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Important Change on Auszcar.com


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#1 gav240z

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 04:32 AM

Hi everyone,
really quick update as I'm here late at the office working on this site and want to get out of here to the gym :). You will no doubt notice the site has changed - well the forums anyway.

The web host was threatening to shut down the site if I didn't rectify the CPU usage issue within 48 hours. As you know I've been trying to do this for the past few weeks with apparently no joy.

I've upgraded to the latest version of SMF forum (our forum software).

First the Cons:
- The sites theme needs to be updated. Getting back to the homepage is tricky. You will want to go here http://www.viczcar.com/ to get back.
- At the moment you can't login to the gallery at http://www.viczcar.com/gallery I'm not sure why yet, will need further investigation.

Now the Pros:
- Image attachments are working again and support large sizes
- There are some new features with the new forum software (not implemented yet but interesting)
- Hopefully it will fix the issue (due to the SMF file caching system in this version) and the site will stay up

Now off to the gym to work off my frustration.

#2 gav240z

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 08:36 AM

Ok forum caching should now be online.

Gallery should now be working again.

Had some issues getting the theme working but will worry about that later.

#3 gav240z

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 09:08 AM

Ok off to bed now, please don't break anything :).

On a serious note.

Please list any problems you encounter with the site here below.

#4 George

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 09:18 AM

Nice work Gav. Thanks for all the time you put in mate. I know how easy it is to waste time with these things.

IMO this theme is king. It's the easiest of all to read and it is very well laid out. Now if you could add a chat box like this one... http://auskart.com/ I will marry you.

#5 modular9

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 09:54 AM

more importantly how is the CPu usage ?

Thank god i host with mt.

Mike

#6 Zedman240®

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 10:54 AM

Excellent work again Gavin... I think it looks great! A lot easier to work with. Hope there are no CPU issues with this setup.

Edit: Just noticed on our info on the left hand side where the avatar is...peoples "Location" is missing.

#7 aegean

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 03:42 PM

Can we have the red background back ? Kinda liked that as it was different than other forums.

#8 Lurch ™

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 06:17 PM

Good stuff Gav!

#9 gav240z

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 04:04 AM

made some more minor edits to the theme. To make it look like the rest of the site. Will complete the change soon.

#10 gav240z

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 06:25 AM

Edit: Just noticed on our info on the left hand side where the avatar is...peoples "Location" is missing.


Hi mate,
Location is back, and Lurch will be happy to know users now can enter location on forum registration. Hopefully this will eliminate the need to remind newbies to enter their location.

I also added back the link to the users gallery which was also missing.

Made lots of other minor edits that most probably won't notice but have improved the page layout.

I still plan to move away from this forum software eventually so this is just temporary.

I haven't heard from the webhost yet, which means they are waiting a full 24-hours before processing the logs or it looks like the site has improved.

Will need to wait and see. Fingers crossed.

#11 Reaper-Zed

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 11:59 AM

nice one gav looks clean I like it.
3:30am! geee that is keen mate hope they are paying out overtime.

Anyone notice before that posts are a hour behind from the time in Melb?????
Not sure if it was like that before the changes??? Thought I'd bring it up.

#12 gav240z

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 07:37 AM

Ok the bad news is CPU usage has not dropped at all. So where does this leave us?

1.) Move host - I can tell you that's a major hassle right now.
2.) Upgrade hosting from $50 AU p/month to $150 p/month (Virual Private Hosting). - That's a huge increase in cost and donations do not cover our current hosting costs.
3.) No idea... seriously i'm out of ideas here.

#13 gav240z

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 07:46 AM

3.) Well actually I have thought about this dilemma.  The solution is pretty simple. We simply need more advertising on the site. I know it sucks, but it pays the bills.

Votes / Suggestions?

#14 twosixty

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 08:24 AM

I have no problem with ads. If it needs to be done to pay the bills then thats the way it is.

#15 modular9

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 09:22 AM

4 . Ask another site to help out. Eg . Aus300zx.com which i go to ( I want a z32 tt ) have started a 350z resource as well. Perhaps they might be approached with the idea that auszcar becomes the z resource with your side taking responsibility for the 240 - 280. I know this takes some of the autonomy away from you but it would keep the site going.

I still maintain that most of the traffic to this site would be forum use only. I think a forum only option is fine. There isnt another forum in aus that handles z's ( well one that is national ) so it isnt as if you are replicating something that already exists. Dropping drupal + simplemachines  and going to something like phpnuke/phpbb or just phpbb might alleviate the cpu usage issue?

I know you register with godaddy ( at least that is what nslookup is saying ) but if you are hosting with them then that is where the problem lies. they are a bunch of upselling 4rsehats.  You hear me Mr Godaddy. The cpanel is not an opportunity to upsell your existing clients.

#16 sexual_sushi

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 01:13 PM

It's not ideal, but what about $10 a month from members but make it optional? I would rather pay in small doses cause I wouldn't notice it. With donations there's a bit of that I've donated once so I don't need to again sort of thing. Is it possibly to setup an automatic monthly billing thing through paypal or something?

#17 mossy

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 02:10 PM

3.) Well actually I have thought about this dilemma.  The solution is pretty simple. We simply need more advertising on the site. I know it sucks, but it pays the bills.

Votes / Suggestions?


Google adsense?

