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Move U3DA to a different host?

Posted: 27 Nov 2016, 23:42
by Finis
Should we move the forum to another host?

Hostgator currently hosts U3DA. Hostgator was one of the best hosts. Then it was bought by Endurance International Group. When EIG buys a hosting company it changes the way that company operates and turns it to crap. The most noticeable quality problems appear in customer and tech support. Poor tech support was a problem for us during the malware issues a few months ago. The goal of moving would be to have a good host that won't be messed up by EIG.

We have several months to collect donations and pay Hostgator and Godaddy for our hosting and domain name. (Donation status thread here.) So if you want to move the time to do it is near the expiration of our hosting with Hostgator. That way we get what we already paid Hostgator for and the donations would go to the new host.

Hosting companies usually have a service where they will migrate a site to their system for new customers. That is usually free. Free or paid, if a host does not have that service then we should not use them. So we would sign up with the new host about a month before we expire at Hostgator and then have the new host transfer the forum. We would change the DNS information at Godaddy to direct the dot-com name to the new servers at the new company. The month of overlap gives time to deal with any problems that arise. Of course backups would be made to recover from unlikely disaster.

EIG owns 50 or 60 hosts now. It is hard to find a decent host that isn't part of EIG. It can be difficult to determine if a host is part of EIG do to stealth tactics and dishonesty.

Re: Move U3DA to a different host?

Posted: 29 Nov 2016, 15:12
by Steinie
I was Treasurer for 4-6 years at U3DA when we had a large amount of users here. trueSpace was still their favorite 3D program. We lost ALOT of users over the years, many just check in occasionally. It was hard to collect enough money then, it will impossible now. There is no way for us to remain here even if we wanted to. The deadline is next year in July correct?
We need to find a CHEAPER alternative by then. I would love for everything to remain the same but that would just be a dream.
I hope everyone thinks this over and gives us real solutions. I would hate to not have a great place to go. Too many cool people here. :bananacheers:

Re: Move U3DA to a different host?

Posted: 29 Nov 2016, 17:21
by Emmanuel
I have unlimited hosting space to room my client's websites on JustHost. I could host U3DA as well for free...

Re: Move U3DA to a different host?

Posted: 29 Nov 2016, 17:25
by stan
Sounds like a great idea Emmanuel... and link the ts site you created (last year) as front page

Re: Move U3DA to a different host?

Posted: 29 Nov 2016, 17:46
by Finis
Our hosting plan expires on July 7, 2017. Hostgator currently costs us about $10 per month.

You're probably right Steinie. Prodigy gave the forum the subtitle, "The Same People, the Same Great Community." TS users who came from the Caligari official TS forum. Unfortunately the demise of TS combined with the forum's original focus on TS means U3DA is possibly doomed. To me it is now a small place for some web-friends who like CG to gather rather than an active forum. Like you wrote, great place, cool people ... there just aren't many left. The small group still comes here but there is little support for the technical and money sides of keeping the place going.

While it seems unlikely to collect hundreds of dollars every three years, in the previous donation drive nearly all of the cost was paid by a handful of generous people. It wouldn't take many $40+ donations to pay the bills (a bit less than $400 for a 3 year renewal with the current companies). I'm "financially challenged" and I can afford $40. But it that the right way to do it now with our small community?

So, how to preserve the forum as the small community it is now? Cheaper hosting doesn't exist. A little cheaper sure but any normal paid hosting worth having is roughly the same cost or more. I've thought of trying wordpress' free blog hosting. It's not bad and many large sites are really wp blogs hosted there. There are conversion utilities to convert a phpBB forum to a bbpress forum however I don't know if the free wp host allows bbpress.

As far as moving to another regular host: There would be better service by avoiding EIG but little or no cost savings. I'm moving my sites to SiteGround. Inmotion and Network Solutions might be EIG proof too. (Is anyone? 200 million dollars and even Hostgator wasn't.)

