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  • Donations: Hosting and Tech Support

    Hi One and All

    This post is to provide a bit of an update on the site administration and bring up a suggested change to our hosting and tech support, which we're looking for donations for.

    We have been looking at the ongoing queries people have reported since the upgrade at the start of the year. I'll update in more detail in the Glitches/Report a Problem tomorrow on those. Working through these highlighted that keeping up to date with the forum software would definitely be beneficial (fixes to a couple of issues raised have been issued by the software providers if you access the upgrades). Also, the recent glitch that caused the site to go offline briefly raised a question against both the hosting and tech support that we have established too.

    The bottom line is that we've been very fortunate that Rosely has saved us a couple of times in the last year but we need to address that she just doesn't have the same time for the site that she used to have. The pressure to be able to drop everything to fix problems and find solutions as they arise isn't a reasonable expectation any more and the other members of the admin/mod team don't have the same level of tech knowhow to fix such problems. The combination of these two factors, the need for the software updates and looking to find a way to meet possible tech support needs, led us to look into changing our host.

    We are suggesting moving to a Cloud hosting package with vBulletin, our software providers. The main advantages of this would be that they will run all software updates on the site automatically and the site will also be automatically backed up each day. We get a month's tech support included with the migration which will help to fix any glitches the migration causes as well as possibly helping with the remaining issues still unresolved. As well as gaining the security of the site software being kept up to date and the daily back ups, we would also move the site to the main URL, lose the very outdated home page we currently have, and gain a secure web connection too. We'd look to see if it is possible to have a straight forward welcome page created within the forum software, or the main forum page will sit directly on the main URL.

    If we did move to vBulletin and the site got busier we might need to revisit the hosting level, which would affect the hosting cost, but we are able to upgrade if that becomes necessary. We have looked to make sure the current needs of the site would be met by the package suggested. There are some restrictions on site features by moving to the Cloud hosting which are mostly things such as add ons and third party styles not being compatible when hosted with vBulletin, but we don't think this will noticeably affect us.

    Without our own in-house tech, either hosting option can also have additional tech support paid for from vBulletin if needed on a monthly basis of $58.80. We can feasibly pay for having upgrades done too if we didn't change host, although that is a more expensive ad hoc add on. There is simply more tech support built in if we were hosted by vBulletin. Not only would we get the one month tech support included with the move, but they would probably be able to help more directly with general queries on occasions too (that is as well as the automatic upgrades that would be included with the hosting). But either way, any additional funds raised beyond the basic hosting cost could be held for other ad hoc tech support, or if unused simply kept towards the next year's hosting costs. If we go with the suggested move to vBulletin and get the funds together soon we may avoid any cost overlaps of switching and should be able to run a test migration before moving the site too.

    The current hosting is due at the start of January. We have been lucky that Ehlwyen has been happy to pay for it for so many years, but it seems fairer to return to the members coming together to gather the annual funds. The current hosting costs around $150 per year. We could keep this, just simplify the existing homepage and pay for tech support as needed. But if we manage to raise a little more and can fund an annual cost of $215.86 instead, then we can migrate to vBulletin and gain the automatic upgrades, back ups and site security, as well as the one month free tech support. Changing host will bring definite advantages, as well as sharing the cost of the site together again.

    If you are happy to put an amount into the pot to see what we can raise that would be hugely appreciated, whatever size the contribution. As Paypal has worked well for this in the past let's stick with that, donations can be sent using Paypal to my email - stoney.1@hotmail.com.

  • #2
    ALL CAUGHT UP


    All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.

    What’s said in this post/comment is what I remember, my opinions, etc.





    I'm kinda confused. Is it being suggested that the annual costs will be $215.86 plus 11 * $58.80? Meaning an annual cost of $862.66? Or is it being suggested that the annual cost will be $215.86 plus the $58.80 each month something goes wrong?

    I very much like the notion of more activity on this Board. I want this Board to be the most active Buffyverse Board and the best place to post about the Buffyverse. I've invested a lot of time and energy into this Board. I fully support the better and more robust hosting thing and thus the $215.86 annual hosting cost thing.

    I hope posters and commenters and readers can pitch in.

    The email is stoney.1@hotmail.com, right?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by MikeB View Post
      I'm kinda confused. Is it being suggested that the annual costs will be $215.86 plus 11 * $58.80? Meaning an annual cost of $862.66? Or is it being suggested that the annual cost will be $215.86 plus the $58.80 each month something goes wrong?
      Oh, no not the huge amount! Sorry for any confusion I've caused.

