FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

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extrememarine
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FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by extrememarine » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:45 am

Good morning.

I pulled this from the discussion about FJRforum; I wanted to give some insight on some of the challenges happening behind the scenes here.
blind squirrel wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:55 am
I would say that this forum is currently having more problems than the other one. This one is giving frequent 500 errors and is super slow.
Uncle Hud wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:03 am
I get no 500 errors; Google Chrome or Apple Safari. Zero 500 errors since signing on.
I'm sure as I talk through this, there are I.T. professionals in the crowd that may have a difference of opinion; please know that I'm not an I.T. professional, and I'm working through this as best I can.

There has been random performance hiccups, which can be a side effect of a shared hosting solution such as the one we're on currently. There is a monthly fee to host the site, I pay this annually (for some cost saving), but it has limitations. In the past few weeks I've been working on a wordpress site with an e-commerce plugin with the idea of migrating the EOM and other event registration away from the Eventbrite.com service ( and cost). I've invested time and money to move down that path, and with my limited time and funding, I've hit some bumps in the road.

I had a chat discussion with support staff at the hosting company; he spent some time looking at configuration and server usage. They are telling me that I'm hitting memory limits on the hosted server, along with some optimization to look at. When the shared server has a lot of activity from various customers, performance degrades. We had a period last week with a minor outage, but it was resolved quickly.

I'm reviewing this with Tim and we're going to work on some more changes to ensure we're leveraging all the efficiency we can from the current hosting plan. The host service has other hosting options - VPS (edited, not VPN) - which offers some advantage but also comes with additional cost.

I've been monitoring site performance (load times) with the Google page speed tool; the load times vary, as expected, but the site is typically scoring fairly well. I'm not seeing the 500 errors, only slow loading at times.

I'm looking at options for accepting donations to off set the annual costs I've been absorbing to keep the site running. I'm hesitant to accept money as I don't want to get into a situation where I've got more than is needed or open myself up for things like, "I paid money to keep this site running, you can't edit or moderate my posts!" type discussions.

I'd just like to remind folks here - FJRiders.com is a free online community, it is a hobby and managing the site is not a paid position. I will continue to work on the performance aspect of the site, and am very thankful for the help that William provided, and now that Tim provides to keep this site up and running.

Wayne
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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by rbentnail » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:00 am

Appreciate the update. My visits here lately have been an adventure in frustration. I (like most I think) would be happy to donate, pay a fee, whatever to help. I have no idea what the numerical monetary needs are.
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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by baowow » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:09 am

Good idea, thank you for the suggestion.

A small suggestion for the scenario if you end up with too much money (not a bad problem to have...) is to get an item of some sort and do a free giveaway deal based on some kind of random drawing of people who entered or posts generated. Could be fjr/Moto related or not. Just an idea.

If it means I'll be able to keep this forum running and I can read ride reports, meetups, and the wanton banter, I don't mind chipping in a few bucks.

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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by wheatonFJR » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:17 am

I'm all for wanton banter...and I am happy to subscribe/donate/assist to help things flow. If the website seems to typically "hang-up" or churn slowly, traffic will reduce.

As much of a jackass that I appear to be on the forums, I truly do want to help...if only to be able to speak ill of 0Face and his peeing habits.
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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by Intech » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:19 am

extrememarine wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:45 am
I wanted to give some incite on some of the challenges happening behind the scenes here.
I think you meant insight. That other word has a whole different meaning! :stickpoke:
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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by Intech » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:20 am

BTW - Thanks Wayne. I will be glad to donate. I do annually with Spotwalla. Why not here?
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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by Festus » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:17 am

extrememarine wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:45 am
The host service has other hosting options - VPN - which offers some advantage but also comes with additional cost.
Do you mean VPS? VPN is something different.

I see you are using Dreamhost. What plan are you on?
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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by CollingsBob » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:22 am

If you will accept canadian dollars, I will gladly send some..

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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by extrememarine » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:38 am

Yes - VPS, virtual private server; not VPN (virtual private network).

VPS is an upgrade from a shared server. My hesitation is that in reviews and support forum threads, other customers make the change to VPS and do not see the promised performance increases. I'm asking for details around that.
Festus wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:17 am
Do you mean VPS? VPN is something different.
Yes, Dreamhost.com is the current provider. I am on their Shared Hosting plan, paid annually to save over the monthly cost, but I did not commit to the 3 year plan in the case performance issues developed. Next renewal is in June - I have until then to sort out performance here or look for a new host and move everything over.

The VPS might be worth a try, but based on the marketing, the activity we have here should not be exceeding the service delivery they promote.
I see you are using Dreamhost. What plan are you on?
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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by extrememarine » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:57 am

Great idea - Thank you for the suggestion!
baowow wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:09 am
Good idea, thank you for the suggestion.

