For about fifteen years, MoparStyle has been on a (actually six) kickass dedicated server that was fully manage on operating system/firewall updates and putting out fires from hackers. Because of eight CPUs, 8GB of fast memory, and very little traffic as compared to a shared server - speed was never an issue. It was costing me about $15k a year.

However, I've been retired since 1998, and when I started this I was living on 7.5% CD interest from my retirement savings - but in the last ten years I have lived on 1/8 that, meaning I've been tapping my savings. My wife and I are trying to downsize our lives, and the dedicated server had to go, which it did August 31st.

I cut a large number of sites I had to less than ten, and transferred them each to self-managed shared hosting accounts, which are closer to $10 mo each - if prepaid for 36 months.

Last week one of my other forums was hacked twice, and each time it took me two days to deal with. Researching further, I found that the version of Vbulletin I was using was being attacked everywhere. VB5 Connect was released in 2011, but I've hesitated converting as it works very differently, which causes resistance from forum members, and I heard it was a very complicated conversion - even for the most seasoned (which I consider myself). Despite that, I don't have the time fixing hacked forums, so I ponied up the money to buy VB5 Connect.

The conversion was a nightmare, and took about 30 hours, mostly because I'm only allowed 512mb of RAM on shared hosting - which is not enough handle the demands of a data conversion. Anyway It took from Friday to Sunday just to get the basic conversion done.

Yesterday (Monday) I spent the day tweaking settings, setting up the Groups and started a couple posts, and rearranging the forums.

Today I set up the Classified Ads forums and placed a few ads, figured out how to make all other the hundreds of old classified ad links go to the classified ad forums (using .htaccess), created a couple dozen styles, adjusted the sidebar to display more information, and did a lot of research on missing items like a lack of a calendar for events, a mass post move utility, next to impossible to create a dark background skin, and very little addons. Many of the features like the garage, summary at top of page, classified ads, and a dozen others on the old version were addons that interfaced with Vbulletin. However, most were not well written and were unsupported; and hackers were finding vulnerabilities in addons to access the database to cause havoc.

So I've pretty much have the structure of the site set, although I'll need to make adjustments. Still needing to be done:
  • Find out why clicking the banner image shows a different image instead of going to Home.
  • Put the rest of my ads in classifieds
  • Create a couple ad zones
  • Work on the mobile interface
  • There's a messenger feature similar to Facebook's, where members wishing to use can send real time private messages to each other, including smartphones (without giving out phone numbers). I want to activate.
  • A Paypal donate feature
  • Rethink User Groups and Premium features
  • Figure out how to archive posts over three years old.
  • Mass email members who register, but not confirmed, to give one môre chance to confirm, before purging them
  • Get a Facebook API interface to the 24000 Members on the MoparStyle page there
  • Create a Google Calendar interfaced into a page
  • Find out what icons and smilies are still missing and correct