Ah! Emmanuel just offered to host U3DA for free on his account at JustHost. (Unfortunately now owned by EIG but free for us is good.) Good idea! Who else could and would do this?

Let's get some options. What cheap/free hosting ideas do you all have?

P.S. If U3DA perishes I'm not about to miss out on my awesome web-friends here. If that happens I'll start a little forum on my hosting account so we can keep in touch there.

Re: Move U3DA to a different host?

Posted: 29 Nov 2016, 20:54
by Emmanuel
JustHost is currently charging me 8.66 euros per month (=9.21 US$). That's the price I paid for 48 months. The quality of the service has been quite bad last year (wordpress sites that turn white, email connexion problems, etc.), and I have been thinking of leaving it. But it seems all fixed now.

I've never tried to migrate a phpbb from a server to an other, and never tried to install one on JustHost yet.
Is the migration a complicated task ? How big is U3DA in size ?

Re: Move U3DA to a different host?

Posted: 30 Nov 2016, 15:45
by Finis
If our small group is going to keep this going then we all have to help. You all help investigate potential host companies. Determine what money you can donate if needed. What resources or effort can you offer? Can you host the forum like Emmanuel has offered to do? Get creative. Think of options.

Emmanuel wrote:Is the migration a complicated task ? How big is U3DA in size ?
U3DA currently uses 3GB of disk space. (I accidentally typed "dick space". Oh, if JamesMC was here! The laughs he would create with that!) Most companies will do the work of migrating a site as one of their services. That is often free for new customers. Since you are already a customer your host would probably charge for migration. The difficulty of migrating it ourselves varies. Best to have the host company do it even for a fee. None of my business but if I were you I'd move to a company that EIG doesn't own and is not likely to get.

@Steinie: Even in disaster there will be a place to go. Like I wrote above.

I thought there wasn't but maybe there is cheaper hosting that's not bad. I'm considering Inmotion for my websites (SiteGround's expertise and dislike of EIG is appealing though). I found Interserver* and they are really cheap and offer plenty of features.

Hostgator (current host): $9.94 per month (36 months = $358)

-- First three years $2.95 per month (36 months = $106)
-- After that $6.99 per month (36 months = $251)

Interserver*: $4 per month (36 months = $144)

Removed link. My bad. Really bad. The free hosting company I noted is owned by BizLand which is an alias of EIG.

Emmanuel has offered to host U3DA for free on his account. Is anyone else willing and able to do this? Let's compare the different hosts available through members who have websites/hosting accounts somewhere. I see a problem of access to the main admin functions. Obviously Emmanuel would be reluctant to give anyone else the login to the cpanel/admin area of his business.

The name "" also has a cost of about $15 per year. That is with Godaddy.

*Someone please investigate Interserver. What is their reputation? EIG owned? Etc.

Re: Move U3DA to a different host?

Posted: 30 Nov 2016, 22:31
by Steinie
(201) 605-1440
InterServer Inc.
16 years in business

110 Meadowlands Pkwy Ste 100
Secaucus, NJ 07094-2302
BBB File Opened: 9/05/2012
Business Started: 3/03/2000
Better Business Rating A+
They have only had one complaint.
3 Years for $144 is doable. Also it will remain that price as long as we stay with them.
Migration is free.
Unlimited Storage, Websites, Emails
Privately owned
Sounds good to me.

Re: Move U3DA to a different host?

Posted: 01 Dec 2016, 00:10
by Finis
Thanks for the research Steinie. Sounds good to me too. I found no evidence that they are associated with EIG. Emailed them to ask to confirm that. Hey, they are kind of near you. If they don't treat us right you can walk over there and ...

So, what do you all think? Migrate to Interserver?

Re: Move U3DA to a different host?

Posted: 01 Dec 2016, 03:43
by clintonman
Sounds good to me too. Inexpensive and not on anyones pre-existing hosting account.