Is There Food?

by Daniel Woolstencroft

Major Reboot

A while back, this site got hacked. A vulnerability in a PHP script that was part of an older theme meant that the site was compromised and flooded with junk; spam content and links were injected into the current theme and database and I had to rummage through and clean them out. The entry point wasn’t even in the active theme, but the fact that the file existed on the server was enough to provide access.

The first I knew of it was an email from Google telling me the site was being pulled from their search results, because they’d detected all the gunk that had crawled its way into the inner workings of my blog.

That planted a bit of a seed: maybe I should rethink this WordPress thing. I have nothing against WordPress, nothing at all. And it’s not like the vulnerability was within WordPress itself. But the software has evolved, iTunes style, into something that’s a long way from what it started life as. There are vast amounts of functionality and overhead which I’m never going to touch upon. And then there’s the overhead of updating to newer versions of both the core software, and plugins. On top of that I’m a habitual fiddler, and so I like to learn new things and try to solve new problems.

So, I’ve totally rebooted the site. To say that it’s now running “on” Marco Arment’s Second Crack isn’t entirely accurate - Second Crack takes a directory structure full of text files, adds a soupcon of special sauce, and spits out a set of static html files - the old school building blocks of the web. So I suppose the correct description is that the site is now “generated by” Second Crack.

This has its perks: I can now post to the site using any text editor I like. Whether I’m on my iPad, iPhone, Mac, or PC, I can easily start to write a draft or publish. This should mean I post more - there’s no login involved, no pages to navigate through, no text fields to fill in. It’s just a case of opening a text file, and typing some words.

I’ve posted a lot in the past about writing again, about rebooting the site, and about changing the way the site looks. I know, because I’ve read them as I migrated everything out of a MySQL database and into text files. But I hope that this time it’s true. And I want to start to collect my thoughts and opinions on events, films, and technology with a view to look back on them later on. I’ll touch on this more in another post.

One casualty of the migration is the site’s comments. In recent months, the comments have become little more than abuse and spam, so I don’t think they’re a great loss. Historically though there have been some good points, and I intend to try to post them onto the bottom of older articles so they’re preserved. If you want to comment on a newer article, I’d encourage you to do so through Twitter, Google Plus, via email, or using your own site.

After 6 1/2 years on WordPress, it’s time to shake things up and try something different.