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Thread: CincyReef Website Discussion

  1. #1
    Vice President / Webmaster Jthouse92's Avatar
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    CincyReef Website Discussion

    Hi Everyone!
    It was great to see everyone at the meeting Saturday, at the meeting we started several conversations. The one topic having the most urgency was the condition and direction of the overall website. It is running off a very old version of Vbulletin, and because of the way it runs it is very hard to update and keep running. I have done some research and have pulled three options for the club, but we are not limited to just these three. Some of you Im sure have more experience in this then we do so please post suggestions and ideas!


    1. Update to the new version of Vbulletin
      • it will maintain the same older feel
      • We may also retain the same issues, as Vbulletin is a Fairly out of date software. (using HTML code to program)
      • $300 to upgrade the software, and up to $500 for the transfer modules and support
      • Unless we have a club member who has experience in this we may need to hire someone to do the majority of the work.
      • See CORA's site, they are running the updated Vbulletin suite http://corareef.org

    2. Update our site to a new forum-based company to make it look new and updated (XenForo)
      • This would keep the feel of a forum but upgrade the look
      • It will be a challenge for novices to keep up to date and running
      • Unless we have a club member who has experience in this we may need to hire someone to do the majority of the work also.
      • We have to have a physical server.
      • The price will be higher per year
      • Will be the most expensive, $450 to get the software, plus what ever hardware cost will be.
      • For an example, see https://www.reef2reef.com/

    3. Move away from the old forum style and make a new website with forum capabilities.
      • We can still have forum threads, they will just have a new look and feel.
      • This will be easier to update, a lot of the of information on the current forum threads would not be transferable.
      • This will be a little bit of a fresh start, kind of like hitting the reset button. but giving us tons of room to grow.
      • This option will be around $168 a year.
      • A novice can do this work, very easy to change, update ect.
      • Here is a little something I put together real fast, but with this type of website we can do so much more while making it simple to use on PC and Cell Phones. https://jordanshouse4200.wixsite.com/cincyreef (Copy and Paste this to your browser)
      • This example website took me 30 minuets to get to the point its at. So, we can refine and polish the edges to make a great easy to use and reliable website.

    (All of these options have a yearly domain fee)

    So what do you think? Are there other options out there we should look into? If so let us know!

    The key is to do something easy to update and maintain.

    Regards,

    CincyReef BOD

  2. #2
    Vice President / Webmaster Jthouse92's Avatar
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    One other thing that could work in conjunction with option 3 is to activate one of our other domains and assign it to this already running site. We then apply cincyreef.com to the new website design.

    On this already running site we lock it down so no new posts or users can be uploaded. Then we can link to it as a historical database we can always look back at.


    This is just a thought that came to mind, Iíll have to do some research to verify we can do this. But Cincy reef owns 4 domain mains so theoretically itís possible and pretty easy! But may add cost.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Premium Member
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    I think it is unreasonable to hire someone to maintain/upgrade the site when we need any enhancements.

    I like option three. It seems to have a much more user friendly navigation and easier to read on mobile.

    Just for budgetary consideration, does our current website have ongoing yearly expenses?

  4. #4
    Vice President / Webmaster Jthouse92's Avatar
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    It does, we use a company to host our current site, this company also manages our domain and supplies the club with our email server as well. (Hosting, email server and domain is $104.38 per year) (plus additional one time charges if we want to upgrade the software)

    So if we do away from that we will have to figure out the domain transfer, email options, and the old forum and information there would be 100% lost.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Jthouse92; 03-26-2019 at 09:56 AM.

  5. #5
    Plankton
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    As someone relatively new to forums, option 3 seems to be the best in my opinion. Looks pretty simple and straightforward. That, and if price is a concern, option 3 makes even more sense.

  6. #6
    Vice President / Webmaster Jthouse92's Avatar
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    Okay, I did a little digging on how to retain mail service with option 3.

    Wix’s approach is to offer G Suite, a Google cloud solution that provides (among many other things) professional email. For each user you have, you will have to pay $ 5 a month.(We will have 3-4 accounts) So Very Expensive and in my option out of the question.

    One other option is to use a site called https://www.namecheap.com. For them to hold our domains and provide 4 email accounts the cost will be around $82.49 a year. So total cost per year for the site and this would be around $252.49

    Or we stay where we are at, we currently pay $104.38 per year for
    Hosting, email server and domain. (I did see if we can remove the hosting from our account and save money and we can not its a package deal) This option we can use this site as a cincyreefarchive.com web site to point back to so we wouldn't lose everything But this would put us near $300 dollars a year for website and email needs.

    Or we can use a standard Gmail accounts, such as cincyreefVP@gmail.com, cincyreef
    treasurer@gmail.com, cincyreefpresident@gmail.com. This doesn't look the best with out the @cincyreef.com but its a whole lot cheaper because these accounts will be free. So we would only be paying that $168.00 a year.

  7. #7
    West Chester Reef's Avatar
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    I know our website is old and a dinosaur, I think it would be great to have a fresh look and easier to maintain, but hate to see us loose all the archives too, so I'm torn.
    You never know unless you ask,,

  8. #8
    Plankton Drewski's Avatar
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    It would be nice if it was more compatible with mobile devices.

  9. #9
    Vice President / Webmaster Jthouse92's Avatar
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    Based off the comments we have received, I will do some more exploration of the the following two options.

    - Update to the new version of Vbulletin
    -
    Move away from the old forum style and make a new website with forum capabilities.

    Give me a couple weeks to do a deeper dive into the capabilities and costs of each option. I will need a few volunteers to help test the second option out, if your willing to help out please let me know and send me a PM or a email to webmaster@cincyreef.com.

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