Updates The Best of Times / The Worst of Times

Discussion in 'Announcements & Feedback' started by ChevyFan, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I need to let everyone in on some background "stuff" that's been going on for about six weeks now. I've made a bunch of changes to the site that worked out very well ... and some that have caused a lot of problems. In the end, I have been busy 150% of the time since all of this started, so please excuse me if I'm a little bit late in answering an email, a PM or sending out a GMTC sticker.

    It all started in the end of August ... time to clean-up the place
    During the last week of August I transitioned from full-time-employee to full-time contractor, which means that I work from home but I also have to go out and find work too. Overall, this is good because I have had a ton more time to work on GMTC and other pet projects that I have on my to-do list.

    There was a ton of back-end cleanup that I started in the end of August and beginning of September. Ok, no sweat, I've done that before. I fixed some database issues, added in some new features, re-organized the forum-lists, etc.

    Then I started to talk with people who run "big-boards", and they told me to look into a specific software script that will help straighten-up some of the sloppy code from the people who develop this forum software. So, after a lot of thought and research, I got a copy of the script and installed it ... and it's been a NIGHTMARE ever since.

    We lost traffic and are facing error-after-error
    I cant even count, but the number of "crisis-scenarios" that I've had to do in the last six week is probably at least fifteen. Normally, we see one or two in a year. Some of these have taken two or three days to solve.

    This causes a serious drop in website traffic. At the low-point we were down 50% in website visitors! Some of that was when Google re-indexed all of the threads on the site with the new forum address structure - which I expected ... however we now well over a month into this project and there are still MAJOR errors being reported by Google - including nearly 40,000 pages that are being reported as (Not Found) ... even though they are found.

    What do we do now?
    So, long-story-turned-short ...., I'm pulling the plug on the script and we are going to go back to the way things used to be on the backend. There are just too many issues so I can not trust the software script ... and it might be my web-server configuration too??? I don't know, but I do know that things worked fine before we got into all of this.

    Ok, that's the bad news. What's the good news?

    Well, the good news is that this entire process (and my free time now) has forced me to clean-up a lot of the way that content is shown on the website. It's forced me to take a look at some new features that we can plug-in and get more value out of the website. So, once we move forward from this DISASTER OF EPIC SCALE ... we should be a lot stronger and there were a number of things that worked out for the best.

    Some of the good-things
    - First of all, me being on the site more. More contests and more time to do stuff like that (I hope)!
    - More new features (when I can afford to buy the software licenses) like Member Garages, Classifieds System, Arcade Games, etc.
    - Much faster server that should load maybe 4-5 times faster than it once did.
    - Must less spam! I just uncovered at least 15,000 spam "albums" that were hidden in spam user accounts.
    - More time for me to work on stuff like a calendar, merchandise, vendor discounts and deals, etc.

    Thanks to all of the members who keep helping out!
    So, none of this would be possible without all of you great members. Many of you have no clue that all of this has been going on ... but we should be back on the right-track now and it might take a month or two to get back on track, but we're going to keep moving.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  2. Sierraowner5.3

    Sierraowner5.3 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    thanks for all the hard work Steve, I know I appreciate it, and Im sure others do as well.

  3. hotrodking86

    hotrodking86 Rockstar 100 Posts

    Sounds good Steve, keep on trucking. Let us know if we can help at all, cause I think we all love this forum and would love for it to be running smooth. And also we don't want you pulling your hair out at the same time.
  4. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Thanks man, if nothing else it's kept me from doing stuff like launching the fall contest! I should have launched that like 4 or 5 weeks ago ... but I am DAILY working on these issues and it's just overwhelming all the work I put into this and now I just have to revert back to the way it was. Very frustrating. For the record, I got VERY POOR SUPPORT from the firm that puts out the software ... they kept saying it was a server configuration issue (and it may have been) ... and the server company has worked with me, but the only person there capable of such serious issues was the senior tech guy and he was hard to get the issues escalated to.

    ---------- Post added at 04:44 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:43 PM ----------

    Well, I just need people to post messages, reply to threads, upload pictures to their albums ... and to tell your friends. :)

    Thanks man, appreciate it.
  5. Coach24

    Coach24 Rockstar 3 Years 5000 Posts

    Big pat on thee old back ,Steve. Keep on Keepin' on
  6. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Steve you do a great job at keeping this thing running smooth. Thanks for that and keep up the good work,
  7. Caddiac

    Caddiac Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    What they said. I know this site takes a lot of your time and no matter how many times it bites you in the butt, you bounce back make a slight course adjustment and press on. I for one think your efforts have paid off. Keep up the good work!
  8. Coach24

    Coach24 Rockstar 3 Years 5000 Posts

  9. Scooter

    Scooter Rockstar 100 Posts

    Hey Steve your doing a great job, and I appreciate this site alot, Its helped me more than ever over the past few yrs or so...I just became a platnium contributor to try and help out alittle, I know its not much....Let me know if you need help with anything else...I'm currently a student At ITT tech, and have an abundance of resources at my disposal. Servers and such are kinda my bread and butter, so just let me know if you need any help and ill see what I can do....
  10. donyms

    donyms Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Hey Steve, you are doing a great job. I could tell you had your hands full because my Son builds and runs several websites and when I would tell him about a problem on the GMTC site he would say "oh Dad that is just such and such and he will get it figured out, just be patient" So, anyway I feel for you Steve. You have the patients of Job and you are a great member and administrator. Hang in there buddy, it should all smooth out soon. Thanks for everything Steve. :glasses:

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