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Recent website improvements.

Recently I made a blog post about changing the feed generation method which included switching to RSS instead of Atom because it seems to work a little better for me. However, that's not all I've done to improve this site recently. Below are some other things that weren't mentioned in that original blog post.

Custom Domain

That's right! This website now has its own domain name instead of using the GitHub Pages subdomain. Previously, this site's domain name would be https://drewnaylor.github.io, but now it's https://drew-naylor.com. I had to retype the old domain name because I didn't have a screenshot of it before getting my new one.

Old domain name:

Old domain name.
^ It's free, but is a lot to remember.

New domain name:

New domain name.
^ Short and terse. Easy on the memory.

As you can see, I purchased my name as a domain name.

Cloudflare DNS and SSL

So you noticed the HTTPS in the address bar screenshot with my custom domain above and wondered how I could use it with GitHub Pages hosting? Well, let me tell you about a feature of Cloudflare that you may or may not know about: Flexible SSL.

What is Flexible SSL you may ask? It's a form of SSL provided by Cloudflare which encrypts traffic from your computer to Cloudflare's servers, but traffic is unencrypted from there to the host server which is GitHub in this case. Since GitHub Pages doesn't allow custom domains to use either GitHub's HTTPS certificate or have certificates uploaded to the repository (as far as I know,) we have to use another service for HTTPS/SSL. Some pages have stated that Microsoft Azure can work as a reverse proxy for this, but I want to keep things simple.

Some of you may also be thinking about the recent "Cloudbleed" security bug and if it impacted my site, but I don't deal with any personal information. The only thing I would deal with would be Disqus which I'm planning on adding to this site as soon as I can so that people can leave feedback.

Because I'm now using Cloudflare for DNS and SSL, I'm pretty sure some of you will be concerned about cookies on this site. As of right now, (05/05/2017,) the only cookies my website uses are Cloudflare cookies as you can see in the screenshot below. I'm not sure what the bottom two are for, but the "cfduid" cookie is used by Cloudflare to ensure that a user is able to access the site if they're on an infected network.

Cloudflare cookies on this site.
^ I'm not sharing my cookies. They're MINE.

Fixing the Sitemap

While I was fixing the RSS feed it occurred to me that the sitemap prepended my website's homepage URL to every page on my website just like my RSS (at the time it was Atom) feed. I don't want to type much about this, so imagine the old feed's links are in my sitemap instead.

Brand-new Custom Banner Image

Saving the best for last, we have my new custom banner! Instead of using the Slim Pickins Jekyll theme banner image, my website is now using a banner image I designed myself in Photoshop.

Old banner image:

Old banner image.
^ Looks okay, but it's the default and I don't want anyone to think I made it.

New banner image:

New banner image.
^ May not be as good as my old Drew Naylor Emulation one, but it's professional.

Disqus Comment Section

I spent way too much time on trying to make this work and will go to sleep shortly, but for anyone else reading this, if you're trying to use Disqus on a GitHub Pages Jekyll website and it isn't showing up, make sure you don't edit the JavaScript and HTML Disqus provides you for the Universal Code installation method. I didn't see anyone talk about this anywhere, so if you had the same problem I did where you edited the "this.page.url" and "this.page.identifier" in the "disqus_config" area that's commented out by default, I hope I helped you. If I did, go ahead and leave a comment down below now that this site has a comments section.

Also, here's the code for my "post.html" template: Post.html Go ahead and use that template if you want to. I tweaked it a bunch from the default that came with Slim Pickens. I had to link to it or else this page would get messed up.

I added Disqus successfully on Saturday, May 6, 2017, at 3 AM EDT. Goodnight.