Best Content of All Time

  • I’ve Resigned from phpFox

    Founding phpFox has been such a big change in my life and I am so grateful for the opportunity it gave me and the others on my team for over a decade. I wish I could thank each and every client for giving us this opportunity.

    Donna and I will be reaching out to the community so we can start work on developing affordable quality apps based on what the community feels is needed in order to improve phpFox. We will also be taking in custom projects for those looking to create unique features for their community.

    Stay tuned for further updates.

    I wish all the best to phpFox and would like to thank Donna for creating and providing ScriptTechs to clients and giving me the opportunity to work with her once again.

  • Need Help Choosing the Right Hosting for Your Website?

    We just published another blog at our BryZar site. This one deals with how to choose hosting for your website. We give tips for how to decide whether to use self-hosting or hosted versions (if a script company offers both), how to choose the right host and the right plan for your site.

    We hope you find it helpful! Feel free to subscribe to our blog and our Facebook and Twitter pages. :)

  • VPS and DEDICATED server tips.

    I'm not a pro and don't claim to be but here's my contribution to new folks that are still wondering what to do to run a successful server.

    1. Which host to host on? Look for 3 simple things on the host. Make sure they ALLOW admin features such as custom filesize uploads, they are not SHARED because shared limits file counts so if your site has over 200,000 files it's banned, and finally make sure your host allows root as some customizations require root to make things work.

    2. Make sure your VPS is above 1GB ram. Anything less is not good for a social network. Much database and connections will burn up the memory in a few loads. Not good for a social network since it uses tons of DB connections and memory.

    3. Dedicated server. It is best to host a Social Network on a dedicated server. I suggest this due to the powerful cpu and memory your site will have dedicated to it. On a VPS or Cloud you are using resources that are shared although providers do not want to admit it. On a VPS it's either openvz or kvm. Others are similiar but my example is that you are using SHARED hardware with limited CPU % dedicated to you. Even the memory is not guaranteed as it is also shared and split in parts to you. On a dedicated you get the ENTIRE CPU and ENTIRE ram.
      CPU on a vps may say 2 core but that's 2 "shared" cores or just 2% from 1 core. It's not the ENTIRE core dedicated to you.

    4. Self host. You are best to self host as it lowers cost by 80%. For example if you go with a managed plan, that costs tons and you only end up needing support every now and then. Self host you may hire a freelance admin for 20-25 bucks every full moon which is cheaper by far and you own the server. You have access to all the parameters. There is no limiting filesize, no limiting DB connections and no other ADMIN only problems that comes with managed,

    5. How much RAM do I need? You will always need above 1GB. Most cpanels use above 512mb ram and so if you self host you will need to have about 1GB just for the cpanel and OS. WIndows plans will need over 2GB to be ok. I've ran many cpanels and OS and I find that the most effective memory to have for a social network is above 1GB. I am personally using 16GB.

    6. Enable Varnish. Using this will allow your social network to access the DATABASE instantly because DB is loaded to MEMORY for fastest access.

    7. Use a STATIC deliver engine. For example NGINX. Using nginx will speed up your site by 100% due to the fact it delivers your website HTML instantly avoiding usage of CPU or extra memory.

    8. USE two servers for best performance. Make sure they are from the same DATACENTER. Make sure you specify to the provider upon purchasing that you need them in the same center or DATA rack if possible. The idea is having 1 for database and 1 for the site. This stabilizes the performance and load.

    9. USE SSD STORAGE. This is important especially for the database server. SSD will add EXTRA access input/output speed to your sites DATABASE access. This means the site will be more responsive, fast, and error free. Using traditional HARD DRIVE for the site, storage and html is fine. That slower load won't effect the site as it would effect a DATABASE. So hile files and html can take time to load, it won't cause issues and will eventually load. If a DATABASE lags, you are instantly bombarded with problem and so this is why it's suggest that the DATABASE server is on the SSD and higher memory server.

    10. 100Mbit or 1Gbps? I suggest 1Gbps because there are too many providers that sale the 1Gbps for nearly the same as 100Mbit. For example most providers sale 1Gbps server for just a few more bucks. You will also feel less bandwidth spike with a 1Gbps vs a 100Mbit. One example is when multiple users download a file or mp4 stream, your 100Mbit server will lag and the response is noticeable. The 1Gbps will only show a small SPIKE on the monitor and you won't notice a thing. Think of 100Mbit as a tiny straw trying to suck up 1 Gallon. Overtime it does the job but in SHORT time it just won't suck up enough. 1Gbps would be a HOSE size straw and overtime it's no different from the tiny straw as it will do the same thing BUT in SHORT time it could suck up the gallon in FAR less time than the tiny straw could.

    11. Which cpanel should I use? I recommend VESTA cpanel. This cpanel is FREE, it's simple, it does the job, and it comes with NGINX built in. You can't go wrong with this cpanel as it cost you nothing and it's basically NGINX in the box with cpanel built in. Your static problems are gone and you can also TOP it off with VARNISH. VARNISH is simple to install with just 2-3 linux command.

    12. Make sure your provider does not LIMIT DATABASE connections and i/o. This is a HUGE issue on many VPS and HYBRID providers. They will simply reply back to you as blaming your script for accessing the DB too much.

    Well I'm not a pro but I'm just sharing a bit of experience I've gained over the years running my websites.
    Hope this helps new members to phpfox or any other social networking script.
    Through trial and error this will save you a bit of guesswork as I have spent countless days and weeks experiencing these issues had I only had the help to avoid them.

