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Planned downtime

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:41 pm
by Phil White
Between the 1st and 4th of August, the Wordwizard site will be migrating to a new host and new servers.

I shall take this opportunity to roll in all the new patches and launch the redesigned site.

It is likely that there will be a few problems during the switchover, and I fully expect the site to be unavailable for anything up to a week as of the 1st of August.

Although the clubhouse forum will be running on an entirely new version of the phpBB software, you will only see relatively small changes to the look and feel of the site. There a few nice improvements, particularly for smartphone users, but you should find your way around quickly.

The ancillary material around the forum will be taken down for good (diaries, neologisms, etc.) and be replaced by a Wordpress blog. If members are interested in contributing to the blog, please contact me by PM.

I shall close the site down on July 31st. With luck, it will be available immediately after the migration. We shall see...

Re: Planned downtime

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:16 pm
by tony h
I feel quite guilty that you are doing all this just for our enjoyment. I wish you every piece of luck.

Will there be a landing page announcing that the site is down?

If there is anything I can do please ask.

Re: Planned downtime

Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:29 pm
by Phil White
As of 31 July, I will take the site down and there will be an announcement.

As soon as I get the word that the domain has been transferred, I will put up a custom 404 page on the new site to say that we will be up and running soon. Experience shows that it takes a couple of days for the registration data to be re-read by all the various name servers globally. At some point, you will find yourself on a working new site. Unfortunately, I cannot do the migration in chunks. It all has to be done at once, and I cannot practice on the new site until it is up, although I already have a version of the new site running locally.

If I am lucky, we will be down for a few days only. If not...

Thanks for the offer, but I am rather stuck with this one. I am the only one who knows how it all fits together!

Re: Planned downtime

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:06 am
by Erik_Kowal
Thank you, Phil, for this imminent rejuvenation of the site.

I've already noticed some recent small tweaks relating to the visible expansion (or its absence) of the ancillary data relating to the postings.

Re: Planned downtime

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:45 am
by Phil White
Erik_Kowal wrote:I've already noticed some recent small tweaks relating to the visible expansion (or its absence) of the ancillary data relating to the postings.
That is remarkably perceptive. I haven't made any changes to this live board for about three years! You have merely discovered the accessibility button in the menu. Which will no longer be there in the first incarnation of the new version, although it may return some time.

Re: Planned downtime

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:36 am
by Erik_Kowal
I see you don't take compliments lightly.

Re: Planned downtime

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:15 pm
by Bobinwales
Oh strewth! I don't know if this is worrying or exciting.
I do know that Phil is now my hero!

Re: Planned downtime

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:58 pm
by Phil White
All coming along nicely now.

I have now pretty well completed all the work on styling the Wordpress and phpBB parts of the site and integrating them with each other.

Just a couple more pages to write and then I can start testing everything. But at present it all looks good.

I will do a dry run locally over the weekend and see how long it takes.

When the new site comes up, you may have to clear all cookies from and refresh your browser a few times before everything looks correct and before you stay logged in properly. If you have any problems, use the contact form on the new site to contact me. Always assuming that the contact form works, of course...

Re: Planned downtime

Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:33 pm
by Phil White
Very pleased. I have run everything in on my test machine, and I reckon that the entire migration and upgrade will take about 5 or 6 hours when I am notified that the new host is ready for me.

I have done quite a bit of accessibility adjustment for screen reader users and keyboard users, and it is not as clunky as in the current version of the site.

Now all we do is wait for the week after next.

If you have any difficulties with the new site, particularly if you cannot log in, use the Contact form if you can (there will be a link to it in the menu of the main site page) or, if all else fails, mail us directly using info followed by the at symbol followed by wordwizard dot com!

Re: Planned downtime

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:26 am
by Phil White
Just a few things about the new site when it gets here.
  • I shall enable the use of avatars in this incarnation, so if you have an avatar you want to use, have it ready.
  • On topic pages, the poster profile will now appear on the right rather than on the left.
  • All the familiar functions are still there, but some are hiding behind buttons with icons rather than buttons with text labels.
  • Some of the functions are hiding in drop-down menus, but they can all be found pretty quickly.
  • The appearance of the formatting buttons in the editor has changed, but they are all there in the same places.
  • If you change your password, you will need to use a complex, secure password, but the old passwords all work if you don't change them.
  • You are automatically logged into the main part of the site as well, which runs WordPress. You will be able to comment on any of the blog posts if you want to.
  • If the regulars wish to contribute to the blog (and I encourage you to do so), just drop me a PM and I will change your permissions to allow you to do so.
  • When you visit the main part of the site, you will see an annoying WordPress toolbar in black at the top of the page. You can turn this off by going to your WordPress profile and making the appropriate setting.
That really is about it. There have been a lot of changes in the background that make the site faster and more secure, but you will not see those.

Re: Planned downtime

Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:55 pm
by tony h
In case I don't get time again "Goodbye old site, Safe journey to the new."