Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Starting Over

I'm starting over, but not from scratch.  I like the look of the website, but at the same time I don't.  It looks like every other gaming site out there, and I'm not making every other gaming site.  I'm not targeting gamers, I'm targeting gamers who have taken the ambition to start creating games, for whatever reason.

So, the website design, in-so-far as graphics, is getting scrapped.  Granted, it catches my eye and makes me start looking around the content, but that's where it loses me.  The graphics are so busy that it's hard to pull any content out of the page.  Time to start from scratch.

The good news is that after a 30+ hour programming tear with no sleep, the registration and login system are just about complete.  It took so long because I was adamant to adhere to a few rules:

  1. No pre-written code.  I have several login systems that I've built over the years, any of which I could have grabbed quickly and thrown into the site.  But I'm a better programmer than I was 2 years ago, and I wanted to start from the ground up with brand new code.
  2. Security.  I've encrypted, hashed and salted the shit out of everything.  Right now the only thing stored on the database in plain text is your username.  It may seem extreme, but I wouldn't want my e-mail address sitting in plain text on someone else's DB (although I'm 100% sure that in a lot of cases, it is), so I'm not going to do that to my members.  Same goes for my birthday, my phone number, my zip code (none of these are even included in the registration form on my site, but if they ever are, they will be handled the same way). 
  3. I tried to break it.  Over and over again.  And was successful repeatedly.  It sucked, and it's still not quite done, but every way that I've managed to break it, I've fixed.  So now I know that other people won't break it doing the same thing.  That brings peace of mind.
  4. The majority of things I told myself I could finish later, I've already finished.  This is not the first time I've launched a website before, and I know from experience that there's a good chance that the chance for "later" may never come.  Best to get it done now.  Which means relentlessly testing forgotten password links, confirming email address, breaking forms with ignorant mistakes, encrypting or hashing anything stored in the database concerning users, building an easy to use UI, etc. etc.  It's all done.

So, I'll be deploying the new registration and login system within the next week or so.  I've still got a few monotonous things to fix with the forgotten-password and confirmation-email systems.  For now it's back to the drawing board in-so-far as graphics.  

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