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Prioritized Final Launch List February 27, 2011

Posted by ismywebsite in general.

Okay, I got a nice email from VectorLevel. They will be offline March 3rd, forever. This means we are finally forced to launch. Not that we aren’t pretty much ready, except for a few small parts.

Here are the critical priorities that we need to finish for the launch.

1) Hosting Application
All we need is the final form to be inserted. The website creation code exists, as does the server selection. This is hopefully to be finished tonight.

2) Forums Set Up
A strong community starts with strong forums. Brendan has spent a lot of hard work to get the authentication to be shared, so you can log into our forums with your IsMyWebsite account. No messy problems with separate accounts, or anything like that. This has been a huge set back and will finally now be solved hopefully for good.

3) Full Transfer Debugging
Occasionally, you run into an old account with data incompatible with the new system. For example, the username is taken by a new registrants, or some unrecognized bug. The current way of handling this is dying part way through the transfer process. Instead, details will be emailed to me to look at.

4) Advertising System Functional
This consists of two parts. Firstly, we need a way to set up new advertising boxes. Secondly, all the coding has to work to display those advertising boxes.

5) DNS System Migration
This has to happen essentially shortly after the launch. The reason is because there can only be one set of entries for the DNS. So after the migration, only transfered websites will work properly. Be sure to transfer your websites soon after the launch.

These are important, but not 100% necessary to launch.

6) Account Registration
There are two options. First, you can use an invite code. Secondly, we have a mailing list. So you can sign up and when spots open, usually when we open a new server, you’d get mail. Your websites will require review until one of them makes it to the Improving stage.

7) Full Backup System
I’m still awaiting the latest from Tamas who compared 5 VPSes before, one of whom was near our price range. We need to maximize the $/Gb equation and get lots of storage so it wont cost you more credits than you’ve got. Alex Schittko has also been very helpful. If anyone would like to compare some more providers for me, then just grab the Excel document and add them in (each plan goes on one line, and the calculations are done for you, so you just plug in the numbers). VPS Comparison Excel

8) cPanel Access System
We have a great system for WHM access very nearly complete, however for the simpler task of just testing a client’s cPanel, or helping them with a task which requires the cPanel access, there’s no system yet. I imagine this system to be in high demand in the future, as we expand to client-run nodes and the Advisor system comes underway. Giving out your password is not nearly as safe or secure as allowing one to access with a temporary password for a limited timeframe.

9) Log Searching Fully Working
If anyone has been in contact with Kevin Brown lately, it would be nice to talk to him and find out what the latest on the log system is. We need to be able to search the log entries, as there are already just with testing over 24,000 of them. It kind of defeats the purpose of having the information if it takes longer to search through it then it does to interrogate people.

10) Abuse Suspension Tool
This tool has been very frustrating to make, and I’m trough a lot of barriers but I never imagined the complexity of what I’d have to do. In any case, this tool, instead of ‘This Account Has Been Suspended’ displays details of why, in a blog format, where updates can be added as the issue progresses.

11) Abuse Searching Tool
Just a simple search based on specific keywords for suspicious files. I am fully aware that abusers can rename their files something inconspicuous, however the tool could also peer into the file content as well. For example, if you run a ‘warez’ site, it’s hard to tell visitors what they find there without hitting any buzzwords. And it’s a lot of hard work to remove them all. So while this wont necessarily make it impossible to use our services for this type of thing, it will still make it very difficult. Again, this system does not take the place of an abuse agent, but rather assists them to make their search faster. Nothing gets suspended until it gets reviewed.

12) Public Chat Works
I’m not sure we need a huge moderation system, or anything as insanely complex as Chris has proposed. Still, if he can do it all in 2 days then good for him. That’s all we’ve got.

This is a reminder to all developers and staff that access will be completely locked as of midnight EST between March 1st and March 2nd. After this point, edits must be passed through John or myself. The project system will be back online shortly after launch to handle future development in isolated test environments. This will prevent the release of bugs or malicious code, except as a result of human error.

Please help us test version 4 by transferring over your account and testing everything! Please try to break things at this point. We need them broken before the official launch, so they don’t break afterwards.

Thanks For Your Patience February 13, 2011

Posted by ismywebsite in general.

I just calculated the number of lines of code in IsMyWebsite.

This number does NOT include the forums. It does not include any images or theme files or sound files. It also ignores the server coding to communicate with the site, and the DNS system coding.

Keep in mind this is only 6 months (since I started development of 4.0 back in September) and with the exception of about 5% of the code which was kept, every single function has been rewritten and better organized. A lot has been added as well, but 95% of the core has been rewritten, in many cases to be cleaner and shorter.

I’m going to take your guesses before I tell you the real exact number (which is of course rapidly increasing as I finish projects from two posts ago). I would like to take the time to thank all our volunteers here who helped to develop, even only a small piece of the site. Indeed, every part of this site is only comprised of small pieces, built together into larger and larger groups.

So, tell me how many lines of code you think IsMyWebsite is composed of?

Node 4 RE Downtime February 2, 2011

Posted by ismywebsite in general.
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Yes, we’ve suffered as well with you in this instance. On behalf of WL I do offer our apologies.

I sent out an email earlier about this downtime. It was completely unexpected and not something of the norm. We’ve mitigated these issues with the help of the cPanel team.

We’ve stress tested the fix to ensure no issues from the same problem. And with the extra memory on top things should be very smooth.

We are doing our best to make sure things are solid and will continue to.

4.0 What’s Left February 2, 2011

Posted by ismywebsite in general.