      The basic annual cost would be the $215.86 for the vBulletin hosting. That does come with some basic general support but if we had something specific come up we needed actual technical help with, then we could choose on an ad hoc basis to pay for a month's greater tech support at $58.80. So it is definitely possible we could have a year where we never need to do that, or only do it once to clear up some problems.

      I thought if we just gathered donations and we ended up with more than the basic annual cost we could then just hold the donations in a pot so it is there either for tech support if needed or it can just go towards the next year's hosting.

      And yes, that is the right email, as you had it. I added the space to get it to stop turning it into an automatic link as I thought it looked like I'd linked it to Paypal and didn't want to irritate people with a missing link. Again, I didn't mean to confuse so I'll amend it.

      Comment


      • Double Dutchess
        Double Dutchess commented
        Editing a comment
        I donated!

      • Stoney
        Stoney commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks DD, really appreciated.

    • #4
      I just donated and I am definitely willing to donate yearly if necessary. I think it would be good to get the donate button working again and maybe we should have a recurring donating date to raise the money for the annual fee.

      flow

      Comment


      • Stoney
        Stoney commented
        Editing a comment
        Fab, thanks flow. I can look into the button link.

    • #5
      Huge thanks to those that have donated so far, we're already over half way towards the cost of moving to vBulletin's hosting for the next year.

      Comment


      • SpuffyGlitz
        SpuffyGlitz commented
        Editing a comment
        Yay! I'll be thrilled to donate again!  I love this forum and hope it thrives  

      • Stoney
        Stoney commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks SpuffyGlitz.

    • #6
      echoing flow

      funds sent—

      would repeat yearly with gratitude—


      Comment


      • Stoney
        Stoney commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you.

      • StateOfSiege97
        StateOfSiege97 commented
        Editing a comment
        meowpurr....

    • #7
      ALL CAUGHT UP


      All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.

      What’s said in this post/comment is what I remember, my opinions, etc.




      Funds Availability Date
      :
      Dec 10, 2020


      That's kinda weird. Anyway, I sent just $20 so far. I'll send more--if there's a shortfall the week before January 2021.

      Comment


      • Stoney
        Stoney commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for contributing. Sorry, I don't understand the 10th Dec reference??

    • #8
      I am very hopeful that we are going to get to the amount needed to migrate to vBulletin's hosting, even if we don't manage to store up any funds for reactive tech support. The donations are roughly around £145 so far, which I believe is about $195. And we've reached that in only 2 days. Huge thanks to everyone who has contributed so far.

      Comment


      • Stoney
        Stoney commented
        Editing a comment
        I think if you donate using my email address through Paypal it'll automatically convert it to GBP.

      • PuckRobin
        PuckRobin commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks! I’ll donate today!

      • Stoney
        Stoney commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you PuckRobin .

    • #9
      As soon as I can figure out how to restore my old PayPal account from a decade ago, I'll donate in the next few hours.

      Comment


      • Stoney
        Stoney commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you.

    • #10
      Stoney, I have just sent something for the Buffy Forums upgrade. I am excited to see the site revamped (pun intended!).

      Comment


      • Stoney
        Stoney commented
        Editing a comment
        Fabulous, thank you.

    • #11
      ALL CAUGHT UP


      All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.

      What’s said in this post/comment is what I remember, my opinions, etc.






      * PayPal seemed to imply that the $20 wouldn't be available until December 10, 2020 C.E.; nevertheless, it seems the $20 has already been taken from my PayPal-linked bank account.

      Banks used to be able to have funds available almost immediately when you transfer money online. But during the Covid-19 pandemic, some banks are now doing a '3 business days thing'.



      * Anyway, I hope with POTUS Donald Trump out of Office that more time can be devoted to the discussion of the Buffyverse. The post-2020 elections has required considerable news reading and actions that have taken considerable time away from more pleasurable time pursuits.

      Politics is real life and takes priority.

      Comment


      • Stoney
        Stoney commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh, okay, I understand now, thanks.

    • #12
      Once again huge thanks to everyone who has contributed so generously. We are now well past the amount that we needed for next year's hosting and have a very healthy pot for possible tech support/or even towards the following year's hosting costs.

      The mods/admins will put our heads together on the timescale and let you all know the plan as soon as we have it.

      Comment


      • #13
        ALL CAUGHT UP


        All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.

        What’s said in this post/comment is what I remember, my opinions, etc.





        * WOW! It is shocking to me that next year's upgraded hosting costs was funded so quickly--in less than 4 days. I made my initial post a little over 1 hour after Stoney's Original Post.

        In these Covid-19 times; new Stay At Home orders; the Winter and thus a rise in cases, deaths, and risks; etc., I was concerned that there would be more difficulty than last year getting the funding (and significantly increased funding at that).

