The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

TFL development

Floydm's picture

TFL development

As I've mentioned previously, as time permits I've been chipping away at an upgrade to TFL.  Progress was slow through the holidays what with the kids home and so many things going on, but recently I've cleared my plate so I can get serious about it.   

There are lots of things I'm trying to accomplish with the upgrade:

  • Move the site from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 - Drupal 6 will soon be unsupported, so this is just a technical necessity.
  • Make the site render well on mobile devices - cell phones, iPads, and other tablets are now over a quarter of the site traffic and growing.  The current design is mediocre on those devices, at best.
  • Improve media handling - both image uploading and embedding videos from YouTube and Vimeo. 
  • Make user profiles meaningful - the profile pages here right now are pretty useless.  It'd be great if they listed recent posts and comments by user and generally were worth clicking on.
  • Clean up the keywords - tags can be useful, but we've got so many now that they are a mess.  I never use them anymore.  I want to trim the list down to just a couple of hundred of the most useful ones so they can be used meaningfully to find related content. 
  • Do a better job surfacing the depth of community content here - Much of how I designed the site back in the day was to make it look big and full of content when there still wasn't a lot here.  Now there is a ton here, but it is difficult to track down some of the older gems.  I'm trying to improve that.
  • Be more contextual - the sidebars on the site really don't change.  I'd like to make it so that, say, if you are on someone's blog post in the sidebar you get a list of their previous posts. 
  • Clean the site up - both visually and content-wise.

I still have lots of work to do before it is ready, but I'm excited about the progress.  Here is a little sneak peek: 

Cleaner, isn't it?  The current site has so many boxes and borders and lines... I find it visually exhausting.  I'm hoping the new design will be easier on the eyes while remaining very familiar. 

That's it for now.  I'll keep folks posted as I progress, and definitely will give everyone an opportunity to try it and give me feedback before upgrading.



breadsong's picture

Hi Floyd,
Many thanks for your efforts, in creating this site, maintaining it, and for your work to implement the changes
you've described - the changes sound very helpful for your site users.
The sneak peek looks great! I am looking forward to how the pages will look, and finding more of the great content and
older gems located here.
Thanks again,
:^) breadsong 

clazar123's picture

Thank you for all the wonderful things you provide for all of us. The site is wonderful and it will just be better. I've recently joined the tablet and phone brigade of users so it must be getting more common if I'm into it. Tech is expensive and I am not the first one to jump on.

Thank you for all your hard work. If I were more software oriented, I'd offer to help but I can only cheer from the sidelines.


Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

You run a fantastic blog which is unsurpassed on the net.

bread basket's picture
bread basket

love my Baking University! Don't know where I would be without!


Floydm's picture

Thank you all for your kind sentiments.


Janetcook's picture

Hi Floyd,

What a project!  Love the sneak peek :-)  Your ideas all sound good to me - especially with making the older pieces easier to locate.  I know there is a ton of stuff here buy I don't know quite how to access it all....more to do with my computer/or lack there of skills than the current format.

No complaints just lots of thanks for all you have done and continue to do!

Take Care,


rossnroller's picture

Hi Floyd,

As I've expressed previously, IMO this is far and away the best bread baking forum on the web due to the wonderful input from so many bakers willing to share their triumphs, tribulations and knowledge, and because of the way you've set up the site. I find it user-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing. The changes you've signalled will make an already terrific site even better. Thanks so much for the time and effort you put into TFL. You've created a site that has nurtured a now-thriving community that is special to me - an important part of my life, no less - and I have no doubt many feel similarly.


lumos's picture

I second everyone above, especially Ross,  has said. :)   Thank you so much for your constant effort and attention you've been paying to maintain and improve the site. This is already the BEST internet forum I've ever been (and I've been to many...)  because of the lovely community atmosphere, but if there's going to be technical upgrading of the site, that'd make this place even greater!  The suggestions sound good and the preview looks good, probably more in line with other 'modern' (:p) forums these days.  Look forward to see how the overall changes will take place. Thank you.

evonlim's picture

thank you so much for a great opportunity be part of the fresh loaf community. you have the most inspiring group of bakers here. with your continue effort to keep and upgrading this wonderful site, it is a joy to be a daily thing in my life. 

thank you again.

looking forward for the new look!!


Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

I really appreciate your work!


FlourChild's picture

Upgrades all sound wonderful, looking forward to seeing them! Especially happy to contemplate a cleaner look.  Thanks for all you do :)

Thaichef's picture

Hello Floyd:

   Your Upgrade looks great.  It is easier on my eyes. I am not  great on the  computer aspect but I am very  grateful to learn a lot from TFL.  My heartfelt Thank you for doing all  of this for us.


isand66's picture

Floyd I echo the sentiments above.  Your upgrades sound great. Might I suggest maybe setting up a test group to try out your changes before you go live.  This way you can get out the bugs before going live and get some valuable feedback.  Just a thought as I'm sure plenty of us would be more than willing to help you out.   Whatever you decide I'm with you 100%. I spend more time on this site than all other websites I visit combined.  Thank you for trying to make a great site even better.



txfarmer's picture

What you have planed sounds great!

PeterS's picture

for all your efforts. I look forward to the update.