What about speaking to a big site like Motorsport Auto (MSA) and see if they are interested in advertising?

#18 chris240

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 02:26 PM

I vote to move host.. :-[
also agree with the advertising.
Is it possible to get 3-4 quotes on hosting ? surely.....

#19 gav240z

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 06:35 AM

[quote name="modular9" post="48518" timestamp="1252797752"]
4 . Ask another site to help out. Eg . Aus300zx.com which i go to ( I want a z32 tt ) have started a 350z resource as well. Perhaps they might be approached with the idea that auszcar becomes the z resource with your side taking responsibility for the 240 - 280. I know this takes some of the autonomy away from you but it would keep the site going. [/quote]

I pitched the idea of an all Z club at 1 stage. The overwhelming response was no from the members. I did recently start www.350zclub.net but that was more or less a trial to see if there was interest. So far not much, but I haven't really promoted it either.


[quote author=modular9 link=topic=5645.msg48518#msg48518 date=1252797752]
I still maintain that most of the traffic to this site would be forum use only. I think a forum only option is fine. There isnt another forum in aus that handles z's ( well one that is national ) so it isnt as if you are replicating something that already exists. Dropping drupal + simplemachines  and going to something like phpnuke/phpbb or just phpbb might alleviate the cpu usage issue?

[/quote]
While I agree most of the sites traffic is forum activity only. This is also what's taking up site CPU usage. Drupal is my opinion is a great platform and if anything I'd rather migrate from SMF to Drupal than to phpnuke or phpbb.

phpbb = most exploited forum software on the web (we used to run phpbb2) and while phpbb3 is much improved I haven't really tested it to see if it would handle CPU usage better. My feeling is that phpbb3 may be better than SMF on CPU usage but I'm not sure I'm willing to invest the time in conversion (again).

Vbulletin I have also though about, but its bloated software and I hate the default themes. Plus you have to pay to continue getting upgrades. If I wanted to use a gallery I'd need to migrate to photopost. Another paid solution. While this may seem an attractive solution its no guarantee CPU usage would improve.

[/quote]
[quote author=modular9 link=topic=5645.msg48518#msg48518 date=1252797752]

I know you register with godaddy ( at least that is what nslookup is saying ) but if you are hosting with them then that is where the problem lies. they are a bunch of upselling 4rsehats.  You hear me Mr Godaddy. The cpanel is not an opportunity to upsell your existing clients.
[/quote]

I couldn't agree more with you and no I avoided godaddy like the plague for hosting solutions. I just use them for domain name registration and management.

We are hosted by www.rochen.com who specialise in Joomla, which I no longer use (thank god!). Yep after having used Joomla I now loathe it and wouldn't recommend anyone use it for anything!

[quote author=sexual_sushi link=topic=5645.msg48526#msg48526 date=1252811613]
It's not ideal, but what about $10 a month from members but make it optional? I would rather pay in small doses cause I wouldn't notice it. With donations there's a bit of that I've donated once so I don't need to again sort of thing. Is it possibly to setup an automatic monthly billing thing through paypal or something?
[/quote]

Yeah I could have a recurring donation set up with PayPal. Not sure who would be interested in that?

At $150 a month. We need 15 members to make a $10 donation p/month. To cover hosting. In all honesty there have been months where I cover hosting bills. $50 is not a big deal for me, if donations would cover the other $100.

We could use the current host for a couple of months as a temporary measure.

[quote author=mossy link=topic=5645.msg48527#msg48527 date=1252815006]
Google adsense?

What about speaking to a big site like Motorsport Auto (MSA) and see if they are interested in advertising?
[/quote]

Yep Google Adsense will probably be used on the site. Not sure how much it will generate. When it was on the homepage (secton only) before it used to make about $100 every 3 months. It could make more on more pages, not sure till we try it.

MSA and other suppliers are definitely options. The only problem here is chasing these guys up (which means spending time pitching advertising to them). Right now my biggest issue is time poverty.

[quote author=chris240 link=topic=5645.msg48528#msg48528 date=1252815987]
I vote to move host.. :-[
also agree with the advertising.
Is it possible to get 3-4 quotes on hosting ? surely.....
[/quote]

Moving host is a fair bit of work. I'll need to move all the content (so this will depend on my current providers willingness to give me a full backup). It will also probably mean some downtime at the very least.

We can definitely get quotes, the problem is that most hosting providers won't tell you what CPU usage you can use. I also don't want to move host only to discover the same problem. Even if i ask a host up front they might say we can use X CPU usage, but a different hosting environment may mean our site uses more than it currently does or less given the servers configuration.

Its kind of like an engine, you can port it, polish it, put a big cam in it, but if you have a tiny exhaust system you'll loose power. There is always a weak link somewhere that ads a restriction.

The reason for the current jump in hosting cost is that we can't move up to the next 2 plans by the provider, since its CPU usage not bandwidth, or storage space we are using. We need virtual private hosting which won't affect other sites on the server.

I do have other sites on the same server (not same account) and I do plan to grow www.vintagejdm.com when I get time to work on it (right now I can't do that because auszcar.com takes up all my time). However eventually I need to grow vintagejdm.com and hopefully actually make money out of a website as oppose to have it cost me money ;D.


#20 modular9

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 09:18 AM

Thanks for the heads-up Gavin. You will have a PM in a second.





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