Vegan Realm got a makeover

Published on January 10, 2023

We became vegan in 2016 and quickly realized our recipe bookmarks were all over the place. We wanted something centralized where we could find recipes from sources we trust. We could say we had some background in search engine concepts, so this is how Vegan Realm, our curated search engine, came to life.

At the time, JavaScript was all the rage for the frontend (it still is but our opinion on this topic changed a bit). We created two applications to power Vegan Realm: 

Fast forward to today, we’re still using the Dropwizard framework. This time though, we are also rendering the HTML using Dropwizard. For such a simple website, we don’t need JavaScript. By going with server-side rendering, we simplify the build and deployment process. As a nice side effect, we don’t have to deal with potential browser cache issues and the website will just work when search engines access it. Moreover, you can still search for a good vegan meal if you have JavaScript disabled.

PostgreSQL has great full text search capabilities which is why we went with it in 2017. SQLite offers powerful full text search as well and is more than enough to drive a simple website like Vegan Realm. By choosing SQLite, we simplify considerably the server management needs for this application.

This new version comes with a few notable improvements:

Here is the mandatory before and after:

The code is available here. We hope you like this new version.