August 2017 work summary

Not too much work in August. However, what work I got involved some pretty challenging stuff! In addition clients that owed me some serious money finally paid up, making it the most profitable month of my year so far. One client liked my work so much he paid me double my regular rate! Here’s a summary of the work performed:

  • Updated the Cleantalk extension to version 5.2 for a client on whose forum I had recently installed Cleantalk 4.6. I assumed version 4.6 on was the latest but it was somewhat dated. It looks like Cleantalk has to wait months for extensions to get checked and approved like the rest of us. To get rid of the update message for the client, I found the latest version on GitHub¬†and installed that. It has since been updated by Cleantalk and is now version 5.4.
  • Updated forum from phpBB 3.2.0 to 3.2.1 using the careful (all files refreshed) method. Experience has shown that using other methods introduces problems. I also updated the client’s Eles style to version 2.2.2. As requested I tried to paste a Facebook video into a post topic using ABBC3 extension and it worked.
  • Another moving a client from phpBB 2.0 using the dreadful Aabaco hosting to GoDaddy running phpBB 3.2.1. I blogged about it if you want all the details. What a mess!
  • Client wanted a way to see any posts that were posted without having to visit his forum. I suggested using my digests extension. He agreed so I installed version 3.2.4 of digests and programmed a cron to make it work automatically.
  • Moved forum to new host. The client did much of the legwork including DNS changes. I just moved files, created and populated a new database, set some permissions and changed config.php. No big deal.
  • Changed links to some videos that were embedded in the header of the forum to different URLs.
  • Updated a forum from phpBB 3.2.0 to 3.2.1 on Bluehost. Since prosilver_se is now available (client reverted to prosilver when I earlier upgrade him to phpBB 3.2) I reinstalled that style and applied a small version of the site logo.
  • Finished WordPress work started in January. Yes, I do some WordPress work in addition to phpBB. Back in January I installed WordPress for the client and he was going to have someone do the styling. All these months later that was finally finished and he wanted to make it live. So I moved WordPress which was in a /wordpress folder to the web root and put old Joomla CMS in a joomla folder. This was more complicated than it seems because WordPress database had to be searched to change path to take out /wordpress. This took a while to puzzle through. To do it I used two WordPress search and replace extensions. I then converted the phpBB 2 forum to phpBB 3.1.11. 3.1 was used because Slovenian language pack not available for 3.2. This type of conversion is always problematic, but it went smoothly. I used SQL to change all user’s default language to Slovenian. I installed the Elegance style then did a lot of customizing of Elegance style to make it match header on the old phpBB 2 forum. I added old logo and site menu below it which meant changing the style so that things matched the width of the logo at 1050 pixels. I also added a sidebar on right. I rebuilt search index. Later I was provided with a new new logo 1200 pixels wide. I installed it and adjusted styles to make it match the original 1200 pixel layout for the Elegance style again. Installed Google Analytics and open external links in new windows extensions. I fixed a letter in menu that wasn’t rendering correctly in Slovenian/ I made tweaks to sidebar. I explained how and where to make additional style changes. I provided guidance on spambot countermeasures.
  • I finished a long job started in May for an existing client. This was not glamorous work because she has a mixture of domains and web hosts and was trying to centralize all the hosting and domains. Trying to move all the domains into GoDaddy and all the hosting into a new host. It was very confusing work because she does not understand much about these topics and the information I needed to make these things happen were scattered among many vendors. In addition she has one consultant who did not want her to reclaim her domain and for a while would not change the domain to point to the new hosting. Quite a mess. There are still a few details left for the future but most of it was finished.

If you administer a phpBB board, you should find my book Mastering phpBB Administration invaluable. Learn lots of tips, tricks and secrets I learned from serving over 400 clients. Paper and Kindle versions available.

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