A small suggestion for the scenario if you end up with too much money (not a bad problem to have...) is to get an item of some sort and do a free giveaway deal based on some kind of random drawing of people who entered or posts generated. Could be fjr/Moto related or not. Just an idea.

If it means I'll be able to keep this forum running and I can read ride reports, meetups, and the wanton banter, I don't mind chipping in a few bucks.

Sent from my F5121 using Tapatalk
Ride There!
-Wayne aka asphalt surfer...

IBA#60836

#Peteyismyhero

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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by Harald » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:41 am

Ironically, this page took a long time to load and then when I hit submit on my first attempt at a reply there was another loooooong delay and ultimately a code 500. While waiting, I opened another tab and launched the supposedly dying FJR forum and it popped up instantly.

Please don't take this as a complaint because I'm getting waaaay more than I paid for from this forum. I really appreciate all your time and finances to keep this forum running. Thank you!

I'm not an IT guy, but I do have a job that pays me and would be more than willing to make a regular contribution to keep the doors open and the server purring.

This time, I'm copying this post before hitting submit. ;)
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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by wheatonFJR » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:18 pm

CollingsBob wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:22 am
If you will accept canadian dollars, I will gladly send some..
As you only want it to load up 2/3rds as fast as others...go ahead and send those in. He'll take twonies as well as loonies I bet.
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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by 0face » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:30 pm

wheatonFJR wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:18 pm
CollingsBob wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:22 am
If you will accept canadian dollars, I will gladly send some..
As you only want it to load up 2/3rds as fast as others...go ahead and send those in. He'll take twonies as well as loonies I bet.
It's the new tariff imposed on Canadian data requests... every click needs to go through customs now.
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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by Bounce » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:00 pm

Challenges for sure. Create a surplus that's too large and you end up like the original US FJR site where no one is managing it, only spam bots log in (except for the very rare misdirected noob), and the forum software (shared hosting site) changes the software with hoops to jump through (that aren't bothered with by the admins since there's no real interest any more). Yet (technically) it continues to run because it's pre-payed from long ago and on autopilot with the mountain range looming in the distance and the only passengers being zombies.

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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by Festus » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:04 pm

I have an issue right now, I just posted a reply to the Sena 30K thread. On the "New Posts", it shows my posting and the time it was posted. When I go to the thread, my post isn't there.

When I posted it, it took my back to the thread but my post wasn't there. So it's not showing it there, but it's listing it as a new posts in the index.

I haven't seen that before.

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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by wheatonFJR » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:09 pm

Festus wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:04 pm
I have an issue right now, I just posted a reply to the Sena 30K thread. On the "New Posts", it shows my posting and the time it was posted. When I go to the thread, my post isn't there.

When I posted it, it took my back to the thread but my post wasn't there. So it's not showing it there, but it's listing it as a new posts in the index.

I haven't seen that before.
I'm seeing that as well...that's a new one on me.
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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by bigjohnsd » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:18 pm

Just happened to me in this thread.

I have had more problems posting in the other sandbox than here.

If be glad to pay to support this forum.

I'd be happy to pay more if we could post pictures directly here, maybe limit it to 5 pix per post or something like that? Facebook's major attraction seems to be the ease of sharing pictures.
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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by DesignFlaw06 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:37 pm

If we ban Wheaty, that'll cut down 90% of the traffic. Kill 1, save 1000 mentality. :D

The last couple days have been plagued with issues, more so than before. Traffic has increased, but not to a point where I believe it should have maxed us out. We are working to get better stats on that. It'll take some time to sort it out, please be patient.

The financing isn't the pressing issue. Wayne has DEEP pockets so he can keep us afloat. Right now it is a matter of finding a hosting plan that is adequate. There will be ways to support the forum. The calendar contest has generated some revenue that has gone back into the site. I doubt bumping that by another buck or two would diminish sales. Other merchandise may be available to do the same thing. It circumvents the donation/moderation argument.

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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by Hppants » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:43 pm

Wayne - I stand by my previous comment. I'm ready to put my money where my keyboard is, all I need you to do is tell me how much and how to pay.

Furthermore, I'm willing to confirm (electronically or however) that my donation does not change my willingness to agree and abide by all of your terms and conditions for my ability to use the forum. It's still your sandbox, and it is not democracy. I would liken it to a subscription fee. The subscription gets you access to the site, but it doesn't give you a say in how the site is run. If I ever get to the point where I don't want to be part of the site, and for the record I do NOT see that ever coming, then I'll stop my subscription and be on my way.

You've done a fantastic job at this selfless and payless task long enough. Let us help you make things easier. Trust that we mean what we type and our intentions are noble. Obviously, take as much time as you need. I'm just chiming in my pledge for support.
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Re: FJRiders Forum Host and Performance Discussion

Post by wheatonFJR » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:50 pm

I'm with Hppants...except I think I should be paid by the word.
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