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Introduction

If you’re visiting this website, you surely already know that I manage a part of GEEK MEXICAIN association, and even write sometimes articles there.

Recently, GM got a very important upgrade (mainly handled by @MikeScops), and I wanted to do sort of an abstract of what happened to this website.

During the previous year (happy new year by the way if you’re reading this during 2018’s early days :tada:), we discovered many interesting stuffs powering some parts of the world wide web and wanted to use them in order to drastically improve the experience of users browsing our site.

What we had

Historically, GM was running a simple WordPress instance on the old PHP 5.
It did its time, but we were very very VERY tired of WordPress and its monthly new security issues.
For database management, the server was simply running PHPMyAdmin, well known for its slowness (and security aspects too ?).
Our statistics system was built upon the famous Google Analytics tracker, and I was not specially proud of it.

What we want

Our goal was (and still is) a fast website, easy to contribute to for redactors, and easily tweakable for developers.

Back-end and CMS

As Corentin knows very well an interesting alternative CMS named Bolt, he decided to build the “new GM” upon it ; I totally agreed with him.
Some months later, we can happily say that was a success :smile:

Migrating to Bolt made us upgrading to PHP 7, and the difference had been seen instantly !

Statistics

2016 and 2017 were years of public-discovering about what some companies / legal entities are actually doing with OUR data.
Thus, we wanted a website like there is not many of them : only a few dependencies and no third-parties scripts for a privacy-focused experience.
That’s why we keenly replaced Google Analytics by our own Matomo Piwik instance.

Matomo is a very interesting program that actually should be running everywhere. It allows you to customize in many many ways what you want to retrieve, and what you want to see. With your own instance, you may finally work on data that YOU OWN. Your visitors will only have to trust you for not re-selling them, but that’s already likely the case if they are browsing your website :wink:
Once it has been installed and working, we did the same on mySetup.co :+1:

Furthermore, we decided to free GM from many external resources loaded from third CDN providers (too bad for the performance gain lost, but we think some additional milliseconds are better than a privacy hole as a CDN could be).

Database management

About DB, I personally wanted to try out Adminer.
After some days of usage, I’ve found out this program “fixes” all the main flaws of PHPMyAdmin :

  • Very fast

  • Secure (?)

  • Easy to use !

  • Actively maintained

  • Easy to install and upgrade (only one .php file = no dependency issues)

  • Easily customizable (we only have to place a .css style-sheet alongside the .php file)

Maybe it does less, but it does it better :ok_hand:

And beyond the “sysadmin” and “web development” parts ?

This summer the official logo has changed. It marked the new beginning of GM, and a starting point for the upcoming changes.

The main issue we had to go through was the migration from WordPress to Bolt (But is this not the main problem when we are changing the CMS anyway ?).
For this part we actually owe everything to Corentin, who got the time to work on this and figured out a way to import the old WordPress’s database into the Bolt’s new one :bow:

Very soon, some mobile users will have a little surprise, but with the new website published, we still have to work on it :wink:

We are recruiting ! If you are interesting, just take a look to this page which is in French of course.

Conclusion

The Geek Mexicain’s team really hopes you will enjoy this new website, and mainly, its content.
On our side, we improved our working conditions anyway :stuck_out_tongue: