Brian Wilson

Site Upgrade in Progress

6 posts in this topic

Over the last 72 hours we have begun rolling out a major site upgrade. It has been several years since the last time TT has been totally overhauled. Anyone with a PC or smart phone knows, technology changes fast, and what worked great just 3 or 4 years ago is obsolete today. In order to bring TT up to the latest technology and standards, we have completely re-written every line of code that powers the website and have upgraded the database engine that powers this site to the latest standards. And while the hard part is now behind us, there is several more weeks of work we'll be performing in the background to complete the upgrade. Site speed was our #1 priority in designing this upgrade. However, while the upgrade process continues in the background the site speed improvements may not be immediately noticeable. There are very resource intensive processes still running to re-index and re-optimize our database to the new format. These background rebuilding processes will cause the site to appear slow/sluggish at times. Rest assured, when they complete TT will be much faster than every before. 

Site features temporarily limited or offline

  • Speed - because of the intensive background process running to rebuild and re-index our entire website, you are likely to experience a slower-than-normal experience initially. This will DRASTICALLY improve as the database completes the rebuilding process. However this make take several weeks to fully complete.
  • Search limited - We have over 15 years of data totaling more than 13 million posts, search will be limited while our entire database is re-indexed. Results will be incomplete. Every single item posted on the website must be re-indexed by our search engine. Until this extensive process completes, the quality of search results will be limited.
  • Photos missing - every image ever posted to ThumperTalk is being rebuilt and optimized. While this is on-going, you will find many missing/dead images. Don't worry - they are not gone. They will reappear automatically one-by-one as the rebuild process continues
  • Missing site features (Classifieds, Garage, Where2Ride) - These features will be re-enabled one by one as fast as possible Our first priority was getting the forums back online and fully rebuilt. As each step of the rebuild process completes, the various sections of the website will return one-by-one. Not to worry - all of your pictures, data and garages are still here. We have them disabled intentionally to speed the rebuilding process in order of priority. 

Noteworthy features & function of new website

  • Cleaner, lighter weight, more modern look & feel.
  • Quick "Create" menu that allows you to create new topics (among other things) w/o having to nav to the specific forum itself.
  • User created custom "Activity Streams" that allows the site to deliver to you only the content you care about.
  • Upload images via drag-n-drop, by URL, or from any previously uploaded image.
  • No more thumbnail images. Photos will auto-size based upon the user's device.
  • The ability to follow/subscribe to your favorite members.
  • Support of #hashtags (coming soon)

Why are we doing this?
The key reason is upgrading to a responsive website design. Over 53% of our visitors are browsing with a mobile device of some sort and responsive designs fluidly render pages optimized for each particular device and screen size. This should greatly improve the overall user experience, especially for those that browse on their desktop, smartphone, and tablet.

We've done our best to ensure that this transition will be as smooth as possible, but with anything of this size and scope, we expect there to be some bugs and/or funkiness. Just know that we'll be watching closely and working feverishly behind the scenes to fix anything that isn't playing nice in order of priority. We also get that change is hard and while the core forum functions are all there, some things may work differently than you're used to. So, we thank you in advance for bringing your patience.

Issues and Bugs
If you discover an issue or bug that we have not addressed in this message, please report it here. The entire dev staff will be monitoring the Bug Reports forum and addressing issues in order of priority. Please understand. If we don't respond immediately, that doesn't mean we're ignoring your report. There is much for us to do, and our time and focus will be on the work of completing the upgrade and we may not directly respond to every report addressed. 

 

Sincerely,

Brian M. Wilson
ThumperTalk Development Team

P.S. Follow this topic for progress updates. 

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Why are all the images, links, videos and signatures broke or missing?

As part of this upgrade, our entire database is being re-built and re-indexed to the latest/greatest standards. This rebuild is expected to take 1-2 weeks. During this time, you will find a lot of posts, images, embedded video, signatures and other things that "appear" to be broken. They are NOT actually broken. They will automatically be fixed as the re-builder goes through the entire database and updates all posts/content to be compatible with our new site. 

Here are a couple examples of what is "normal" to see during the rebuild process. If you see anything similar to this, have no worries - it will resolve itself over the next 1-2 weeks.

 

broken_links.pngbroken_images.png

Once this list of rebuild processes complete, all will be back to normal and display properly on the site.

rebuild_processes_2017-02-02_02-57PM.png

 

 

 

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I just wanted to post an update for those that are watching. The rebuild process is moving along right on schedule and should complete in the time we estimated (1-2 weeks from when we re-opened the site. However, the full search capacity may take longer to have full results. We can't rebuild the full search index until the database rebuilding process completes. 

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 7.50.58 PM.png

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Just a quick update.  All site data has been rebuilt.  All images have been reprocessed.  All links, images, signatures should be working again.  Now that all data has been converted to the new format we are on to rebuilding the the massive search index. This is the last critical step before the site should return to normal operation. Once the search index is complete we can move on to bringing back the missing features and adding a bunch of new cool things we have planned.

Current status:

 

IMG_0043.PNG

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The search index is rebuilding quickly now. We should have full search results back to normal by Monday or Tuesday if it keeps moving at it's current speed. 

Screen Shot 2017-02-18 at 1.07.53 PM.png

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The database rebuild is now complete and the search index is finished, meaning you can now find all those old topics again.

Next up we will start moving all images to a CDN service which will reduce strain on the web servers and make pages load faster.

After we complete the image move we will begin optimizing server set up for faster search and page load.

We're getting there step by step.

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