DreamHost Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale runs November 22 – 30

I currently host my site on DreamHost. If you are considering rehosting or just want to buy some domains (or renew them) at some great prices, consider taking DreamHost up on their sale and saving some money too. You would also be doing me a favor by using my affiliate link, which would allow me to generate some income too.

Rehosting is obviously a time consuming and can be an expensive endeavor. DreamHost may not be appropriate for your particular needs either. See my review of DreamHost and make sure to contact their sales department to make sure it meets your requirements. But if you decide to use them, please use my affiliate link.

I could help you move your board to DreamHost if you need help, for a fee of course. Also please note that I will be on vacation November 30 – December 12 and won’t be providing any services during that time.

Here are some details from DreamHost on their sale:


.xyz – $0.89
.online – $0.99
.store – $0.99
.com – $5.99
.io – $29.99
.art – $1.99
.shop $0.99


$2.95/mo for a year plan, over 79% savings and a free domain

Pro Services:

(Applies to both New and Current Customers)
20% off all Web Design Plans
20% off 1-time Site Services:
Site Optimization, Site Migrations, Site Update, Hacked Site Repair, Custom Web Development

Again, use my affiliate link if you want to take advantage of this sale.

October 2021 work summary

October was a slow month, work-wise. This was principally due to ending development on a long term project for a major client. We have been working on it since March 2020. The next phase for this work is testing, and that requires cloud resources and configuring a bunch of servers which is not in my skillset, so it was left to the client. The client though is used to farming out the work to me, but can’t for this phase, and wants it to be all automated using Ansible. That and that because of his skill level he is highly multitasked just meant that he had a hard time working on it. It’s likely though that in November testing will start in earnest. We’ve got a whole list of steps necessary to do and we need to do a lot of them together so he can learn the complex process for upgrading phpBB. We hope to meet tomorrow to resume work on this project, otherwise it’s been four weeks of me waiting on events as one planned meeting after another got delayed as he got waylaid on other tasks.

The other work that came in was slow too. To keep busy, I released new versions of my digests and spam remover extensions. I think I fixed a persistent issue with the digests extension. Working with a client I was able to test the spam remover extension against a real case study on a board with about 70,000 posts. This let me find lots of bugs and lead me to change the logic so that the remove spam function happens iteratively.

Otherwise, just four commercial jobs in October:

  • This was the project that involved removing spam that took more than a week to complete that I mentioned above. The client mentioned off hand that she wanted me to get rid of the spam, but this turned out to be the major task, not the upgrade and rehosting that occurred too. I tried my spam remover extension, but version 1.0.2 (which is approved!) wasn’t up to snuff due to the size of the spam in the database. So I spent a couple of days adding functionality to the extension to remove spam in batches, and used the client’s site as test. I tried to move the database first, but I couldn’t import it because the spam context in the post text column was too big, resulting in database timeouts, even on my local machine. So I had to do it in a phpBB 3.2 board on the client’s host. Eventually I got my extension to remove the spam, but some spam was left over in a few topics that Akismet did not get flag, and there was some old false spam I reported as ham. Then there were issues with testing on the new host (DreamHost). My usual trick for testing by editing my hosts file would not work, requiring technical support and some back and forth that further delayed things. I was finally able to do the phpBB upgrade, which was done very quickly. But trying to install the old custom style didn’t work, so I applied changes to the we_universal style on which it was based. I removed 17,000 bogus users in the database manually and removed some spam topics manually too that Akismet missed. I had to reinstall the Tapatalk extension and find a recent Beta version of the reIMG extension to install. Emailing worked at first, then didn’t. The issue was using a forwarder instead of authenticating with an email inbox … thought I had it doing both. Then DreamHost moved their staging site to production, removing the board’s files but leaving the phpBB database unaltered. So I had to upload phpBB’s files again, reinstall the extensions and re-tweak the style. I tested emailing again and there was no error now that an email inbox is created, but later had to get it to work with an external SMTP provider. DreamHost limits shared hosting to 100 per hour, which was unacceptable to the client.
  • A client’s Siteground database quota exceeded the 1GB quota by a lot! The main problem was that the phpbb_log table was huge, so I truncated that but also the phpbb_spam_found table and that brought database size down to 376MB. I also disabled logging for the filter by country extension.
  • I had an initial conference call to discuss requirements for extension with a potential client. I subsequently iterated on the requirements in a Google Doc and did an analysis in a Google sheet. The nearly $2000 estimated price though was more than the client wanted to pay, so he paid me for my time.
  • Upgraded a total of three boards from phpBB 3.2.7 to 3.3.5. Added Polish language pack on one forum. Changed PHP on another forum from 5.6 to 7.3.23. Later, I did the third forum was similar but I had to update the OneAll Social extension and change PHP from 7.1 to 7.3.23.