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Thread: Russian Cars Forum migration

  1. #11

  2. #12
    Administrator av8or1's Avatar
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    UPDATE

    Ok everyone, I have some news. Lefora makes it quite difficult to get your data via their so-called advertised backups. And their customer/user support is downright horrible. Like I've always said, "you get what you pay for" and since Lefora is free ... well there you have it.

    Anyway, I have been experiencing serious issues with getting a backup of our forum data even though I am willing to pay the fee to do so. As it stands currently, they want you to upgrade to Lefora Pro, which requires a long term contract, etc. It's a pain in the ass. I have also run into obstacles with getting any help regarding backups, mainly in the form of silence. Quite simply, no one answers any of my questions.

    Based on this result I have not began the process of creating a new website, electing to wait until I had more information regarding backups before proceeding. However time is not our ally and I am concerned that it will become more and more of a problem.

    Now, it is clearly and obviously important that we retain and migrate the information we have amassed to-date to our new home. With each passing day we contribute to that amount of data, which only complicates the overall migration picture. Therefore I have a proposal.

    I would like to secure our new domain name which will be www.russiancarclub.com based on the votes received both via the forum and via email (thank you for voting!), get a vBulletin license and then get the website up and going ASAP. We would then begin to post in our new home and discontinue using Lefora altogether. And have no concerns, with time I will work on migrating our data even if it means that I have to cut-and-paste every post and attachment into the new forum. Hopefully it won't come to that and I don't expect it to, but Lefora makes things so difficult that I wouldn't be surprised if it comes close to that.

    Ok so that is my proposal. Everyone please respond ASAP and let me know what you think. I'd like to get this done by the end of the week or weekend so that we can limit the amount of data that we are adding to the Lefora forum. That way there will be less migration work to do in the future if we have to resort to a more manual procedure.

    Thanks,
    Jerry
    1983 GAZ Volga 3102
    1987 GAZ Volga 3102
    1970 Plymouth Road Runner
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1992 Toyota 4X4 - 324,000+ miles and still kicking
    2000 F350 XLT SD 7.3L PSD DRW CC LB 4x4

  3. #13
    Jerry, if there would be a reasonable fee associated with this migration process I would pay whatever required.

    Also I suggest that the members who remained inactive for the last 3(?) month will not be a part of the new website
    1957 volga gaz-m21B
    2016 BMW X4M
    2012 ducati monster 796
    www.volga21.com

  4. #14
    Administrator av8or1's Avatar
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    Dmitri- Indirectly you bring up a good point: we're all in this together so y'all might as well know what stuff will cost. Specifically what are the costs of the migration? And what will it cost to keep the website up and going once we are in the new home? Here are the approximate costs:

    Annual hosting services with Hostmonster = $110 (includes annual domain name registration costs)
    vBulletin license for forums only (not to include blogs, etc.) = $200
    Lefora backups = $40 for each one-time backup, though it is not clear if that is even an option! Arrggghhh!

    Factor in a 10% cost overage and initially the costs will be approximately $385 for the first year. However that will depend on the Lefora backups. If I have to buy a Lefora Pro membership just to get them, then the cost increases. This is the part of the puzzle that I don't have any information on yet and it is a source of minor irritation at the moment. But whichever, it's life and it's also the reason I was against Lefora when the forum first began, but I digress. Also, there may be some costs associated with getting a graphics design artist to create a logo and good visual layout for the new home, but I suspect that this wouldn't be much. And of course I won't charge anything for my time.

    After that, the only costs we'll have is to keep the hosting services with Hostmonster, which will run about $125 per year. The vBulletin license that we will purchase will be a lifetime license, good for all version 4 products/upgrades. Therefore there won't be any renewal costs for the forum software.

