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It's Time For Change

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Rich, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Herp Center will be undergoing an upgrade in the near future. This is a significant move forward for Herp Center as we will be switching over to new software. Many new features will be available following this upgrade. The most significant improvement to Herp Center will be its responsive nature. The new responsive design will allow you to view and use Herp Center without the need for any additional software or apps. The site will instantly become responsive on laptops, desktops, tablets and mobile devices. Simpy enter the sites url and it will adapt to your screen size automagically.

    As the software will be new, there will be changes to the visual perception of the site in order to make it responsive. There will also be a slight learning curve for all of us. The familiar nature of the existing site will overshadow the new layout that will come with the upgrade. I have been playing with the software in the background and it is very easy to adapt to.

    I am personally looking forward to this upgrade as it fixes issues that have surrounded vBulletin (our current software) for well over a year. It is their lack of response to correcting these issues that has led to the loss of a 10 year client. The site has been in need of some changes and the software swap offers me a chance to accomplish them.

    The next announcement I make on the upgrade will be to inform everyone of the day the site will be shut down as I do my thing. :)
     
  2. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    Setting up for HC withdrawals....
     
  3. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The site will go down at night, when our traffic is at its lowest. This upgrade is likely going to increase our traffic due to the responsive nature of the site. I have been importing HC now for almost 3 hours on the development site. lol This site is pretty big. lol
     
  4. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    Being up all night... prepping for the worst ARRGGHHH!!!! Where's my blanket... :p
     
  5. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    I usually work noon to midnight or 1:00 so I am also preparing for withdrawals as I usually check HC before bed lol
     
  6. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    NOOOOOO!!! Change is bad! Lol, just kidding of course. As long as it doesn't end up like another forum I won't use with the initials k and s. I hate their layout. Will this change it much for those who normally veiw it in an internet window, as opposed to a phone or tablet app?
     
  7. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The site is being designed for computers (laptops and desktops) with certain elements disappearing for mobile use (size constraints). Tablets will display the site almost identical to laptops and desktops. The site will be a modern twist on what the site looks like now. The sites navigation and several other features become enhanced with this upgrade.
     
  8. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I think a feature that will be utilized extensively on the site will be the new user-tagging system. The user-tagging system allows a member to tag a user like this: @Rich and that tag will turn into a link to the users name and will alert the user that someone mentioned them in a post. This will be great for when a member wants the advice or opinion of a specific member as they can now alert them. This is just one of the features coming to everyone. ;)
     
  9. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    This is still actively being pursued. I am in the process of porting and transferring the custom coded features of HC over to their new home on the upgraded site. Once all of the sites data has been transferred I will choose a date to begin the live transfer for activating it in a live environment. I think people will like it much more. The entire website, including custom features, will entirely be responsive and work across every platform you own. :)
     
  10. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Sometime this week Herp Center will be experiencing a short amount of downtime. We are moving to a new host. The upgrade is about 50% complete.
     
  11. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Later this evening I will be shutting HC down while I create a fresh back-up of the site and move it over to the new server. The site could be down for several hours, depending on how long the back-up and import take. I will keep HC on its current server as a back-up to my back-up. lol Sorry for the inconvenience everyone.
    In other news, the new HC is showing some progress. ;)
     
  12. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    There was a change of plans. lol I am waiting to hear back from the server team as they have volunteered to do the transfers.
     
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Whew! So we won't be having HC withdrawals tonight after all?
     
  14. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    HC has been moved. That was more of a project than I cared for. lol There were some lost posts from the time the backup was created to when the site was sent live. (Maybe a 12 hour window between the 2.) I apologize for the inconvenience.
     
  15. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    This is just an update to let people know that this project is still being worked on. I am taking a completely different approach to the layout of the articles and care sheets the site houses. (They look awesome and work flawless across mobile devices!) This is taking me longer than I wanted but i would rather do this right the first time than struggle later down the line. I am anticipating that this complete move will take another month or 2 but will be well worth the effort in the long run. HC is currently HEAVILY customized, which always made upgrading a chore. The method of coding I am adapting to now will result in 10 minute upgrades in the future. it also works really well and is easy to navigate. Ok, update over. I have been working on this daily and will continue to do so until it is complete. :)
     
  16. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Amphibians Completed and transferred to new layout - site. There are also 4 new care sheets as well as a complete list of every poison dart species currently known.

