For over 15 years now, the entire Templot web site and my email has been in the capable hands of Jim Hale in Columbus, Ohio.
The service from Jim's little web hosting company has been superb. Any problem rapidly dealt with. Every email quickly answered. Valuable knowledge and advice freely offered. A complete opposite to the trouble and strife I'd had with larger UK-based hosting companies previously.
But all good things come to an end. Jim has reached an age where getting up in the middle of the night to dash to the data centre has lost its appeal. He says he is looking to find someone to take over his business, or if not to begin winding it down. So far there is no-one interested, and he has not been taking on new customers for some time now.
Either way, it would seem that it's time to bring the Templot web site home to the UK. Jim has promised me at least 6 months notice before pulling the plug. But I don't want to hold him to that, I think I should begin the process in the near future while the transfer can be done gradually and there is time to iron out any problems. Which there will be, because there always is. And after 15 years there is far more stuff on the web site than when I moved it the other way.
So I have purchased some hosting in the UK, and I've made a tentative start. I intend to run both sites in parallel until I'm confident I can make the final switch without problems. This also gives me a chance to do some housekeeping on the various other domains and URLs that I'm hosting.
In future the main Templot URL will be:
If you go there now you should get to a copy of the Templot Companion, although not all links have yet been converted.
But please use the existing site for the time being.
The web site is the easy bit. The real headache is going to be what to do with this Templot Club forum. The PHP code and MySQL database is all as old as Templot -- it was originally written by Aycan Gulez about 20 years ago. When Jim took it over he renamed it UltraBB and made a few improvements, and David Williams created the image gallery for it. But the core code is still much the same. Nothing has changed for at least 5 years -- the world has moved on from web forums to prefer social media on mobile devices. Jim says he hasn't sold a new copy of UltraBB for several years now.
Naturally he makes sure it still works on his servers. But the prospect of moving a 20-year-old database to a different server running later versions of PHP and MySQL fills me with foreboding.
The question is whether even to try. Perhaps it's time to move on to a more modern forum style. I do have an unused licence for XenForo (as used on Western Thunder and Platform 1). I can't decide which would be preferable -- setting up a new forum from scratch, or trying to move an old one for which there will no longer be any support. Whatever happens I would of course try to retain all the existing content.
Then of course I have to move all my email mailboxes, and preserve existing email addresses...
So this post is just an advance warning of changes to come. If you find something not working, please just try again later. Thanks.
Time for a boiled egg.
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