        I'm not sure if KingOfCretins contributed this year or yet. I remember last year that he really 'stepped in'. I contributed $50 last year largely to try to 'get the ball rolling' and I remember he pitched in around $100.

        Board activity has gone down considerably, but I consider that at least partly to largely because of the political climate. It's not as if Buffyverse discussion on the Internet has stopped.

        And this place is still an excellent place to post and comment because of the organization and your posts are better 'saved' and able to be viewed later. You don't have to sift through pages and pages of posts and you aren't 'far behind' if you don't post or comment in a few days or several days.


        * Finally, Board activity is sustained with new posters and commenters. And with things to discuss. I've always liked the idea of commenting on key Slayage.org essays (I assume Slayage still exists and is still giving new content).

        The BOOM! comics aren't canon. The post-Season 9 comics cannot be canon. There somehow has never been much discussion or any threads since 2010 C.E. regarding Ring of Fire, Spike & Dru: "Paint the Town Red", etc. But the comics have effectively ended the "Buffy/Angel vs. Buffy/Spike" and "Is Angel or Spike a better person" thing.

        Anyway, I hope 2021 C.E. is better than 2020 C.E. One of the only good things about 2020 C.E. is the Stock Market and technology such as the LG CX (Prime Day and Black Friday...) and LG GX TVs. And Apple silicon has begun. But, with such things, it helps to have money to enjoy such things and there should be some redistribution in the United States because of the trillions in wealth that was transferred from the poor and middle class to the rich and wealthy. But I am excited for the next generation of Apple silicon laptops and maybe desktops.

        I'm still not a gamer largely because the graphics still aren't good enough for me to justify spending $1,000s on a gaming PC and spending a bunch of hours playing games. Discussing politics and the Buffyverse is still more fun and useful for me. And doing real activities once the Covid-19 thing has calmed down because of the vaccines and people in the US taking Covid-19 seriously. Playing actual basketball, driving actual cars, doing water sports and water activities, playing tennis--all are better and funner than playing video games. Reading and becoming more informed is better than playing video games. Watching great TV shows and movies is better than playing video games.

        And I've been working out and going on weekly runs.

        Anyway... Slayage and even All Things Philosophical and such could be great discussion material. I still haven't read almost any of that stuff.
        Last edited by MikeB; 07-12-20, 04:12 AM.

        Comment


        • #14
          Originally posted by MikeB View Post
          ALL CAUGHT UP

          * WOW! It is shocking to me that next year's upgraded hosting costs was funded so quickly--in less than 4 days. I made my initial post a little over 1 hour after Stoney's Original Post.

          In these Covid-19 times; new Stay At Home orders; the Winter and thus a rise in cases, deaths, and risks; etc., I was concerned that there would be more difficulty than last year getting the funding (and significantly increased funding at that).

          I'm not sure if KingOfCretins contributed this year or yet. I remember last year that he really 'stepped in'. I contributed $50 last year largely to try to 'get the ball rolling' and I remember he pitched in around $100.

          Board activity has gone down considerably, but I consider that at least partly to largely because of the political climate. It's not as if Buffyverse discussion on the Internet has stopped.

          And this place is still an excellent place to post and comment because of the organization and your posts are better 'saved' and able to be viewed later. You don't have to sift through pages and pages of posts and you aren't 'far behind' if you don't post or comment in a few days or several days.

          * Finally, Board activity is sustained with new posters and commenters. And with things to discuss. I've always liked the idea of commenting on key Slayage.org essays (I assume Slayage still exists and is still giving new content).

          The BOOM! comics aren't canon. The post-Season 9 comics cannot be canon. There somehow has never been much discussion or any threads since 2010 C.E. regarding Ring of Fire, Spike & Dru: "Paint the Town Red", etc. But the comics have effectively ended the "Buffy/Angel vs. Buffy/Spike" and "Is Angel or Spike a better person" thing.

          Anyway, I hope 2021 C.E. is better than 2020 C.E. One of the only good things about 2020 C.E. is the Stock Market and technology such as the LG CX (Prime Day and Black Friday...) and LG GX TVs. And Apple silicon has begun. But, with such things, it helps to have money to enjoy such things and there should be some redistribution in the United States because of the trillions in wealth that was transferred from the poor and middle class to the rich and wealthy. But I am excited for the next generation of Apple silicon laptops and maybe desktops.

          I'm still not a gamer largely because the graphics still aren't good enough for me to justify spending $1,000s on a gaming PC and spending a bunch of hours playing games. Discussing politics and the Buffyverse is still more fun and useful for me. And doing real activities once the Covid-19 thing has calmed down because of the vaccines and people in the US taking Covid-19 seriously. Playing actual basketball, driving actual cars, doing water sports and water activities, playing tennis--all are better and funner than playing video games. Reading and becoming more informed is better than playing video games. Watching great TV shows and movies is better than playing video games.

