 2011:
(Occasion: Pakistan’s Resolution Day – March 23rd, 1940)

  • Gave it a face-lift with modified layout.
  • Replaced flash with jQuery/CSS/AJAX based (lighter) home page animation
  • Using jQuery, AJAX and custom JavaScript for design, layout and user-friendly interface.
  • Using Khan Combo (yes.. that is Nawed KHAN’s combo) for search system on home page that returns live result as you type.
  • Optimized database and using Views, Full-Text Indexing and stored procedures for faster and smoother database transactions.
  • Using Open Graph Protocol for making content easy to integrate with social networks.
  • Using Permalink and SiteMaps for SEO and user/search engine friendly links.
  • Using GZip compression on server side and custom cache-controls to speed up the load time.
  • Using delayed loading to speed up the page. External widgets (facebook, adsense etc.) loads after the page is rendered.
  • Using MicroData for product definition.
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