Montague WebWorks to Undergo Major Server Upgrades

MWW is improving our web server infrastructure. Upgrades to begin tonight.

In our continued efforts to improve our service to our customers, Montague WebWorks is about to embark on our biggest server technology upgrade in almost three years.

Step 1: Host Server OS Upgrade -- THIS WEEK

Step One in this journey will be to upgrade the Operating System of our main "host" server, from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2012 (with a plan to do another upgrade to 2016 sometime next year). In order to do that safely, we must first make backups of everything. This will take about six hours, and requires that all websites be shut down during the duration of the backup. Then we must again shut everything down while we do the actual upgrade. Here is the shutdown schedule:

  • Monday, September 4th, from 12:00 Midnight until 6:00 AM Tuesday morning, all websites will be temporarily shut down while a full backup (an "image") of each guest server is made and a fresh backup is made of every website's database.
  • Tuesday, September 5th, from 12:00 Midnight until completed, sometime early Wednesday morning, all websites will be down while we upgrade the main server's version of Windows.


What This Accomplishes

Upgrading our Host server allows us to provide more resources to our Guest servers (aka a VM, or Virtual Machines), which is where our individual web servers actually reside. It also improves the security infrastructure, increases the server-to-server bandwidth, and provides many other improvements, which we won't go into here. This upgrade is the first step in our multi-step upgrade plan.


Step 2: RocketFusion Guest Server Migration -- THIS MONTH

Step Two in our upgrade plan will be to create a new VM for our RocketFusion websites using the very latest version of everything involved in hosting websites, including:

  • Installing Windows Server 2016
  • Switching back to IIS web server from using Apache web server
  • Installing the latest version of Lucee CFM server
  • Fine-tuning the VM's connection to our database server
  • Caching as much as possible into RAM


Step 3: RocketFusion Code Improvements -- NEXT MONTH

Once the new VM is up and running and the dust has settled, we will continue the upgrades and improvements on the RocketFusion server:

  • Fine-tuning our database SQL queries for faster page loads
  • Fine-tuning our CFM code for even faster page loads
  • Embedding image manipulation capabilities in the page editor
  • Upgrading the page editor to the latest version and adding more tools to the toolbar
  • Improving the multiple-image uploader to auto-detect each image's orientation -- no more sideways photos!
  • Improving the bulk mailer's delivery and reporting capabilities
  • Adding SSL to every RocketFusion website -- FOR FREE
  • Adding Stripe to our mini-ecommerce capabilities in the Photo Gallery, Online Forms, and Calendar Events, so you are no longer forced to use only PayPal
  • Improving our mini-ecommerce capabilities in the Photo Gallery in general
  • Adding Semantic Web tags to the Photo Gallery, Calendar and News modules for better SEO
  • Various improvements to the Open Government workflow for our Town customers

We hope to have all that work done by the end of October, just in time to launch a few big websites, including the Town of Montague, MA.

BTW, don't forget our TENTH ANNIVERSARY party is on Saturday, Octber 14th at the Millers Falls Rod and Gun Club. Follow the link for more details.


Step 4: All Other Website's Server Upgrade -- November

We have a second Virtual Machine, which we use to host all our community websites, our One Page Quickies, our static websites, and our "Deals" platform, which includes Taste of the Seacoast Magazine's Discount Deals website.

  • Also upgrade the server's OS to Windows 2016
  • All the fine-tuning and improving as listed above, as well as the Semantic tags, to all hosted websites
  • Complete rewriting of the community website platform code to be responsive, and far simpler to use and manage
  • Adding domain name purchasing and credit card payments to the One Page Quickie setup workflow


What This All Means

Montague WebWorks' customers will now be hosted on incredibly fast servers, with improved website administrative capabilities and next to ZERO downtime.

We are always looking at how we can improve our services, and bring you more value. We have planned all this now so as to be in a better position to host your sites this coming holiday season, be it for expanding your selling options, or simply for having a faster server to handle the extra traffic this time of the year brings.

Additionally, Montague WebWorks will be launching a large marketing campaign starting this December, and we need to get this work out of the way now so we can focus on the expected onslaught of new customers!

As always, we appreciate your business, and wish only for everyone's continued success.

Thanks again, and we hope to see you at the anniversary party on Saturday, October 14.