Well, things don’t always turn out as planned.
This whole thing started maybe a year ago when the site got hacked, and malware was being served through the Gallery app. The Gallery application is what hosts our images. I fixed it, and during that time I realized I needed to “wind down” CollectionDX, as it was taking up too much time and money.
So the decision had to be made. Do I move the server to a smaller, less expensive server, and decommission Gallery? Or do I just shut the whole thing down? I thought it would be a shame to lose 20 years worth of reviews, but making this move would cost money. So I put it to the public, and did a fundraiser. I thought, If I could make one year of hosting up front, I could pay for the site, and do the work at my leisure to move the machine.
The fundraiser stalled at ⅓ of the goal.
But I had a little burst of energy, and I thought, maybe the rest will come through. I approached my host looking for a cheaper solution. We settled on a cloud solution, but come to my suprise, I was in a contract. The host was able to break the existing contract, as long as I signed up for a year. Aside from setup costs, it would cut $100 of my monthly hosting bill, which would make up for the lack of fundraising funds.
So we did the deed, and I paid someone a bunch of money to migrate over to the new server.
And it crashed instantly.
It wasn’t powerful enough to handle the traffic.
So then I upgraded to a more powerful machine, which cost pretty much what the old one did. I did all of that work, to break even, and also get stuck in another contract.
However, it was only temporary I thought. I could slowly remove gallery, and when that was gone, I could downgrade the server. So off I went to convert 4800+ reviews, 2000+ articles, blog posts, news posts and more. I thought it would take a lot of time, but I had some tools to automate.
But wait, it gets worse.
I get my first bill, and it’s $100 OVER what I was paying before.
So now, the rush is on, for me to convert all of that content to remove the old gallery code, replace it with new image code, and fix other issues with the content that has broken over the years. Once I do THAT, then I can downgrade, and hopefully have AT LEAST a normal server bill for the time being. Doing that work also paves the way for me to upgrade or migrate to a newer content management system.
That’s what I have been doing the last few months. I can convert 50-75 pieces of content on a good day. I have about 3000 pieces of content left to convert.
While I am in there, I am:
- Removing Gallery2 code
- Fixing broken YouTube video links
- Fixing spelling
- Fixing formatting
- Standardizing header and teaser images.
It is my hope that when I am done I will have 50% less strain on the server, and refreshed “google juice” that will lead to better ad revenue, thus lessening the need for a fundraiser.
In the meantime, I have been motivated by all the kind words and generous donations to the site. Rest assured, 100% of your donations have gone to server and migration costs, and the site would not be up at all without it. If you haven’t donated already, you still can here:
So please, bear with me as I finish cranking through the content. I have a pile of toys just waiting to be photographed.