Paint.NET forum is down … again :(

(D’oh — right before I hit "publish" on this post, the forums sprang back up)

I’m not sure what’s going on at Forumer lately, but it seems like the Paint.NET forums (not that the link works right now, mind you) have been up and down chaotically for the last few weeks. In fact, all of forumer.com is non-responsive, so I can’t even leave a troubleshooting ticket on their forum. This has been an ongoing problem lately, unfortunately. There was a time in January (if I remember right) where it was down for probably a full week. When this happens my inbox starts filling up with e-mails telling me about it and asking when things will be fixed. Unfortunately, it’s out of my control so there’s really nothing I can tell people.

I’ve actually been thinking about moving the forums for some time, so that I can host it myself. Problem is, the amount of time involved would be a lot, right? The thing would need a dedicated server and the ability to handle up to 200 users simultaneously (average right now is 30-50, so 200 gives room to grow). I wouldn’t be so worried about disk space (storage is practically free nowadays), but the CPU time needed would probably be high and keep increasing as more and more users joined. Then there’s the logistics of either migrating or deciding not to migrate things like the user database and content. Since Forumer has a policy of only giving you the database if they’re deleting your forum, it’d basically be a complete do-over.

The obvious benefits of self-hosting the forum are the ability to capture that incremental revenue boost by enabling AdSense and Kontera (maybe only for guest users though), and the ability to completely customize all forum elements. On the down side, I’d have full responsibility for the forum’s down time. I don’t know Unix very well so I’d probably run phpBB on a Windows server. Financially it makes sense, as the hosting costs would easily be covered by AdSense and Kontera. It’s the time thing that has kept me from pursuing this in the past. All this sporadic downtime is chipping away at my patience, however, and slowly changing my mind.

Anyway, thoughts on self-hosting the forum? (Please do not give me suggestions for other free forum host sites like Forumer, that’s not what I’m asking for.)

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19 thoughts on “Paint.NET forum is down … again :(

  1. BoltBait says:

    Well, the forum was up for 30 minutes. Now, it just went down again.

    That wasn’t enough time for me to get my fix.

  2. Yata says:

    This is very irking indeed. Rick, you run and maintain top-notch, professional software.I think it’s only right that you host it yourself.

    In this situation, I really beleive the benefits outweigh the potential loss. It’s a big loss indeed, but you have to think: the more time I continue down this path, the longer and harder it will be to get back.

    Honestly, I cannot wait for the forum to be moved.

    Regards,
    Yata

  3. Mike Ryan says:

    I believe you need to continue keeping the forum up, just lock it so that all of the plugins, tutorials, ect dont go to waste. Let SearchPaint.NET keep things archived.

    If I understand the overall purpose of the forum correctly it is for you to be able to get user feedback that a community can also aid in. If I am correct, I think that this downtime is hurting you, and not necessarily the community.

    Also, perhaps if all of the dedicated members begin flooding Forumer.com with emails about getting the database they will give it to us. Either way, I will stick around πŸ˜‰

  4. Mike Ryan says:

    I had sarcasm tags but the blog removed them. I was being entirely sarcastic, lol. πŸ˜€

  5. Mike Ryan says:

    Uh Oh, threads are crashed all over the forum. Check out the thread 256 Colors in the General Discussion. Gone. Rick, please get a forum on your server!

  6. Mike says:

    Agh. Forms crashed again. I say let’s move it (forms.getpaint.net? Can’t wait πŸ™‚ ) I’m going to hold off registering until the forms are moved.

  7. Stephan says:

    I believe that sertver is still entirely hypothetical… But I say do it! With a bit of luck, you’ll end up getting more money out of it with the ads…

  8. Andrew D says:

    In all honesty, I think if you are to self host you should demand from Forumer for more than the database from them, especially after the appalling service they have been giving you.

  9. uH says:

    Go for one of the largest hosting places you can get, with custom services and massive dedicated servers.

    SuperbHosting.Net has quite a resume. They have ties with Microsoft, Cisco, and Intel, and they host thousands of mirrors for SourceForge. Not only that, but they’re local to you (servers located in Washington).

  10. Rick Brewster says:

    “In all honesty, I think if you are to self host you should demand from Forumer for more than the database from them, especially after the appalling service they have been giving you.” – Andrew D

    The service has only been that way lately. Down time is to be expected, and I don’t think I am in a position to go demanding things from someone providing a free service. If I were paying, that would be another matter, and even then I would at most be entitled to a refund. Forumer has every motivation to keep the Paint.NET forums up and stable and to keep me as a customer, so it’s not like this is something that happens on purpose.

    So please, everyone, let’s not let this turn into an anti-Forumer discussion.

  11. Te4t0n says:

    I would like to see the forums moved and be hosted by you Rick πŸ™‚ The down time at forumer is unbearable. Good luck witht he move.

    P.S. I think you should ask if you could have the database and say somthing like: you would like to keep the current forums up and running, But want to move the future of the community in to your own hands and have a self hosted forum, but complement them on an outstanding job.

  12. DamionKutaeff says:

    Hello everybody, my name is Damion, and I’m glad to join your conmunity,
    and wish to assit as far as possible.

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