The last few weeks have proved very interesting regarding the state of the future of the online GDM environment.
There are some people out there who tout the prowess of certain pieces of software - enough for you to throw a sideways glance much like that famous look which Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson chucks out from time to time.
You really have to do your homework if you want to provide the right environment for your content. And so it proved with the GDM site.
There was no argument that the previous environment (PHP Fusion 7) was showing its age, and couldn't do a lot when compared to more modern sites.
I did make the plan to migrate away to the newer PHP Fusion 9 platform, but at the time, it really wasn't up to scratch - unfortunately. Too immature.
Hence looking at the Dokuwiki platform, which seemed to fit the bill, but understandably, there needed to be a testing period, because it was quite new. Whereas PHP Fusion didn't need much testing, because we have 12 years experience of living and working with it.
Well, I put the completion date for testing Dokuwiki up to the 30th June 2018, and we would go live if things went well.
Unfortunately things did not go well. In a nutshell, Dokuwiki is a fine platform, and I would recommend it for smaller projects. GDM however, is not a small project.
Dokuwiki starting suffering performance issues as we approached 1000 pages being loaded into the system. The indexes and caching proved troublesome, and our Web Host's webserver starting to 'disk thrash' quite a bit, due to the load.
We still had another 6000 odd pages to go, and I knew it wouldn't cut it, so I pulled the pin on Dokuwiki on Saturday 16th June.
Not to worry, because we didn't go too far down the track with it.
In the meantime, I was advised that PHP Fusion 9 - the platform I was going to use before, was now officially released. Time to have another look at it, and OMG it's looking like everything I ever hoped it would be, as the modern updated replacement for our previous Version 7 site.
So, I grabbed the latest 9.0 download, uploaded it to the web server, and voila, it looks like a Porche for the web. Time to do the configuration. This involved:
1) uploading all the previous user logins data into the system. Check. Had to tweak a few things because the new user table has more detail in it now, but in the end, we got there. All previous user credentials are intact.
2) Configured the articles table, and again, there are a few new columns, but after a period of adjusting some of our reviews for testing, they imported clean and look beautiful.
3) Loaded up a few forums, they too look great. You can attach coverart images, Youtube videos.. no problem.
4) Private Messaging is back. Kinda thought that was a very important tool which wasn't available in Dokuwiki.
5) Shoutbox is back. The Cbox thing was great but it's much better to have it inside GDM.
My next task is to bring back the comments, configure the ratings system, maybe some of the forum content. That one might be a little tricky.
Articles of course. We should be able to bring in them faster now, as the new articles is not too dissimilar to the old layout, apart from a few tweaks.
And of course, the big jackpot, the new PHP9 Site looks great on the smartphone and tablet.
We are back in business. New link, start moving back in: https://glorydazemusic.com/php9