Good day, Plants and Cats lovers,
As we pursue improving the platform, this weekend we are releasing a significant technical update. We changed the mechanism to handle your accounts on Plants for Cats to increase security and performances!
What was wrong with the previous method?
First of all, there was no security breach, all your accounts remained safe! We were using Keycloak to handle the accounts, which is a great tool, well-known and used by many other companies.
However, upgrading the platform was time-consuming. The other downside of it is we were hosting the tool ourselves, meaning sharing our server resource.
What is great with the new tool then?
We recently migrated some components into the cloud, using Google Cloud Platform and Firebase. As part of the "package", we can use their authentication mechanism.
- First, it is fairly easy to integrate so we knew it wouldn't be too time-consuming so we gave it a try.
- Second, as it is a cloud tool, it is automatically updated to its latest version, fixing the latest known bugs and security issues, without any effort from us. Even if we are on break, your accounts remain safe with a team maintaining the platform 24/7.
- Another advantage of it being on-cloud, we are not hosting it on our server. The previous tool was taking a big chunk of our resources, which will now be free for other parts.
- Lastly, the flow is a bit smoother, with fewer redirections or pages being refreshed.
Wait, are you selling my data to Google?
Not at all! Your accounts are not Google accounts but still a regular Plants for Cats account. Google provides some interesting tools for companies to increase productivity, including an authentication mechanism, but they don't own the data, they don't have access to it.
Respecting users' privacy and personal data is important for us. Most of the website is available with or without an account. We have new incoming features that will be user-specific, like having personal lists, but that will simply make the platform easier to use.
How to register or log in?
If you want to use Facebook or Twitter to log in, simply select your favorite one in the login popup. Authorize Plants for Cats, and you will be all set! Easy, isn't it?
If you want to use the traditional combo email + password, select the first option "Sign in with email". Then write down your email, and finally your password on the last page.
Where is the register button?
We merged both register and login buttons. When entering your email, if it's a new one, you will then switch to the "Account creation" flow. From there, you will be asked a Display name and a password to create your account.
We don't recommend using your real name in the "Display name" field, as it will be public if you comment on a plant or take part in a discussion. Use your first name only or a nickname.
What about my previous account?
If you already had an account in the past, it was migrated to the new platform. You will soon receive an email about it.
What is next?
We still have some minor fixes to perform regarding the user migration. And next time, we will talk ads and money.
For now, we hope you will prefer these changes. Share your feedback on social media!