    I currently run a DEDICATED and if you need any help just msg me.
    I also freelance for cheap and can help setup cpanels, linux, linux desktop remote and such.

    GL and may your Social Network become the next FB:)

  • Any experience with Amazon CDN?

    I don't use Amazon, but I do use CDN storage servers from CazaraTech/PHPFoxSolutions. We have three storage servers, labeled storage1, storage2, and storage3. Storage3 is now the "main" storage server, and most of the previously uploaded photos are on storage2. All are also run through Cloudflare.

    There are some things to consider.

    They DO fill up fast, and when they are filled up, all photo uploads error out and can REALLY annoy your users. Plan ahead for that. Keep an eye on space and get a new storage server up before you need it. We haven't figure out how to keep an eye on storage space ourselves yet, though. I assume your set-up will be different and could provide that snapshot easily.

    Multi-Server setups are a pain in the behind. They WILL drive you insane. For instance, we busted through three storage servers. So now, people can't select to use a previously uploaded photo as their profile photo, because older photos are on the older storage server, not the new "main" one. It requires them re-adding the same picture that's already on the system, because they need to add it again in order to use it. This clogs up photo uploads with duplicates that are unnecessary.

    Random network outages occur as you add more storage servers to the mix. We frequently have storage server drag and issues. Since it's temporary, by the time people look for the issues, the problem has usually resolved itself, so therefore, can't be easily fixed. This will be incredibly annoying, as users will complain loudly when things are visibly broken. If you run on donations like I do, or subscriptions, this will have monetary consequences, sometimes insurmountable. Storage2 seems to be the aggravating one, as it's the one that's most "full" at the moment, and when it drags, the whole site drags, leading to a loss of donations and users leaving. It's a big deal, so plan adequately for issues.

    You will want a plan in place for limiting uploads eventually, if people abuse the privilege, because they will. Give an inch, and all. We've done several.

    _Limit to 1000 uploads per account.
    -Hide photo only posts from the main feed, they MUST include writing to be shown there.
    -Limit size to 5mb.
    -Give more uploads (1500-2000) to those that donate.

    Now, the biggest issue that I've found, besides the random drags on the storage server network service, is that PHPFox sometimes doesn't work properly. When a user deletes their account or an admin deletes it, you have orphan photos everywhere taking up space that don't get properly deleted. Sometimes deleting times out, and never finishes deleting everything. We've managed to set up a system where once a month we run SQL queries to find and delete any orphan photos from the servers.

    You cannot limit photo uploads and add a spam check at the same time. It causes some kind of hissy fit in the script that makes it so users can only upload one photo at a time anywhere on the site, and locks them down for spam after that first photo, instead of allowing 50 per 30 minutes like we had it set. We had to turn the spam time of 30 minutes off.

    When dealing with a ton of photo uploads and the prospect of eventually having to limit them to protect storage space, these are things to keep in mind.

    Also, I wish I'd had the money to splurge on 2TB servers from the get-go. We are now looking at the idea of combining our storage servers into two 2TB servers, and adding on as we need them. Unfortunately, this will be a time consuming and likely expensive process. If you think you'll need bigger, and can afford it, just get it at the start to stop some heartache once you realize you're just adding way too many servers to the mix, increasing the likelihood of network issues.

    All in all though, I still recommend CDN servers for photo uploads, especially if you plan to focus heavily on them. Diverting site traffic from photo traffic is a smart move, IMHO, because it lets you easily divert resources when needed, and if a storage server goes down, it only affects photos, not the entire site. It's a safety valve, really, especially for an active site.

  • Need some input about mobile app options for Phpfox!

    I compare both of them side by side and YouNet version was a lot better but that was several months ago. But you should get a phone from your friend or family and compare both side by side and put it in an excel spreadsheet and and assign points (value of worth for you) so if blogs are more important assign software A with 0 points and software B with 2 points but when you look at pages which is not as important but software A is better in this category so I only assign 1 point for software A and 0 points for Software B. Then add them up :) Good Luck.

  • Need some input about mobile app options for Phpfox!

    younetco app is far better compared to others ..i had one for android though i would never recommend them as they money suckers...but for phpfox they are the best... now am on SE and happy with it

  • TM Tabslider speed

    If I ever needed any service that Ric provides, I would go to him first. His customer service, along with his products and services, are top-notch!

    The setting is here:

    Around line 175 find:
    and change the 3rd parameter (eg. 2000).

  • Images on server but returning 404

    The only error was the 404 found in the browser developer console.

    I did find the problem, however, and fixed it. Somehow the directory "file" had permissions of 544. I don't know why I had done that, and thankfully I noticed it. I've changed those permissions to 555 and all is good.

  • How does SE handle photo cropping?

    Actually I have made some progress overriding/modifying themes in PFv4. It's taken me some time to get used to the new layout, but so far good.

    I found a fix (sort of) for thumbnail cropping problem in the Material Theme. Using the Inspect tool in my browser (I use Chrome) I identified where in the bootstrap.css file the code is for each of the photo thumbnail containers (i.e., Album Covers, Photos, Photos in the activity feed, etc.). I then changed the background-size from "center" to "contain" and I added a background-color, in this case black (#000000). It's not the perfect solution, but it looks much much better then have heads cut off.

  • How does SE handle photo cropping?

    Well it's best to just do your own clone theme and work on that. If you don't need videos for a photo site, and you probably don't, you could just use v3.