I think I have said this on a few occasions to some of you so my apology's if I am repeating myself. For a long time a new version of PHPBB (Our forum software) has been out and I have been eager to move over to it. The main reason is, it is better... in oh so many ways.
The current version has several modifications to it, what these modifications do is add additional features to the board.... I will be honest, most of them are nice to have but we really don't make use of 80% of them. In the current version modifications change lines of code in the software... this is a manual process where you find a line, make changes, add the edit before and after etc and was generally time consuming. What this also means is different mods can conflict with each other differently. This means things break.... We had managed to get to a point where things worked fine, and then things seemed to break on its own which caused a few headaches. As many of you know for over a year I have fixed essential things and anything not essential I have left (For example the user mention mod which seems to have ceased to function for everyone now)
The New Version (PHPBB 3.1.5) now has plugins. These are just files that get uploaded and activated. They no longer edit lines of code in the forum which means very few conflicts happen and if a plugin conflicts we can disable it and request the author to fix. It means less headaches for myself as everything should function perfectly.
Recently I have looked at NYS from a business perspective. One thing that can effect our player intake is encountering errors, if it does not work as it should they are going to take their business elsewhere. I am eager to resolve this issue.
There are 2 Major mods we use, User Mentions & The Gallery. Both are currently in development. I will add user mentions when its released and is highly likely when we move over we wont have the @mention feature for a while. What I wanted to discuss was the gallery with everyone.
The Question is... Do we need it / Want to keep it?
Below are my list of points for the discussion.
- We have a space limit on the server.
- 4,084.72 MB of the total disk space is currently used.
- 128.91 MB of that is the Database that saves all the posts.
- 3329.04 MB is the software and various bits needed for the site to run (
- 626.77 MB of that is the Gallery (Thats 62.677 MB per Active User)
- Roughly 80% of the servers load is from calls to fetch gallery Images.
- If we have 50 users that's a gallery folder of 3133.85 MB
- As we use Virtual Private Hosting we have a 30 GB limit. We can buy more storage but this means it starts to cost more and the site will be forced to do something to raise funds to run it. I pay £24.22 every month for our hosting. Thats £290.64 every year... in USD you are looking at $440.89.
- There are plenty of free alternatives which will call images from hosting places such as Google Drive, Drop Box, Postimage etc this saves a) server load and b) space. It is also possible we could go from using VPS to using standard hosting with unlimited storage and bandwidth. (Which google bot seems to be eating at the moment... curses about google bot in the corner.) Obviously if things start to be a pain in the ass we can switch back, but without the gallery and chat we should be okay. (
Okay so that is a lot of information I just wanted to put out there. I want to point out, we are not in any kind of shit, far from it. I am meerly looking to the future and from a business perspective... can the business of NYS afford the gallery when there are free options which work just as well.
Not having a gallery won't really change anything, it will just mean the images are stored on other servers. This will save server load as well as space.
I wanted to gather all your thoughts, questions, concerns and comments. After all its our site and I just wanted to see how you all feel about this potential change. I figured it would be easier to make it and do the upgrade sooner rather than later than do the upgrade and maybe have to change when hosting becomes too expensive.