What Recently Happened to Bude & Beyond?

Thinking you all deserve an explanation about problems we have had with Bude & Beyond this last week, which are now hopefully resolved or well on the way, so here it is.
Over the past few days – or weeks really – we’ve had some issues with Bude and Beyond. Darren, who was organising the hosting for free, did what he could, even to the point of moving the site to its own server, which also caused some outages, and took him some time to try to resolve.
 
Dawn and Rob had planned to move the site to their own hosting solution (in line with other community websites Rob has created, like bude-past-and-present.org.ukbudeforfood.co.ukwriting-it-better.co.uk)
But the plan was loose and was ‘some day, maybe’.
 
The process had begun by transferring the domain name over to us, but it still pointed to Darren’s host.
 
With the problems the site was having, Darren, Rob and I were at the end of our respective tethers by Saturday. The emails, as you might imagine, were flying thick and fast.  
So the move began in earnest.
 
It was a multi – step process (which I’ve asked Rob  – pictured above – to describe in lay language, me being no techie, so who would invariably get it wrong).
 
Saturday Afternoon
 
1/ Copy of WordPress SQL database from old site is needed
2/ Copy of all ‘content’, and plugins from old site is needed (this is nearly 3 GB in size)
3/ New host is needed
4/ Hook the domain name (budeandbeyond.co.uk) to the new host
5/ Wait a short while for that change to propogate out around the internet (meanwhile people go to the old site)
 
New site was available very quickly in most of the UK.
 
6/ A placeholder was added to the new site (“Anticipate” from Elegant themes, stops non-logged-in people from accessing the site), because the site was essentially empty
7/ All old content was copied back to the server (this took around about 8 hours with multiple sessions — see comment below)
 
Sunday Morning
 
8/ Plugins, themes, and SQL applied to the new site
9/ Inadvertently overwrote the placeholder plugin (Anticipate) and had to reconfigure it
 
Around 5-10 minutes of testing confirmed the site was okay.
 
Sunday Evening
 
10/ Proper testing of about 1 hour, monitoring also the information from our host.
11/ Small tweaks to the sidebar to make individual posts load better/faster
 
Monday morning
 
12/ Release to Dawn
13/ Remove the Anticipate / placeholder plugin, and the site is then truly live
 
More monitoring on our host
 
The apparent cause for some of the issues the site was having relate to:
 
– Javascript (i.e., the plugins that make the site look the way it does, and the sidebar information that is useful to many)
– Image sizes (we were not optimising or shrinking images at all)
 
 
Both of these last two pieces will be addressed over the next few weeks, including processing all of the existing images.
My sincere thanks to Rob for organising all this calmly, as I was in the position/mind frame of ‘binning off’ the website altogether, given the hassle.
Suddenly, sunshine walks on the beach, and being a lady who lunches, felt so much more appealing than getting up early every day (and continually re-checking) to sort out the  website, check for news, organise the social media, take the flak, and generally try to be a community-minded individual. Let someone else do it, I thought, in my darkest moments – or not!
But #BigUpBude has lots of people putting in lots of voluntary, unsung effort to make it the place it is (Rob is a fine example) so me having a strop in my pram  over Bude & Beyond was not going to help anyone.
So, we’re back. That’s it, really. I am sure it will not all be blip free, but Rob is locally-based and very responsive to my “help” shouts.
The site has turned green because it is all about fresh shoots and starts.

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