Monday, May 12, 2014

A new coat of paint

For a few years now, I've been thinking about putting my hosting company in the grinder. While the host touted 99.9% uptime, the bandwidth always seemed a little limiting. Being able to load some small forums shouldn't take 30+ seconds. It only happened sometimes, but it's still sort of unacceptable.

Last month, some high intensity spambots decided to take over the user registration form on the Vanilla forums I had installed, started creating accounts, and (somehow) sending out spam from the registration form. The host, naturally, shut down the functionality (and the forums, in the process) to stop the spam. Their information to me? Set up a CAPTCHA on the registration form. Okay, great, except a) I already had the Vanilla-provided CAPTCHA set up, and b) I can't get to the admin panel to set anything new up, since you shut down all access to it.

I was able to manually pull the two years of posts out of the database (so, guys, if you want any info from your posts, let me know. I have it all), so at least all wasn't lost forever. But it did push forward how I was going to proceed with the movement from the host.

I haven't really liked doing the backend maintenance on any given installation (phpBB, WordPress, Vanilla, etc) for awhile now. It used to be fun, but now it's just annoying busy work. "Hey, your installation is out of date and people are spamming the site. Drop everything and spend an hour updating this." I just don't want to do that anymore.

So, long story...well...long, I have moved my domain registration to a different registrar (partly because I was registered with the hosting company, and I didn't really like them that much overall, but also because they don't do domain registration independent of hosting. So without hosting, I can't have my domain with them), and completely dropped hosting altogether.

My blog will be the front page (for now) as it always has, but it's hosted by Blogger (as it has been for awhile). The forums are now hosted by Google Groups to alleviate my need to update or moderate spam. For now the themes are completely disparate, as the forums are sort of what I want, but my blog is what it's been for a year or more. I'll probably look into theming them properly later, so don't go too crazy about that.