I plan to have a launch date published very soon. Here are the only remaining 25 things that have to be done for 4.0 to launch. At the beginning there were hundreds, but thankfully it’s finally coming together.

1) Some minor changes on account settings pages. (John/Jcubed)

2) Looks like there are some minor changes to make on the feedback form, so it gives credits and displays properly. (Me/Azoundria)

3) Account deletion page. (John/Jcubed)

4) It needs to work to create a new advertising box in your account. (John/Jcubed)

5) Finishing up the final testing/implementation of the advertising system. (Me/Azoundria once John is finished above.)

6) Finish domain name ordering system. (Me/Azoundria)

7) Finish credit purchasing system. (Me/Azoundria)

8) Full frontend web hosting functionality, including Activate (creates an inactive account), Change Password, Change Domain, Transfer (does not move files, just creates your website on another server), Reset (start over with your website). (Me/Azoundria)

9) Full backend functionality to accept new websites and upgrade to the improving stage. (Me/Azoundria)

10) Go through the tutorials and fix the headers and make sure all the information is still correct and relevant. Also, possible make improvements/corrections so we have the best possible tutorials. (Nick/NickoCp & Stefan/Gatz)

11) Fix the chat so it’s not so MySQL-intensive (see the email from HostGator) (Chris/Cblair91)

12) Finish migrating the forum content and setting up forum sections. (Brendan/Cobrastrike)

13) Finish the log system, so that we can see a list of logs and undo or redo on a mass scale certain items. Get everything working flawlessly with logs, which are really a bit of a bottleneck at the moment since who knows what will break once they are implemented. (Kevin/Bass5098)

14) Finish a tool to handle feedback on the volunteer panel. (Me/Azoundria)

15) Finish volunteer panel tools to do various upgrades – storage, bandwidth, addon domains, parked domains, subdomains, webmail accounts, set inactive, suspend, and transfer. (Me/Azoundria)

16) Rather important – people need to be able to request hosting to be set up, as well as make edits to an existing website. (John/Jcubed)

17) A registration system so new clients can sign up. (John/Jcubed)

18) Figure out our full backup strategy, which involves comparing more than one competitor to the existing recommended service, and of course determining exactly how this will happen for the typical client. (Tamas/S3ri0us)

19) A system to handle cPanel/WHM access. (Nick/Deltik)

20) Unique visitor tracking and a list of top websites based on this. (Me/Azoundria)

21) Hosting calculates costs, and automatically deducts credits each month. More intelligent email, with opt out options for clients with a positive credit balance. (Me/Azoundria)

22) FAQ system still needs to be finished. (Me/Azoundria)

23) A proper system for handling abuse. This includes a dynamic suspension page which acts like a blog to record updates on the particular issue and the webmail system for communicating with clients. (Me/Azoundria)

24) Add a hosting summary, with server status and quick login links to the overview page. (Me/Azoundria)

25) Migrate over the DNS system, and add a faster update method so new clients can get started more quickly – their subdomain will work faster. (Me/Azoundria)

26) Search an account for prohibited files. This would locate suspicious files that may be copyright and illegally distributed. A list of such files would be generated and made handy for abuse. The search terms could be refined in the future to make this more effective. (Me/Azoundria)

27) Add a tracker, and optimize the site load time so it loads more efficiently in less time. Also ensure W3C standards are followed throughout the site. (Me/Azoundria)

28) A backup system, so accounts can be regularly scheduled to be backed up. Backups are stored off-site. Enabling regular backups will incur an additional credit cost per backup taken. (Me/Azoundria)

Other things I am looking at doing (before/after the launch):

1) I would really love to have our own advertising network, so clients can get their own websites advertised and out there (advertise on each other’s websites).

2) Finish the Advisor system so Advisors can actually help clients, more than just acting to provide advice and similar, they could actually do minimal upgrades, check progress of sites, etc… from a scaled-down version of our own volunteer panel.

3) Allowing clients to start and maintain their own web host, under their own brand. This I feel would be a lot more effective than simply building a monolithic volunteer pyramid and hoping it all stays functional. Each host is allowed to set up their own servers, or even use simple resellers widely available. Any server which uses cPanel/WHM is compatible and can join our network. (Though I plan to add support in the future for other panels such as DirectAdmin.)

As a client, you can sign up at any of their sites directly, which will simply be mirrors of our own site, populated with a custom layout, and custom content which the web host admin would set up. The other way is through our site, by signing up for their server under Client-Run Hosting, if they choose to allow sign ups this way. Clients who sign up through their website will see their servers under the standard tabs, as well as Partner Servers, which will display additional servers of ours.

As a web host admin, you would have access to a very fast, very powerful hybrid of our own admin panel which I’ve used for years, plus the volunteer panel, designed for ease of use, mixed with a few panels to ensure similarity with other panels available in the marketplace. As a result, you can do the same tasks across multiple servers more quickly than you can across one. And you can set up your own team to perform these tasks for you, or handle them all yourself for a more personal service.

You can choose to accept payment for your hosting, or provide it free using an invite-based, description-based, or hybrid system featuring one or more. You would then pay in credits at a rate slightly cheaper than the rate available to clients at our services, which you can either purchase or earn through advertising placed on yours or client’s websites. This provides the complete flexibility to run as a advertising-supported free host, post-to-host, paid host, or you can even be extremely generous and try providing truly free hosting to your friends.

Our 4.0 site (you can log in with your existing details to see how it’s coming – it’s almost finished):


CosmicHost – our first ‘partner’ host. When finished, you’ll be able to sign up with them, just as you can with us. Note that most of the information has not been customized on their site yet.