    Thus in all, the costs are quite manageable. I plan to partner with an online store generator service that will apply your logo to t-shirts, baseball caps, coffee mugs, etc. and they also handle all of the order processing, shipping and customer service. They take the lion's share of the revenue, but then they do most of the work too. You get a small comission from each sale. Sum these small comissions over the course of a calendar year (plus any direct donations that we receive) and my hope is that we have enough to cover the $125 so that we can be self-sustaining. Again, this isn't intended nor do I suspect that it will be an income-producing endeavor.

    Ok so there you have it. I appreciate everyone's offer to send donations. For now I will incur the costs myself and then once every cost is known those who wish to contribute can do so. No heat on that one though, I am willing to go it alone if need be. Primarily because I have grown more-than-tired of the lack of support on Lefora and the limitations it poses on forum users. vBulletin is much, much better.

    Ok hope this helps. Everyone let me know if you are ok with this proposal. I'd like to begin ASAP.

    Thanks!

    Jerry
    1983 GAZ Volga 3102
    1987 GAZ Volga 3102
    1970 Plymouth Road Runner
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1992 Toyota 4X4 - 324,000+ miles and still kicking
    2000 F350 XLT SD 7.3L PSD DRW CC LB 4x4

  5. #15

  6. #16
    Jerry, why won't you post here your paypal account so whoever's interesred can send their donations...
    1957 volga gaz-m21B
    2016 BMW X4M
    2012 ducati monster 796
    www.volga21.com

  7. #17
    Administrator av8or1's Avatar
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    Ok Dmitri, I will do that. Just as soon as I get a little further down the line with this project. Let me get it off of the ground first.

    UPDATE: I finally received a little guidance regarding the Lefora backups. It looks like I can proceed with getting what we need from Lefora and then moving forward. So I will be doing that over the next few days to a week or so. I have family in town visiting beginning this Sunday, so I won't have as much time for extra-cirricular activites as I normally do, but I'll still manage to get some things done. The point is that you shouldn't be surprised if you don't hear much from me during the next little spell...

    I'll keep the progress updated via this thread.

    Finally, does anyone know anyone who could design a logo for us? If you do, please get in touch with me, as we could use one.

    Thanks!
    Jerry
    1983 GAZ Volga 3102
    1987 GAZ Volga 3102
    1970 Plymouth Road Runner
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1992 Toyota 4X4 - 324,000+ miles and still kicking
    2000 F350 XLT SD 7.3L PSD DRW CC LB 4x4

  8. #18
  9. #19
    Administrator av8or1's Avatar
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    alexandr- Ok great. If you can, go ahead and come up with an initial logo design that encompasses the range of categories that our club represents. Kind of like a "strawman" logo. Then everyone can provide their feedback on it and we'll hone in on the final design from there.

    Thanks much!
    Jerry
    1983 GAZ Volga 3102
    1987 GAZ Volga 3102
    1970 Plymouth Road Runner
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1992 Toyota 4X4 - 324,000+ miles and still kicking
    2000 F350 XLT SD 7.3L PSD DRW CC LB 4x4

  10. #20
    Administrator av8or1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Austin, TEXAS
    Posts
    1,076
    USA US Texas

    UPDATE

    I have secured the domain name registration and web hosting for our new website: and posting a notice that we have moved. Then over time we can refine the look and feel of our new home as we want. However I want to go ahead and get the move completed, even if it means that we need to use the default color schemes for a while. And yes, as one of you suggested, I will not create all user accounts as they exist on our current forum. In this way we will do a bit of spring cleaning of the members who have not logged in for a long time. Everyone is welcome of course, but I don't see the need for me to create an account if someone isn't going to use it. So that will fall upon the user: if you want to join us, please do so, but we won't be bringing your account over automatically. You'll need to recreate it.

    Ok so that's where we are. Post any questions if you have them.

    Best,
    Jerry
    1983 GAZ Volga 3102
    1987 GAZ Volga 3102
    1970 Plymouth Road Runner
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1985 Mazda RX7 GSL-SE
    1992 Toyota 4X4 - 324,000+ miles and still kicking
    2000 F350 XLT SD 7.3L PSD DRW CC LB 4x4

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