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Recommendations - phpbb+mediawiki+Gallery2


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#1 MjrNuT

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:14 AM

Well, I'm a customer here that has been out of it for a good long while. Mike probably does not recall me and that's alright. This topic is about me volunteering to help out a site that I'm a member of, bear with me here.

I have a unique situation or maybe I think it is as I have been out of managing a site for some time now, and therefore this thread might not be in the right spot, so I apologize in advance. Please move this thread to a more appropriate section that would garner more (hopefully) assistance upon reading this.

I've only been involved for the last 8 months...and have been so frustrated with the site access, along with others. The current admin inherited the site and duties, but has not background/interest in "fixing" or addressing due to lack of knowledge. He'll ping the host and the typical host response is: it works fine for us. The creator of the site is present, but his time is extremely limited and admittedly put the site together quite well (at the time). I was able to speak with both parties and they welcomed a fresh set of eyes and effort.


1. I'm not the owner of this site and have volunteered to help "improve" it. Improve it by access, which I'll explain.

2. I have access to the source files and control panel.

3. Host: GoDaddy; 2GH hosting account (shared) type, which is no longer offered. A 4GH is now.

Posted Image


4. Scripts: phpbb, Mediawiki, Gallery2. I am unsure of the exact versions. The "home" is directed to wiki and primary script is phpbb forums. I have some Gallery2 experience.

5. All 3 scripts use separate mysql dbs.

6. There are cron jobs for backing things up, but the details are not available to me at this time.

This is a 4x4 Vehicle Club and has been around since like 2002.

The forum stats are: Total posts 62993 • Total topics 3984 • Total members 286



Site - URL

Primary problem: Site times out with 500 Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.



This will happen intermittently, like within minutes, to hours, to days. Currently, it's been more persistent. The impact is that people in the club are communicating for trail runs and gatherings, which have taken people up to 45 minutes of constant trying.


As of last night, I peeked in to at least look at the error_logs (had to turn on and then download to view), something I suggested long ago. In any event some logs occurred for a couple misc missing files like favicon, robots.txt, and missing.html. I put those in just to see what the change was and log entry for them ended.


Alot of log entry such as the following:
Script timed out before returning headers: viewtopic.php
Script timed out before returning headers: index.php


Specific to Gallery2 I have been able to delete cache files.

I'd like to know how I might troubleshoot this better? Feel free to hit me up with questions for further information. Again, I've been out of the loop for this stuff for a good 3 years, so my terminology is probably lacking. My aim is to at least determine what is causing the "time out" or whatever the root cause is on the client side before looking to see if its something host side.


My assumption is that the scripts we have running are out of date, incompatible, or something b/c they have not really been maintained/updated on any type of basis that I know of. Kind of like "we've dealt with this just fine for the last year or so, it will get fast soon enough" type of thinking. Posted Image


I would gladly bring this site over to here, but I need to determine the issues first before making the case....

Thanks for checkng my problem and welcome any better directions/guidance/input/etc.
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MjrNuT

#2 fshagan

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 04:34 PM

I've never been impressed with GoDaddy's hosting. The script time-outs could be due to overcrowded servers, and that would be my first guess. If that's the case, you really won't know until you move the site.

I would start with updating all three of the scripts, phpBB, Mediawiki, and Gallery2. Check to see if any of them are "bridged"; that greatly complicates things for upgrading, as often the bridge has to be removed, then reinstated after the independent packages are upgraded. If they are not bridged, start with the one most likely to get hacked, phpBB, and upgrade it. Then MediaWiki and then Gallery2.

When they are upgraded, you may see some of the errors go away.

A good way to move these kinds of applications is to see if you can start with a brand new, fresh installation of the script on the new site, export the data from the old site, and then import the data on the new site. Each script will have a different process to do this, so check with the support site or community of people using the script.

My recommendation would be to move the applications in the reverse order of my updating recommendation; move Gallery2 first, then MediaWiki and then, at the very end, phpBB. The process for actually making the move is to put the application in "Maintenance Mode" on the old server, export the data, then import it on the new server. After you have imported the last data set for phpBB, change the DNS information to point to the new server, and wait for it to propagate for you.

Why do I recommend moving phpBB last, and recommend putting them in Maintenance Mode prior to the move? It is probably the most active of the three scripts. Because they all are "database driven", you don't want people entering information into the OLD database because their DNS hasn't propagated yet. Users will know they are on the new, live site when they can log in and post messages.

Also, it is a good idea to make the members aware of this process. They will most probably have to remember their log in name and password to log in the first time at the new site; many people use cookies to remember their log ins, and automatic log in often does not work the first time they visit the new site.
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#3 MjrNuT

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 08:56 AM

I feel pretty sheepish for responding so late, however, it was a long process for decisions to be made by the Owner(s). They decided to upgrade hosting with GD with the thought of overload on shared environment as the root cause.


fshagan -- Your input is greatly appreciated and I would surely have followed it had I been given the reins. I like the "maintenance mode" method to use in this case as I would not have thought about that. Other than that, I had recommended pretty much what you spelled out. Thanks very much for your time to reply.


ps -- I need to set for notifications upon replies. :(
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#4 fshagan

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 10:49 AM

No worries! The "upgrade path" at Godaddy is necessary to pay for all that cheap web hosting, if you know what I mean. Provide poor service on overcrowded servers and then encourage people to upgrade. At the higher service levels, GoDaddy is not the "low cost provider" they strive to be for introductory packages. But it is the easiest way to do an upgrade, and if the people are happy now, that's what matters.
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