Welcome to the new Bit Phoenix website.

Sun, Oct 20, 2019

Read in 4 minutes

A huge change has just happened to Bit Phoenix's website and we're really excited to show you around our new home. There's a lot to talk about, so let's get straight to it.

Background

I should probably start by explaining why we just completely redesigned the entire website. Truth is, we just…didn’t need everything we had so there was no point keeping it up.

Previously, we had a forum that suffered this same fate months ago. Nobody used it, nobody wanted to use it, it was just… there. Since it saw little activity, it was taken offline in place of a Subreddit which saw moderate success. We felt it was time to do the same thing to everything else.

A few days ago, I set up https://dev.bitphoenixsoftware.com/ - the Bit Phoenix Developer Resources site. As the name suggests, that site offers a bunch of freely available developer resources for our games and the Peace Engine. It has API documentation for the code, some guides, and more. The neat thing is it’s automatically generated by AppVeyor and hosted on GitHub Pages. The moment we make a change to the code, the dev resources site updates.

What if we could take this further?

Our old wiki

I did some thinking. Our wiki, most of you might not even know it existed because of its inactivity, just got phased out by that dev resources site. The wiki was meant to have API documentation, guides, and also act as an online manual for Peacenet. Well, since all of that can be done on either the dev resources site or in-game, why do we need the wiki? So I put it on the chopping block.

The Cascading Chopping Block

I soon realized that we had a LOT of stagnant server software running on our website that, when I phased out the wiki, was no longer necessary.

Bit Phoenix Accounts

Bit Phoenix Accounts were a feature I set up on the old website that essentially linked all three parts (forum, wiki, and blog) together in the context of user logins.

In the Watercolor and ShiftOS days, I kept getting complaints any time I did a website infrastructure update. Things like “Why do I need a different login for the forum and the wiki?” “Ugh, you changed what software you use and now I need a new account.”

The idea of Bit Phoenix Accounts was to solve those (totally legitimate) issues. Each part of the website would use OpenID Connect to talk to the Accounts server and you now had the same login everywhere. Nice. …Except we now no longer need it because neither the forum and the wiki exist anymore so… on the chopping block it goes.

WordPress

I then did some more thinking. Our main website…it was really slow. That poor Linux VPS just…was running too much at once! Since we no longer had the auth server or the wiki, I thought about if we needed the features of WordPress or if it would be worth it to move to something like GitHub Pages. I mean, we don’t need much more than a blog, a contact page, an about page and a homepage, right?

The only features I really saw myself using in WordPress were:

The latter no longer being needed, but I was still reluctant to let go of the former. Until…

The WYSIWYG editor I'm using to WRITE THIS PAGE

Would you look… at that… A WYSIWYG editor… This is something called Netlify CMS. It’s like WordPress but I’m not hosting it, it’s mostly server-less, and you can see the code for the website on GitHub.

TobiasSN on our Discord suggested I use this and I’m glad he did. So… WordPress was on the chopping block too.

So what’s new?

Well, the site’s been redesigned. Proper dark theme, but there’s still a few rough edges. This site’s based on the default Hugo template that Netlify gives you, and the demo pages made this site look like we were a coffee shop for a while, but I’m making progress with layout and content management.

Here’s what I’ve done:

And here’s what I can now do:

What’ll happen to the VPS?

I’ll be using it for Bit Phoenix Projects once I finish working on that.

Do you need coffee?

Yes. Yes I do. Please. Haven’t had any today. I’ll have an Extra Large Tripple Tripple, thank you. Or maybe a pumpkin spice latte.

Anyway, welcome to the new Bit Phoenix website!