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Server Move 2 and Forum Upgrade
RedPath88 posted a topic in NPORA AnnouncementsServer Move NPORA Forum has moved to a new server due to the size of our database. The server system that we've been on since May of 2012 suited our needs until just over a year ago, when we were originally contacted by our host regarding the amount of system resources we were using. Since that system was a shared server, NPORA's growth had started to impact other websites on that server. Some of you may remember the "There's a problem with the database" errors that started a little over a year ago? That was due to us being temporarily blocked from the database server due to excessive resource usage. Since then we've been doing manual database maintenance every 1-4 days to keep within our limits but it was a loosing battle. We were able to lower our resource usage, thus lessening the impact on other sites and preventing almost all automatically enforced access restrictions, but since the database grows daily we basically came to a tipping point where the host would have been forced to permanently block our access. As a result we have transferred the entire site and database to a virtual private server with dedicated recourses. Now if we over use we affect only ourselves and no other websites. Although this does come at a higher cost, with a little luck it will serve us well for another 5+ years! Forum Upgrade In addition to the move talked about above, we also used this as an opportunity to upgrade the forum software. The old forum version worked great the way it was, so we put off upgrading and having to deal with changes, potential problems and features no longer being available. However, just like with the older server system, this was not sustainable in the long term. The old version had gone out of official support by IPS some time ago so when problems did arise we had no choice but to resolve them ourselves. If something had happened that required far more technical help, that help was no longer offered by IPS. So it was a risk by staying with it. The other thing that was no longer available, were security updates and with the constant reports of new malicious attacks happening, that in it self was a big risk. We are now on the most current available version of the forum software and as you have already noticed, quite a few things have changed. Beginning with version 4.0 IPS did a complete rewrite of the software so in the background many things work differently than before. As a result some visible features also act differently or are simply no longer available. We have managed to restore most of the function that we've all become accustomed too. But there are a few things you should know. No longer can accounts have separate Login and Display names. During the upgrade Login names were merged into the Display names on all accounts leaving the Display name only. So if you used to login with a name different from the one displayed on your profile and posts, you will need to use the Display name to sign in. To help minimize account lockouts, logging in using the email address linked to your account can also be used. The password is the same it. Friends / Followers Instead of friends, the new forum features followers. You now have the ability to follow another Member without that being automatically reciprocal. Previous friends were not converted to followers. Avatars Some Members Avatars did not make it through the upgrade process. We will slowly go through member my member and attempt to restore those images, but this is a very time consuming manual process and is not a high priority at this time. You are of course welcome to update the image yourself by clicking the photo icon on your avatar from your profile page. While your there, you can also add a cover photo on your profile, give it a try! Themes We've added a dark theme, which you can choose at the bottom of the page. Give it a try, let us know what you think. But a heads up, some people may fine that certain menu's could be a little harder to read. Sidebar They made a lot of changes to the sidebar, along with adding locations above (not currently used here) and below the main forum listings that act in much the same way. You' noticed that those items on the right do appear differently. For whatever reason IPS removed the ability to reply from the sidebar to Status Updates. Since many here use that, we did some searching and found a developer that restored similar functionality, but it definitely does display differently. Anniversaries We've been unable to find a Forum Anniversaries plugin similar to what we had at the bottom of the page. So far now that feature is no longer present. Member Country Flags - Resolved, Deleted the listing. These are the flags that appeared below your avatars in posts. There is no compatible version of the addon for the current forum software. There was also no easy method of removing the entry (addon was poorly written) so the entry, without a flag image is still present. We will look into manually editing that line out at a later date. Member Map The Member Map that we use here is a 3rd party addon application and it has changed a few times in the years we've been using it. With the current version, the background map has once again changed. However, the new version allows a selection of maps to be used, giving Members some ability to customize the view. It seems that all of the existing markers made it through the upgrade, but please take a minute to verify your marker if you had previously placed one. If you didn't, now is a perfect time to add one! Tapatalk - Resolved, For Now Tapatalk has always been a problem for us. It seldom works after a forum software upgrade (some times not for months), seldom works right after a Tapatalk software upgrade and never gets immediate support when problems do arise. Right now, Tapatalk does not work and there is nothing we can do about it at this time. This is a problem on Tapatalks side and we've submitted a support request. As soon as they can figure out the issue, or as is often the case, upgrade their software to be compatible, we will restore it's function. Until then I encourage you to use a mobile web browser to access NPORA. They really do work well and offer full or nearly full functionality. You can also use the Desktop view (or similar) and have the fully functional web view of the forum. We will update this entry with more, as needed. Please use this thread to report any issues you find or to talk about things you like. If we talk about the new forum features openly, then everyone will become more familiar with it even faster