posted on January 24, 2010 19:00
Two weeks ago I undertook one of the biggest tasks in the last 4 years of CLUAS: I moved the entire website to a new hosting company. It's a move that sees us abandon the arid desert of Arizona for the flat plains of Nebraska...
For the last four years we were hosted by the Arizona-based company Crystaltech
and they served us well. However in the last 6 or so months I have seen that CLUAS needs a hosting company that really
understands the Content Management System we use ("DotNetNuke"
, also known as DNN). DNN is a very sophisticated piece of kit and is simply becoming more and more critical to CLUAS and its operation.
There is one hosting company - PowerDNN
- who are fully focused on hosting just DNN websites. Their tech support team know DotNetNuke inside-out, which is exactly when I need to ensure our website is maintained in the right environment and, when problems crop up, that I can contact a support person who knows DNN. PowerDNN - based in Nebraska - fit the bill and are now, I am pleased to say, the new home of CLUAS.com.
They are a bit more expensive than our previous company (and we even get less diskspace and database space than we had with Crystaltech, something that has been debated elsewhere
) but I think the benefits will outweigh these factors that are less critical in our case.
I got to see the expertise of PowerDNN almost immediately during this move: there were a few problems that reared their head in the migration but all was soon solved thanks to the excellent help of Joe, a senior engineer at PowerDNN, who dropped all tools for a period to ensure some rough spots were ironed out and that CLUAS was soon up and running with PowerDNN.
Moving the site to these DNN experts in Nebraska brought some immediate benefits. For example, an utterly head-wrecking problem that I have been trying to fix for 6 or so months is now fixed. The problem was that since August 2009 CLUAS users who, during login, clicked the 'remember me' option (which should keep them logged in to CLUAS on that computer for 7 days) would instead find themselves being logged out after a really short period of time, sometimes even minutes. This was a major frustration for writers publishing new articles, or users posting entries to the discussion board, as sometimes they'd be logged out before they 'd finished writing their content and their work would be lost. Thankfully this problem is now a thing of the past.
Another benefit I am seeing is a pretty big reduction (it could be as high as 50%) in the load time of pages on CLUAS. I'll wait another week to see if these fast speeds continue to hold up. If so one of Ireland's fastest music websites
will have just gotten even faster. Look out for a blog entry from me about it next week with nifty nice graphs and stuff.
So, in the meantime can you step aside for Bruce Springsteen and his homage to Nebraska, CLUAS.com's new home...