[Completed]: Gamer Escape Maintenance

17 Dec 2012

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So recall, back on October 29, we posted about some fairly major maintenance we here at Gamer Escape were about to undertake.  This was not really just some ordinary maintenance.  It was closer to pressing the delete button and rebuilding the site from scratch.  We had everything backed up.  We had some cell phone numbers to call in case of emergencies.  We had… our fingers crossed.  We knew what we wanted to end up with.  Something cleaner and more streamlined than we had before.  Something easier to maintain than we had before.  Something with a smaller, faster footprint than we had before.  So we pressed the delete key and went to work.

And by “we” I mean mainly Calandra, our aptly titled “Lead Developer, Site Administrator.”  He could also have been designated the “Mega Developer”, or the “Technical Guru”, or the “Head Of All That Fusionx and Gahoo Don’t Understand.”  In any event, Calandra started at the beginning, upgrading our hosting software, our php, our CentOS, and other stuff that doesn’t mean much to me.  With the basics upgraded, he moved on to fresh installs of mediawiki, wordpress and phpBB, and all associated plugins, extensions and modifications.  Then we had to import the old wiki data and the old news articles… and voila.  We had an updated, but ugly and nondescript website running.  I don’t pretend to understand what was done.  I just know that it worked, and everything was faster and upgraded.

With that Fusionx and I set about hacking away at the css and php files until things started looking better.  In light of the fact that neither of us code in php or css (or any other code for that matter) for a living, it was a lot of trial and error.  There were a certainly a few times we deleted something we were not supposed to delete, leading to a crashed site.  But, for the most part, with time and some patience we were able to make the site look a bit more unique and styled.

So with that said, a mere 6 weeks after we shut the site down, we’re fully (mostly?) back up and running – and stable.  Everything is where is should be.  Backups happen regularly.  The site hasn’t crashed and everything seems to be in working order.  We’re continuing to tinker with the style (for example we just changed some font colors to be more consistent across all sections of the site), but we’re happy with how it all turned out.

Anyway, while there is no “set in stone” button.  While we continue to tweak, tinker, delete, move and generally hack into the bowels of the site, we wanted to make sure we are doing so with an eye toward what the community wants.  So that’s where you come in.  We’re asking – honestly asking – how you like the new look of the site and what, if anything, you’d like to see changed.  We’re not committing to do anything (still just a small handful of us who do this on the side after all), but we run the site for the community, and want to know if there is anything missing or inconvenient.  For the brave among you, leave us a comment.  Good, bad or indifferent.  Or hop on over to our site support forum and leave us a message. For the less-than-brave (or those that just really have nothing to say),  we added the below poll.  Just a click and at least we can gauge whether we are on the right track.

[poll id=”5″]

Thanks for reading and sticking with us these past few weeks.

tl;dr – We’re basically done with maintenance.  Tell us how you like the site and/or fill out the poll.