This site is built using the DaytonaWeb engine by Color Media Productions. DaytonaWeb is a complete solution to web development including picture galleries, video, audio, commenting, ratings, e-commerce, blog posts, other pluggable features, and modern user interface design.
We are absolutely obsessed with speed. We hate waiting for page loads or unexplained delays, and we think you do too. We built DaytonaWeb using the fastest tools, servers, databases, and hardware. We don't use advertisements which waste time and bandwidth. Our goal was to be under 1/10th of a second page load time, and we exceeded that. Many of our pages process in 1/200th of a second, which is effectively instant. The only significant delay is internet latency, which for a typical round trip is usually under 1/10th of a second.
DaytonaWeb required a lot of time and effort to build, and we'd like to acknowledge some of the tools that we used to make it possible.
Back end and Logic:
Our servers run on Debian Linux.
Daytona is written in PHP. Although we were running it using HHVM (Hip Hop Virtual Machine), recent changes to HHVM have made it unsuitable for us. PHP versions 7 and above have eliminated any speed advantage we were seeing from HHVM.
Further user interface and content presentation is handled by React, a technology developed by Facebook. By sending the minimal amount of data and allowing the client machine do the rendering, React reduces bandwidth usage and server load, allowing a larger number of simultaneous users and faster response.
Our webserver software is Nginx (pronounced Engine-X), the fastest server available today. Nginx works differently than previous servers, and allows a massive number of simultaneous users without overloading or slowing down. Many Nginx server installations are capable of exceeding 10,000 simultaneous users per server.
We use MySql database, always the most up-to-date (at this writing that is 8.0, which has many scaling improvements to support larger, faster sites).
The default frontend for DaytonaWeb (which can be replaced) uses Smarty, a template engine that has been around for a long time and is very mature tech. It helps maintain the separation of logic and presentation, and is a very real factor in how fast our sites are while keeping the source easily readable and clean.
Daytona uses the now-popular "Mobile First" doctrine. Mobile First lets us lay out a site so it looks great on phones and tablets first, then expand the display to also look great on a laptop or desktop. We achieve this using responsive web design, which actually reformats the display based on the size of your screen.
We've been following the development of, and rapidly adopting, W3.CSS - an extremely useful library that allows us to abstract and use all of the best CSS3 standards. W3.CSS is relatively new but allows even better control over the visual aspects of a site than any others we have tried. CSS is at the lowest level of your browser so it makes sense to have all animation and formatting at that level, since it's the fastest.
Organizing the handy display of cards and allowing them to shuffle, filter, and sort content is Isotope.
The large selection of extremely well designed icons is courtesy of Font-Awesome. These icons are implemented as a font, so they automatically scale cleanly with no pixels or ugliness. They are also relatively standard across applications.
We use Maxmind tools for geolocation.