Hawk Host Site Road to Zend Framework

The Hawk Host site currently uses a semi framework I built several years ago to do MVC.  It was great at the time was very light weight and did the job.  As we’ve grown over the past year we’ve found it necessary to change things on our site and add pages.  This is now where it gets tricky as my framework system did not actually have any search engine friendly URL system built into it.  We actually manually specify the rewrites in our .htaccess which has become troublesome as more than just myself need to modify our site.  Not to say there aren’t some things that are easy to change.  One of them being the features of our pages which are dynamically loaded for the most part and can inherit that of other pages.  For example our reseller page inherits a lot of the features from our shared hosting page.

So here goes our road to having our site in Zend framework while keeping our existing url’s while using new url’s for our old url’s.

The site will be using the following Zend Framework features:

  • Zend routing system including the controller system
  • Zend loader to handle all the autoloading of classes
  • Zend_DB for our database needs.  Specifically we will be utilizing the MySQL portion as our current database is MySQL
  • The Zend_Db_Table portion for some of our data handling along with our own model class to minimize the amount of times we’re loading meta data from the tables when it is unnecessary.
  • The site currently uses smarty and we’ll be sticking with that putting a Smarty view helper into the controllers.
  • Other portions I’m forgetting at the time of this post

Now as far as what exactly will be changed once the site goes up.  Not a whole lot it’ll still be as fast as ever and it will continue to still use the same design.  Using Zend Framework however enables us to easily add new features without all the annoying manual rewrites going on.  So some features we may even have for when the site is Zend framework powered are:

  • Weekly specials page which will be read from the database and controlled by anyone on our sales staff.  This will allow us to be much more dynamic with our deals
  • A more robust server status page with monitoring of all the key services on each server.  The services will be dynamic allowing for scaling of various types of servers.  We will also cache the status’s so it may be 1-5 minutes delayed.  Which is great if you want a quick check as doing checks on the fly can be very slow

So there’s a preview to our road to Zend Framework.  I’ll be sure to make another post once we have our site running using Zend framework.

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