    AFRICAN CLAWED FROG (Xenopus laevis)
    FIRE-BELLIED TOAD (Bombina orientalis)
    ORNATE HORNED FROG (Ceratophrys ornata)
    RED-EYED TREE FROG (Agalychnis callidryas)
    WHITES TREE FROG (Litoria caerulea)

    NEW: SPOTTED SALAMANDER (Ambystoma maculatum)
    NEW: AXOLOTL (Ambystoma mexicanum)
    NEW: SURINAME TOAD (Pipa pipa)
    NEW: POISON DART FROGS (Dendrobatidae)
    NEW: POISON DART FROGS SPECIES LIST

    Snakes Completed and transferred to new layout - site. There are NO new care sheets at this time, though I am willing to accept member submissions on species not listed.

    AMAZON TREE BOA (Corallus hortulanus)
    BALL PYTHON (Python regius)
    BLOOD PYTHON (Python curtus brongersmai)
    BOA CONSTRICTOR (Boa constrictor imperator)
    CORN SNAKE (Pantherophis guttatus)
    GABOON VIPER (Bitis gabonica)
    HOG ISLAND BOA (Boa constrictor imperator)
    HORNED ADDER (Bitis caudalis)
    ROSY BOA (Lichanura trivirgata)
    WHITE-LIPPED TREE VIPER (Trimeresurus albolabris)

    Lizards Completed and transferred to new layout - site.

    ACKIE MONITOR (Varanus acanthurus acanthurus / brachyurus)
    AFRICAN FAT-TAILED GECKO (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus)
    AMERICAN ALLIGATOR (Alligator mississippiensis)
    BEARDED DRAGON (Pogona vitticeps)
    CAPE DWARF CHAMELEON (Bradypodion pumilum)
    CHINESE WATER DRAGON (Physignathus cocincinus)
    COLLARED LIZARD (Crotaphytus collaris)
    CRESTED GECKO (Rhacodactylus ciliatus)
    CROCODILIAN (Crocodylidae)
    EMERALD SWIFT (Sceloporus malachiticus)
    FIRE SKINK (Riopa fernandi)
    GREEN ANOLE (Anolis carolinensis)
    GREEN IGUANA (Iguana iguana) - Just some copy and paste left (55 pages long!)
     
  17. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I didn't realize how big HC actually was until I started this transfer. lol I should have the iguana care guide transferred over within a day or 2. I have been working on it for almost a week now. In total, the new guide is 55 pages long with 46 of them being directly associated with iguanas. (NOT KIDDING!) The other 9 pages are disease related (part of the new disease section) and relate to multiple species. I will then begin work on the leo care guide which I expect to top 75 pages or more before I am done.

    In addition to moving what we already have, I am also writing all the pages the site has been missing. That is why the iguana care guide is where its at. This move brings mobility but it brings a ton of new information and care sheets. lol I have written 5 brand new care sheets so far and have several more to do. YAY for upgrades! lol

    Last 2 diseases researched and written. YAY! (10 - 17) The iguana guide is complete. It needed these 2 diseases done to make it 100%, ;)
     
    Cathie likes this.
  18. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    This is just another update as to the progress of the upgrade. I have completed the transfer of all of the Lizards care sheets. I have also completed all of the invertebrate care sheets. The reptile enclosures section is built and populated with all of the current enclosures, as well as around 50+ new ones. (Wait til you see some of these enclosures!) I need to style that section still but that is a 5 hour project. I am saving style related work for the end because i will be reusing code across different sections and it will go quick compared to these conversions. I am now updating our articles to the new layout, though the actual articles are already over on the new site. I am still actively working on this! lol
     
  19. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for all the hard work Rich.
     
  20. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Progress Report

    I am currently creating the back-up version that will be used to do the physical back-up onto HC. I have transferred all of the required info. I still have a few things to add, but i need to do them on the vanilla install of the new software before i import the existing database credentials from the current HC.

    If this all goes well, I could be doing the actual upgrade within 2 weeks. My goal however is to have this upgrade implemented for the new year. This has been a very large production but I feel it will improve site activity, pages load faster, it is a fresh new look, implements my registered trademark (we have a modified logo that replaces the current site logo), includes new features, allows users to socialize more on the site, allows for FB, Google and Twitter account registration and affiliation, etc.

    I have been working on this daily for 4 months so far. lol It was a much bigger project than I had initially anticipated.
     

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