For some time now, DSDatabase has needed an overhaul. There were a number of issues to be addressed and what really needed to happen was a total refresh. That means no bridges, no restored content, just a complete restart on WordPress and hopefully a userbase that will voluntarily migrate with it.
Why do we need a fresh start?
DSDatabase has had a long history of jumping from platform to platform. We started with simple HTML pages to WordPress to phpBB to vBulletin and I’m sure I’m missing some steps in between. Each time, I was unwilling to let go of the content that was written for the last website and migrated articles, posts and everything else into the new version. While this is good practice in theory, it is undeniable that this has caused issues. It was necessary to install a number of plugins and third party accessories to keep this content. They were not always in perfect format and at this point, a lot of our oldest content is becoming irrelevant.
WordPress as an ideal platform?
We have tested a number of platforms and after all this time, WordPress has remained rock solid and received continual updates that would make any developer proud. On the other hand, our other platforms have not. phpBB3 is not moving forward as quickly as I’d like and vBulletin was a nightmare from the start. The decision to move away from vBulletin was made long ago when the company just stopped updating their software and forwarded me to a page to buy vBulletin 5 every time I needed support. The final nail in the coffin was the just released 4.2.2, which took months to push out, bombed completely in my tests.
So in evaluating our options we had 2 viable choices. We could either go with Invision Power Board which would have migrated content from vBulletin quite nicely and looks to be an attractive package (at the moment) or do something drastic and go with WordPress. WordPress was chosen for the needs of the website. The truth is that the DSDatabase forum is not nearly as active as it once was and we need to question whether we need it at all. We also have older content that is quite dated and we want to take DSDatabase in a new direction, towards more general tech rather than a focus on the Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS. As such, I felt that the Invision Power Board would make it far too tempting to just migrate all of the older content and not migrate this new refresh philosophy.
To build up our content, this WordPress will run silently in the backend of DSDatabase until there is sufficient content to make a switch over. All posts here will be written specifically for this blog, formatted for this blog then mirrored on the vBulletin blog in the meantime. When the final switch is made, the vBulletin content will remain available for the near future, but the forum will be locked down.
Where will this take DSDatabase?
DSDatabase will become more blog and event focused rather than discussion based. I’ve been browsing through a few great plugins to continue our raffles and tournaments, and if necessary a more streamlined, smaller forum will be implemented later on. As such, there will be more content, and more openings for people who want to blog rather than just moderate a forum. I will be avoiding the mistakes I’ve made in the past, where DSDatabase ran a version that was too customized. DSDatabase will be running WordPress as close to the original software as possible. What that means is that the staff can spend less time customizing and worrying about updates and more time writing content, making videos, etc.