Growing Pains

Success brings its own problems.
When I started this web site in ’96 or ’97 there wasn’t much to it, just a few files and sound effects for download, maybe an occasional editorial (see for yourself).

In the last year I’ve added this blog and a message board. Both features have proved much more popular than I ever expected, taxing my puny little server, and the programs I chose to use, beyond their capabilities. To say nothing of my capabilities.

I upgraded the blog to Movable Type and that’s been a great improvement. Now the message boards and the server itself seem to be spinning down the great disposal of life.

Mike Chandler of, a regular around here, has offered me server space on a fresh new Dell box with such nice bells and whistles as PHP and MySQL. I think I’ll probably take him up on it.

And I’m looking at alternative message board solutions. With access to MySQL I can try some databased programs that should be more responsive and better able to handle the heavy traffic that the Town Square has developed. One of the possibilities is InfoPop’s UBBThreads. It’s being used by some pretty big sites (including Ms. Magazine and Playboy – strange bedfellows). Ars Technica also uses it. If you’re a heavy user of the Leoville message boards I’d appreciate your feedback on UBB, and I’d like to hear about any other programs you think I should consider.

Moving the server and adopting new software is a major undertaking, and I only want to do this once, so any advice or input you can give me before I begin is much appreciated. Just add them to the comments here on the blog, if you would.

I promise to make this as seamless as possible for you all!

61 Replies to “Growing Pains”

  1. We are more than grateful for all you do, Leo. I checked out the links you posted; they all seem to be great. As Sue said, the final decision is yours, and what will work best for you.
    Whichever you decide to go with will be more than OK with us.

  2. Hello Leo,
    thank you for your hard work on your site. you always give me ideas how to update my computer and my soon to be site. i thank you again i do have a question u live very close to St. Louis Mo. i was wondering what time in may you will be in my neck of the woods id like to see you please tell me how thanks – Art

  3. I’ll keep it simple. I pretty much agree with Jeannette. Especially the no bells and whistles part. The same Discus software on a different server would be my choice too.
    Again, thanks for asking for input and for ALL of the hard work and time that you continually put into Leoville. You truly deserve more than you are receiving for your efforts.
    I’m still working on getting the book. I just checked out a job that I may take. If everything works out, I’ll buy two copies.

  4. I post on a site devoted to the series “Charmed” and they use Vbulletin 2.2.2, they are constantly adding some neat features and offer several schemes that arew sweet. is the link in case you want to see it in action. I find Vbulletin much more relaible and able to do more that UBB. The cost for a license as mentioned already is a little up there but if you want on eof the best bulletin boards, and one to get the most out of it Vbulletin would be my personal pick. I have used XMB for a couple months and must say it’s very impressive for a freebie. 🙂

  5. I used to use UBB on my site and loved it greatly. Mine was never as busy as Town Square, in fact it had a total of a dozen registered members during it’s entire existence, which is why I eliminated it. From what I have heard it is possible to run it on some major sites, with massive traffic, so I would say it was a very good choice for me, and would work as well for you, Leo.

  6. Hi Leo, I love you show!
    We have installed discus on our server and it has been problem free and very responsive. the new version (4) supports mysql as a backend database so it might just be what you are looking for. The pro version is only $99.
    All the best, and think you again for your wonderful show.

  7. Leo,
    I would like to see you switch to vBulletin. It is an affordable, powerful MySQL-powered forums system that simply blows Infopop products away. No only are Infopop’s products more expensive, but they are more server intensive and don’t offer what vBulletin offers. Please take a look:
    – A vBulletin supporter

  8. Oops forgot to mention – there is a Forum Based Board called ikonboard which is absolutely fantastic and the best part FREE. There are many addons and one of them is to hack it into a database format – I haven’t tried it yet but have downloaded the addon – just something you may want to check out. The board itself is definately something you want, you never know when you want to start a message board 🙂

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