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April 2020 - Development log
Latest updates 2020
Rebuilt the backend VPS to strengthen uptime and reduce maintenance overheads.
Investigating the migration to a self-managed full stack infrastructure running on a baremetal dedicated server. This would provide greater control over security, backups and management.
Integrated a new monitoring stack with SMS / Email / Slack alerting to allow for quick remedial action to be carried out.
Invested in a new off-site backup solution to provision SQL and SFTP backups, we are still working to automated this and to improve the security of connections.
FIXED emails not sending, causing registration failure for new users.
SECURED emails by configuring an Application password and restricting usage. Enforced 2FA for the email account.
Updated to latest forum software version compatible with required extensions.
Investigating further update to latest forum software
Developed a staging site to allow for better testing of new services and changes before these are rolled out.
Integrated relevant features to assist with spam prevention.
Integrated "Drafts" to allow users to create draft discussions or posts, and save these to their profiles.
Integration of custom BB Codes.
DISABLED 2FA due to issues, investigations ongoing on staging forum.
Improved SEO faciities across the site.
Updated Social share to allow users and guests to share threads on social media.
Updated SSL certificate, and fixed a bug with generation of new certificates following expiration.
(IN PROGRESS) - Migration of multiple forum threads to CW for the graphics section.
(IN PROGRESS) - Integration of a marketplace and showcase section for design, development, and photography.
(IN PROGRESS) - Featured posts - This will be done on a dedicated page, but we are currently working on logistics for this.
(IN PROGRESS) - Blog - We are currently working on the logistics of how this would work, and how we can integrate this into the forum, but we have great plans for the blog!
(IN PROGRESS) - Status Page - A status page that can be used to ensure that our systems are online. If they are down, we will post information related to issues here whilst we work on them. A full report will then be posted on our blog once we're back online.
(IN DISCUSSION) - Custom 404 Page - A custom 404 page to make the site more appealing and professional.
Integration of an updated categories layout (live now)
Invested in a custom extension for the changed layout to discussion and thread views.
Investigating further changes to discusion view to make this more modern, and to further improve mobile displays.
Integration of a night mode feature.
Updated rank styling for all ranks, further changes to come.
Brand colours updated.
Moved Forum Rules and Partners sections to their own dedicated pages (with updated styling).
Removed obsolete forum categories, and tidied up test categories (down to 1, with the majority of testing being done on staging environment).
Updated disaster recovery documentation, and tested a fail-over following a simulated full-stack failure of the VPS. A full site restoration took us 8 minutes and 47 seconds from starting fail-over to full restoration of data onto a new stack. We are investigating ways of speeding up DNS propagation (perhaps using a floating IP address).