XWeb - State of the Forums

Discussion in 'XWeb Site Announcements' started by MarkF, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. MarkF

    MarkF Administrator Moderator

    Redmond/Chelan, WA
    XWeb is now closing in on 19 years online! It's time for another update since the last review linked here: XWeb - the State of the Forum

    Following a major outage in July 2016, and the severe difficulties encountered recovering from that, it became clear that a change was urgently needed. In November 2016, we moved to different hosting. We now buy usage capacity on a VPS system supplied by Interserver.net The cost is quite reasonable for what we get, and choosing a VPS (Virtual Private Server) adds a degree of flexibility and control over Shared Hosting.

    We've also been able to offer on-site photo hosting for forum content which helps avoid problems such as the Photobucket account blocking that is currently wreaking havoc

    No service is perfect and there have been minor outages. Most times these are resolved without intervention, and when necessary, the support has been responsive.

    We had been operating XWeb2 on an outdated and no longer supported version of VBulletin3 for many years. Several options were evaluated, with ease of migration and content preservation being the primary selection criteria.

    Xenforo, written by some of the previous VBulletin dev team, offered the best compromise and is a commercially supported product. After several months of testing and trial runs, I chose the hosting changeover as the least painful time to migrate the forum.

    While the look and feel is rather different from past customizations, it has proven highly stable, fairly easy to administer/moderate and offered several valuable add-ons. The wiki has been ported over to new software, and content can be added by any user.

    Here's what it currently costs to operate XWeb on an annual basis.

    VPS hosting $330
    Xenforo forum software maintenance $40
    Domain registrations $50
    XWeb 1.0 (N54 archives) $70 (we had been paying this but they haven't billed for usage recently so this has been free)

    There was a one-time purchase for the forum software in 2016

    As of now we have $80 balance in the account to cover expenses, so further fund-raising will be needed soon. Donation info is listed in the announcement at the top of the forum.

    XWeb has always been non-commercial. I continued to receive a number of requests to have the forum participate in various marketing and advertising schemes, but I have held firm to our original charter to remain free of extraneous content and be supported entirely by the generosity of those who use the site.

    A heartfelt thank you to those who continue to serve as moderators - keeping things in order and adding value for all.

    XWeb3 is on sound footing once again. Forum software upgrades may be desirable but not required in the short term. We have new members still joining and posting rates remain stable.

    I've been administering XWeb since 2008-ish, and treasurer for some years prior. As such, I'm actively seeking someone interested in taking over. Past forum experience and Linux server knowledge very helpful.

    Due to other things going on in my life, my involvement in anything automotive has been sidelined for a number of years, and no I'm longer very active here. My one remaining X1/9 of 32 years, along with the stash of parts are being considered for sale later this year, depending on logistics.

    Please feel free to respond to this thread with your thoughts, ideas, questions.

  2. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Thank you Mark for the info on the state of the forum and the economic position.

    I know I really appreciate that our forum has no advertising and is just about the cars and the people who own them. This is a great place and you have done a great job of making it that way and keeping it that way. Thank you.

    I have put some into the kitty to help deal with the state of the bank account and would be happy to contribute more if needed.

    I wish computer science had been something I spent more of my education on but alas I lack the skills to assist in managing the forum in that capacity. I truly hope that someone else is able to step up to take over and allow you to move on to your next act.
  3. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Philadelphia, PA
  4. Halt

    Halt In the begining

    Brisbane Australia
    Done!. Better to build the kitty now before its needed.
  5. Rodger

    Rodger True Classic

    Olympia, WA
    Contribution made. This forum is the best!
  6. Jefco

    Jefco Daily Driver

    Portland OR
    I'm in, too; glad to be here!
  7. Coupefan

    Coupefan True Classic

    S. California
    I'm blind. I don't see the donate link.
  8. tim5055

    tim5055 True Classic

    Franklin, NC
  9. Mxgrds

    Mxgrds True Classic

    Donated. Keep it going!
  10. Anandastar

    Anandastar True Classic

    Oakland, CA
    Donated, xwebs is the best webs.
  11. tim5055

    tim5055 True Classic

    Franklin, NC
    Donated for a good cause!
  12. Colltech

    Colltech '85 and '83

    Austin, TX
    Donated as well and thanks Mark for all you do!

  13. MarkF

    MarkF Administrator Moderator

    Redmond/Chelan, WA
    A heartfelt Thank You to all who donated this past week (and in the past). We are fortunate to have some very generous members! There's now enough in the account to cover about 18 months of continued operating expenses.
  14. dragonsgate

    dragonsgate True Classic

    I don't take change easily so when the format changed I got in a snit. Well I'm over it so I sent a donation. This really is a good forum so I hope to see it continue for a long time. Thanks for your time and effort.
  15. davejake

    davejake It's Running!!!

    Lakeville, MN
  16. beezee

    beezee True Classic

    Contribution sent. This is a great forum!

  17. ecohen2

    ecohen2 True Classic

    Arlington Va
    Donated and if you need help upgrading the software, let me know... I am a computer geek as well as a car junky...
  18. xunonove

    xunonove Daily Driver

    Boston, MA
    Donation sent. Thank you for keeping this going!
  19. Peter Cecil

    Peter Cecil True Classic

    St. Joseph, MO
    Sent, thanks for your time and effort. A great forum.

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