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  1. #11
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    No. The main site is not built using an off the shelf turnkey solution. It does use free and paid for software as the framework, but everything else is custom built.

    The current main site is built using a content management system called Joomla. It's running on the last version of the original 1.0 release. It's now up to version 5 so I lot has changed in that time. I've not really worked with or built sites using Joomla since version 2 so I would need to play around with the current version to see what has changed and if its still the best solution.

    I'm sure I can upgrade and migrate the existing site over to the current version and all content would remain in the database. The issue is that the actual site directories for the games, demos etc are using a commercial Joomla component called JReviews. This also still exists in a far newer version. When I built the site JReviews was again in its version 1 release. I worked with it's developer to bug fix it with him and test new features as he added them. He built it with its own integrated language inside the component that you could utilise to make it do far more than the default setup. I forget what the language was called but it shared many things in common with php, javascript and Mysql so was easy to quickly pick it up. It wasn't the most complex or feature rich but I pushed how it was integrated into jReviews far more than its developer had considered it would be used for. He even commented to me that he was amazed what I had managed to make it do.

    The problem I had was that due to that programming language's limitations the developer completely changed the engine he was using for JReviews from the next version 2 release to make it more advanced. But this meant everything I had created was not compatible. Every page template, site structure and data retrieval, and even form I has created for the site directories was not compatible with the completely different Jreviews 2. And since then over the years JReviews has evolved far more to be very different to the version I'm still using.

    So this all means even though I can import the current site to the current version of the main Joomla CMS, and all of the page content would remain intact, all of the JReviews directory content would end up as a jumbled mess of standard Joomla page articles, not directory entries. And all of the additional field entries for each directory item would just be held in the JReviews table cells and not appear on the site. Does that make sense?

    One possibility could be to write some SQL that can take all that table data and port it into a new site build. I'm hopefully that would be possible anyway.

    One big issue with how the current site is built with JReviews is how the data is pulled from the database to populate each page as it is loaded. It needs a new database call for each field entry in the page, meaning a lot of database calls. In testing this can range from 31 to 60 seperate database calls pwr page If I rebuild the site I want a solution that would reduce this to 20 or less, and greatly speed up page loading and in turn server load.

    Hope that all makes sense?

    My preferred new solution would be an off the shelf software that I don't need to customise beyond layout templates. This would mean future software updates would be straightforward and not lock the site into a version that keeps aging.

    I'm considered something like Megento which is used by commercial sales sites. Designed specifically to make directory based store fronts this could work well as a games directory software, and there is a none commercial version available that is sloghtly behind on version to the paid commercial version and doesn't have the same customer support, but has a large community so is a valid possibility.

    Another is Wordpress as well known and established directory components exist for that too.

    And another is to stick with Joomla and possibly the current version of JReviews and jussi rebuild the site.

    Not sure on the direction to take yet.

    My first priority and the easier to tackle is the forum. Porting it to Xenforo is straightforward, if time consuming. It includes scripts to do this automatically. You then just need to setup the new forum, create all the membership groups and area access and restrictions,, plus customise the site template. Also a good opportunity to delete all the obsolete topics and posts from the site. That's going to be my initial priority. Find a new server to host the forums and then let it over and get it up and running. Then try to generate new interest in membership. Most standalone forums suffered huge falls in active members when social media took of. But now is a good opportunity to attract them back as many are getting fed up with places like Facebook and content that's of automated bans and a restriction of freedom of speech.
    Last edited by Harrison; 17th April 2024 at 09:55.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  2. #12
    ELITE Kin Hell's Avatar
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    Whichever way you turn, it appears to be a bit of a "Butt Sandwich" fella.....
    Getting 0ld0r is mandatory - Growing up is just an option.

  3. #13
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    Burger Time Champion, Sonic Champion Harrison's Avatar
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    That's the fun of web development. Even many little things that look fairly simple from the outside can turn into a headache to achieve. It's always a learning process too, which is maybe it's biggest appeal to me though.

    My biggest issue is a lack of time.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrison View Post
    My biggest issue is a lack of time.
    Exactly, I guess this is true for all of us. And thus I think rebuilding the whole site is not the best option.

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    ELITE Kin Hell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demon Cleaner View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harrison View Post
    My biggest issue is a lack of time.
    Exactly, I guess this is true for all of us. And thus I think rebuilding the whole site is not the best option.
    Thing is DC, eventually it will no longer work as it is.....

    Best to jump ship sooner than later me-thinks.... but then the time factor is another headache.
    Getting 0ld0r is mandatory - Growing up is just an option.

  6. #16
    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
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    I would offer to help but all my crayons have gone blunt and my caps lock key is broken.

  7. #17
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    It's all gone clock-work again at the time of this post H ? ?

    Very slow site access.....
    Getting 0ld0r is mandatory - Growing up is just an option.

  8. #18
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    Well this is the first time I've managed to get the forums to even load in a very long time. For me it was stuck at a domain holding page which is served by the host of the domain has no content. Suggesting the server is offline.

    I will be moving the site to a new host for sure as they are not being helpful other than siggesting I switch to a different package 3 times the price.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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