Our migration won’t be complete until weeks have passed and we’ve had time to work out all the little bugs in the software, tweak performance settings so the server responds well with its load, try new policies related to new features and modify them, get proper training materials up and get everyone comfortable with the new platform, and so on.

The list here is a rough guide to those things I need to accomplish before we can point www.thehighroad.org to the new server and expect it to serve our data.  When this list is completed we will be operational, but there will still be work to do.

Greyed out text represents tasks that have been completed.  Bold is the current task.

So, here’s the list:

  • Upgrade PHP to newest version on new server
  • Wait for Midnight EST.
  • Put the old server in maintenance mode.
  • Drop the database from the new server to remove the data we’ve used in testing.
  • Copy attachments across to the new server for import.
  • Install the new software.
  • Dump the database, then install it on another server due to incompatibilities with newer versions of MySQL.
  • Overwrite the new database by bringing in old data.  This takes a while – the longest table takes a bit over 8 hours to complete (I’ll sleep here.)
  • Take a nap.  Looks like we have 3+ hours to go on the big table imports anyway (who am I kidding?)
  • Rename users with commas in their usernames, because for some reason they won’t come across (there were 74 of you.  You can choose new usernames soon.)
  • Finalize the installation, marking the database as complete so no more data can be merged.
  • Restore staff powers so we can moderate this thing.
  • Make sure forum access is still set correctly.
  • Delete Commercial Sales forums.
  • Tweak the colors and install the logo.  This won’t be pretty and beautiful at first, but it should be close to our final look.
  • Install additional packages for the software.
  • Reindex search using a much better system than we’ve been using up until now.  Much.
  • Configure outgoing mail.  Our mail server still works; piping mail through Amazon’s cloud will probably work better.  This is new, so there may be delays due to befuddlement.
  • E-mail users whose usernames were changed, so we can choose something they like as a replacement.
  • Tweak new user anti-spammer filtering so it’s not too sensitive.
  • Rework the ad manager.  I know, you hate ads, but it’s a real thing that needs to be done.
  • Update all that standard verbage that keeps us out of trouble, like the safe harbor wording, and our privacy policy, and those words at the bottom of each page warning you that guns are dangerous, and gun powder has been known to explode, and such.
  • I might – might – install an SSL certificate so connections are encrypted before bringing the site live.  Or that may be over the next few weekends.
  • Same with 2 factor authentication.  Not important for you, but probably important that I’m using it.  It’s optional for those who want it.
  • Tie in our CDN network with content here.  If we do this before bringing the site live the site will be faster, but we’ll also be certain that cached data is current, rather than running into issues where multiple people are seeing different things.

After we’re live it’s smaller things:

  • Make it so it’s easy to find and repost old attachments
  • Integrate with Facebook so new user signup is simpler.
  • Tweak search some more.  Make it awesome.  (Won’t that be a change)
  • Finalize the color scheme so it’s pleasing to the eyes.
  • Whatever else pops up.  I’m sure there will be quite a few things.

Post filed under Maintenance.


  1. When it’s done it’s done. Looking forward to how things should turn out. I guess it’s true if you want to make a good omelette you need to bust a few eggs. 🙂

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