Geeky techy details needed please.

One of my jobs is to run a forum and info system for all the people working in Lancashire schools in an IT role (lots!). My current setup (forum, info site etc) is quite successful but is available only to thoses people who need to know due to its content, which is often confidential and has to be kept secure. So as a project I'm looking at exporting it to a wider audience not restricted to Lancashire and run by me alone.
To this end I'm wondering if I can get an idea of the current resources ARRSE uses. I'm interested in database size (MySQL I presume?), total web content size, hosting, costs (what did you pay to begin with and how much does it go up by as the content and DB grow), are you billed for bandwidth? Who hosts you? Any other useful info you could give would be most helpful


P.S. Did you ever dream it would get this big?!!
#2 gives software details.

DB is about 200MB.

Total web content size - will come back to you, but the only large bit is the photo gallery. Anything else would fit hundreds of times in to whatever hosting package beyond a free ISP one.

We started with fasthosts hosting ( which is about 60 quid A YEAR with mysql, but is a bit slow as you're on a VERY shared server. We moved to a Merula shared server for around 100 pounds a year (much faster) then as we passed a couple of hundred thousand hits per month we changed to a dedicated server with around 500 quid set up and 118 quid a monthy. We think a second of these will be needed shortly.

No we're not billed for bandwidth, although bandwidth is not such an issue on a mainly text site I think. I don't know how much we use, although could ask the host for you if you wish.

Merula in Cambridge is the host and have given us an absolute bargain hhosting package (the server is quite good), although on the understanding that other people come before us in the support queue.

This big? No. Very surprised. We never knew what to expect though and it wasn't started with any great plans in mind - more as a joke.
I've just had a look at the bandwidth figures and since MySQL was started this am we've sent just under 1GB so I guess that makes our bandwidth probably 5-8 GB/day. Having said that we'd also need to add pictures on top of that so I guess it might be double.

We don't really know the size of the site although it packs up into a 200MB tar file!

If you are looking for a CMS then we recommend Dragonfly very highly.
Thanks for the info. Dragonfly is down at the mo for maintenance, but I have been trying PHPNuke, Mambo and Oops. I shall give Dragonfly a look in once its up and running. I have some spare cash, undeclared to my better three quarters and can spare 20 quid a month for a semi decent package. Several forums I frequent also ask for donations, and most receive them. If my idea does take off, and I've no reason to see why as there is no-one yet doing it, the I shall have to wait and see.
Did you advertise ARRSEs' precence or just wait until Google started to rack up the hits and direct people here?
Personally I'd stay clear of PHPNuke as you'll find that it is riddled with security holes although there are lots of modules, etc available for it. We used word of mouth to get going although since November last year have used google ads which seem very effective.
I found PhpNuke awkward and a bit confusing. Dragonfly might do the trick when it comes back online, if not Mamba is looking like a good choice.
You might like to read the bottom post on this thread on the mambo board.

BTW Cpgnuke=dragonfly cms. Dragonfly is just the latest version (9.0.x)

I would tend to echo what's already been said about dragonfly.
PHPNuke, is indeed full of holes (although easy to administer).
Mambo is more secure (but a nightmare to administer).

I've played with mambo, I've played with vBulletin & I've also played with PHPNuke in various guises (the now defunct ultimate farce site).
In my opinion, you will struggle to beat dragonfly (cpgnuke) for security, ease of use & features.



EDIT : to add that I can probably come up with a hosting package to suit you for £20/month.
The dragonfly site is also back up .....
So it is. My poor laptop is running about 20 MySQL databases at the mo :) Time to add another.
Does Dragonfly and php run on Win Server 2003? i feel like having a geeky weekend. I've been meaning to get to grips with a CMS at some point, might as well be now.

boney_m said:
Does Dragonfly and php run on Win Server 2003? i feel like having a geeky weekend. I've been meaning to get to grips with a CMS at some point, might as well be now.

Use this

It will install everything you need with the minimum of fuss. It includes MySQL, PHP, PHPAdmin, Apache etc.
Cheers for that. Saves me putting on a unix server just to play around.

Don't mess around with trying to make it work with Bill's stuff - Open Source (Linux) is the way forward.....
Just got Dragonfly installed. Very, very nice it is too :) Thanks all for the heads up.
I'm up and running at, so thanks to all for the information from everyone.
I just need to find out which blog module you use here, as the one on the Dragonfly site is crap and missing some elements!!
God! I wish I was a web geek instead of a network techy!
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