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Site offline Sat 1st Sept for major software upgrade

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Simon Hampel, 31st Aug, 2007.

  1. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    I'm going to attempt to upgrade the forum software tomorrow (Saturday) ... which will most likely take quite a while to complete.

    As a result, the forums could be offline most of the day - from around 9am.
     
  2. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Okay - all done.

    Please let me know if you find anything which doesn't seem to be working now.
     
  3. Sk3tChY

    Sk3tChY Well-Known Member

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    Any chance you could elaborate on the upgrade sim?

    Like what you do n stuff...?
     
  4. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    The upgrade was installing a new version of the forum software.

    Unfortunately this upgrade was difficult due to all the customisations I've made to the base software, I was nearly 12 months behind in my upgrades :eek: Fortunately I'd managed to tidy up a lot of my modifications before attempting the upgrade so that I was more confident it would all work. It still took about 5 hours of solid work to get the upgrade completed (quicker than I thought it would be !!). Future upgrades should also be easier now too - which is nice.

    Basic process for upgrades:
    1. disable access to users, redirect traffic to an "offline" message page
    2. backup the database (very important!!!)
    3. backup the files (also very important)
    4. disable any modifications which would break the upgrade process (or break as a result of the upgrade)
    5. remove all old files
    6. upload new software
    7. perform upgrade (database changes and such)
    8. restore data from gallery / attachments / avatars / modifications
    9. re-enable modifications and test
    10. upgrade any modifications which need upgrading as a result of the forum software upgrade
    11. update customised UI templates which were modified by the upgrade (this takes the longest)
    12. test all functionality
    13. unredirect traffic back to the forums, re-enable access for users
    14. go have a nap after doing one more check to convince yourself it is all working.

    ... or something like that anyway :D
     
  5. Sk3tChY

    Sk3tChY Well-Known Member

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    Ahhh I see... Seems a bit tricky, how'd you get the knowledge to perform this sort of thing? Do you do it for a living or something?
     
  6. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Well I have been doing web stuff for over 12 years now, and I am in IT ... and given that I am now self employed, I guess you could say I do do it for a living (or something) now.

    The specific knowledge about how this software works and how to get the most out of it has come through 5+ years of experience - and there is a very good support network if I get stuck and need to find out how to make it do something different.
     
  7. Sk3tChY

    Sk3tChY Well-Known Member

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    Ahhh nice. Well if you got your own business and ever interested in a network guy, or training someone, i'm your man..! :p

    Do you do your own hosting as well..?
     
  8. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Yes, I resell website hosting - I don't run my own servers (that part is outsourced).
     
  9. Sk3tChY

    Sk3tChY Well-Known Member

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    I see, do you make much money off hosting..?

    I was thinking about starting up my own webhosting company in a couple years once I get all the technical knowledge.

    Who do you outsource with, how much it cost you? Do they take care of all the support as well?
     
  10. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    There's a lot of web hosts out there - and prices have come down a lot in recent years, so there's not as much margin in it anymore.

    I use Quadrahosting
     
  11. Sk3tChY

    Sk3tChY Well-Known Member

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    Dosen't a bloke by the name of Jimmy own that..?

    Or do you own part of it too..?
     
  12. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Yup Jimmy owns/runs it (he is also known as 'muppie' on some forums). I'm only a customer.
     
  13. Sk3tChY

    Sk3tChY Well-Known Member

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    I see, I thought you said you re-sell...?

    Little confused here...

    Do you hire a server off him or something, and keep the profit from the domains you host on it?
     
  14. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Yes, I resell - which means I pay him for rights to use his servers (ie I am his customer). I then have my own customers who pay me to host stuff for them which I do on Jimmy's servers. There's not a lot of margin in it - I only charge a bit over cost for the actual hosting part.

    That's not my main business anyway - I just do it because I get asked to do it.
     
  15. Sk3tChY

    Sk3tChY Well-Known Member

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    ahhh k... You should maybe try making some money off it... :) Althoughits probably alot harder these days, with all the webhosting companies out there now.
     
  16. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    It's difficult to make much money as the middleman unless you can add a lot of value and charge a premium (which you can't really do with hosting these days - there's no more value to add) - otherwise you need to have extremely high volumes.

    This is why I'm not interested in pursuing the hosting market beyond what I already do for my clients - I see far more benefit in looking for opportunities to add additional value to my clients' business.