          And I've been working out and going on weekly runs.

          Anyway... Slayage and even All Things Philosophical and such could be great discussion material. I still haven't read almost any of that stuff.
          But, MikeB, there are those of us who read, work out AND play video games! Sometimes all at the same time!

          I read at least five to ten books a week, but I can't help it - I've been addicted to video games since childhood. I've worked out a lot of complex theory in my head while scaling towers in Assassin's Creed

          I think it's great that we reached the goal so fast this time. I do remember you and KingofCretins and a few others flying in at the last minute to save us all when the board first collapsed.

          Like you, I hope that 2021 is an improvement from the last year. Hopefully, the vaccine will be successful, Buffy Forums will be reorganized, theaters and restaurants will reopen, and the world will breathe a sigh of relief after such a catastrophic year.

          Comment


          • #15
            ALL CAUGHT UP


            All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.

            What’s said in this post/comment is what I remember, my opinions, etc.




            Originally posted by American Aurora View Post


            I read at least five to ten books a week,
            WOW! I'm way behind on reading books. I bought a copy of The Queen's Gambit and haven't even open the book yet. I like reading stuff by Ron Chernow and David McCullough and such, but I'm way behind on that as well.

            I read up on business and politics mostly to be informed and to act on such information. Just 'being aware' makes you prepared for stuff.

            theaters and restaurants will reopen,
            Part of my mentioning the LG CX and LG GX is theaters aren't as necessary. The picture quality isn't as good as what you got on pre-LG CX-quality TVs. You don't even need a home movie theater anymore. If movie studios will do 'day of' with streaming, that saves a bunch of time traveling to the movie theater, waiting through commercials, having to not go to the bathroom during the movie, etc.

            High quality restaurants are worth it. Everything else--food from Costco, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, from the local farmer's market, etc. is as-good or even better. And overall healthier. A good bakery is worth it and I get my bread from a local good bakery.

            I actually most miss going to malls, shopping centers, 'gallerias', etc. You get to meet people and such and shopping can be a good time-killer.

            and the world will breathe a sigh of relief after such a catastrophic year.
            I'm actually most liking the idea of more casual wear. I like the idea of women not having to wear makeup and nail polish and not having to wear high heels and female business attire.

            I like the idea of men not having to wear dress shoes and business suits.

            Once the Garmin 630 came out, I stopped wearing 'dress watches'. I wear a Garmin 935 now even with 'formal wear'. The whole 'watch culture' thing is stupid to me because none of those watches are better than a decent Garmin watch and those watches aren't 'investment pieces' unless an apocalypse happens and GPS no longer works and there is no electricity anymore.

            Anyway, the pandemic has resulted in potentially some good things. But, again, those good things are largely only affecting and effecting people who have been able to be comfortable since late February or early March.
            Last edited by MikeB; 07-12-20, 04:55 AM.

            Comment


            • #16
              Just a quick update. I have purchased the Cloud hosting package with vBulletin and we are currently looking at the needed administration tasks for migrating over to them. I will try to give notice of any planned maintenance time needed if/when the site has to go briefly offline, but if there are any blips or anomalies in the near future it could be from us starting to run admin tasks around this. Once we have any set timeframes confirmed I'll post a notice of what to expect.

              Comment


              • American Aurora
                American Aurora commented
                Editing a comment
                Wow! Can't wait to see the new site next year - so happy the fundraising was successful.

            • #17
              Not a perfect thread for this question, but I don't think it deserves it's own either.


              We're busy with preparing for the transfer to our new host and were wondering if it's perhaps time to leave the vamp smilies behind. Nobody uses them (on a regular basis) and most emotions conveyed by these smilies are already covered by the non-vamp ones. But we don't want to delete the set if some members are attached to them. So are there people who would like to keep them?



              :vamp_smile:


              Comment


              • Double Dutchess
                Double Dutchess commented
                Editing a comment
                I'm not a fan of the vamp smilies personally.

            • #18
              I never use them and wouldn't shed a tear if they were to disappear.

              flow

              Comment


              • #19
                ALL CAUGHT UP


                All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.

                What’s said in this post/comment is what I remember, my opinions, etc.





                * I didn't even know the vamp smilies existed.


                * I'd like to thank again all those who contributed and contribute in terms of time and/or money to the operation of this forum. This forum isn't as active as it used to be, but there are still sometimes great discussions and debates happening on this forum.

                Comment


                • #20
                  I'm not attached to them


                  “I like who I am when I’m with him. I like who we are together.”

                  Comment

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