taurineman

Moving in ;)

7 posts in this topic

As Mark moves out, i will be moving in to fill his shoes. As I, and Mark, have already said, running this site takes time and money. Im fairly time-poor, but with some donations from you, i can keep this site ticking over as it has been for the foreseeable future.

The key to keeping this site interesting, and thus driving traffic to it, is to provide fresh and interesting content. Its a catch-22, many members will naturally generate a lot of content, but we cant get many members unless there is interesting content.

Managing and promoting these sorts of things are not my strengths. I'm from a technical background. So i welcome, and encourage ideas for how to drive traffic back here.

 

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Thank you for taking over Taurineman.

As for looking for ideas to reduce running costs, here is 1 but with a few ifs, and may not be what you are after.

  • I can host about 10 web sites, and I am only hosting about 6 with openhost (a web hosting company with NZ based servers, specialising in .NET which I am most familiar with but can host PHP on a whim).
  • I could easily host this site, but to me it only seems worthwhile if we could bring the past content & images across (to an open source project like YetAnotherForum.Net ). I could do this technically, but at the moment really don't have the time.
  • Therefore, If there is someone who is part of this community who has the technical expertise and time to move the database and image files over, I can set that person up as a user (giving access to a Plesk control panel) and host the site for free. The only cost then becomes annual DNS registration - usually about $20-30 per year, although there are a few caveats depending on who owns the site name.

It would usually involve giving the forum a slightly different look and feel.

Step 1 would be Taurineman agreeing in principle

Step 2 would be identifying an appropriate person

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HI McShaz - im open to the idea. The thing that worries me is the data migration and the size of the database etc. Currently this is powered by Invision Power. I think they use their own BB board software. I will have to look at how/if you can migrate. What would you be willing to charge to host it with your lot?

For now its on their $25 plan, so thats $10/month saving. But this will still cost me $300 USD just in hosting charges per year. Then theres domain costs too.

 

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to be clear about money - I have to host several sites, and so I need my current (reseller) hosting plan. The sites I host are non commercial, but achieve philanthropic aims quite successfully with 10s of thousands of hits a month, thus I plan to keep them going for decades to come. I am offering to use a spare site and database for free, such that the total cost for hosting the site is the $30 per year dns registration. Database size should be pretty irrelevant for forum this size. As you state it may not be possible - although ethically and legally not providing ability to back up the forum content would be a little dubious of the hosting company.

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pete & mcshaz,

this is a great conversation to be having.  We are a small community and future-proofing this site by minimising the running costs is well worthwhile.

If we stick with Invision Power Board then the running costs need to be shared by the users.

If we move to a new host and forum software it would be worth exploring all options so that we end up in a position where the site can easily be migrated and/or shifted to a different host with minimal effort if we need to do so again in the future.  I don't have experience in web forums but I am a systems architect by trade and my work also entails a lot of coding so I know enough to be dangerous!

I've had a quick dig around and points to note are:

- Invision Power Board (this forum's software product) is a proprietary system, the forum software is written in PHP backed by MySQL databases.  From what I can tell the product must be hosted with Invision - you can't pick it up and move it to a cheaper host.  From what I have read an admin user should be able to export the databases.  There are various howto's out there for migrating from Invision to the likes of phpBB & Drupal.

- In my opinion if going down the migration path, moving to a completely open source solution is best - both forum software and database engine.  I am not familiar with all of the options available in this space, but at a glance phpBB seems like a pretty robust option, backed by MySQL. 

- mcshaz - you mentioned YetAnotherForum.Net - this appears to be backed by a fairly old version of SQL Server (2008), which presumably would incur some licensing costs from Microsoft?

I am also tight on time - the broken planes in my garage are just the start of it :)

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Thanks McShaz and Nick for your inputs. Im not necessarily out to get this board to be fully free (at least for me), but any reduction in cost has to be worthwhile as long as it doesnt erode the quality of service etc.

So, in principal moving away from invision power onto a non-proprietry system is high on my list. Another reason is that Invision doesnt support tapatalk - which is not good.

As for whether or not its moved to an open-source system or a .Net powered system doesnt necessarily bother me too much, as long the cost is reasonable, performance and quality is reasonable, and the database is in a non-proprietary and popular format for easy future hosting moves (if any). At the moment we're joined at the hip to invision which i dont like.

McShaz - are you saying you wouldnt be able to provide regular backups? does your host not regularly back your hosts up?

If we went to phpBB we would need a rent a "LAMP" stack server from somewhere - does anyone know what the costs of that could be?

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ive been in contact with Invision, and they have upgraded our board software so we now:

  1. get Tapatalk - they have installed the plugin, but i need to finalise a few things with Mark first before the tapatalk rcsoaring points to this site (stay tuned)
  2. we now have RSS feeds :)

Given that we should now be able to get tapatalk access, im less urgent on moving away from Invision. Can someone point me (Nick) to where i can read up about migrating IPBoard to phpBB?

 

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