While my 325is is at the shop being worked on (heater core, tires and more..) I get to drive my dads 1976 BMW 2002!
It’s in pretty decent shape and runs strong…and with no power steering it’s a fun car to take into the curves.
Since I had a slow day with nothing to do I set out to do some work and repairs to BimmerMania.com and today turned out to be rather successful!
Redirecting incorrect traffic
For a while now I have been tracking incoming links to kyleabaker.com and I have noticed for a long time that several of the incoming links are originating from BMW enthusiast web sites and forums across the Internet.
The reason for so many incoming links from various BMW related web sites is due to the previous content and purpose that I used kyleabaker.com for. In the past I had a small, but very popular, BMW enthusiast web site with rare resources such as car manuals and video clips.
Since those days, I have moved that part of the site to a new domain and did so way back in October 2006. The new domain name of course became BimmerMania.com and all of the content was moved over and preserved.
The traffic is great since it brings new and fairly random users to my blog, however, it isn’t very practical to continue to let these visitors roam around kyleabaker.com randomly looking for BMW content that is no longer here.
Honestly, from the logs it appears that many of them were unable to read and failed to notice the “BimmerMania.com” link at the top of every page on kyleabaker.com, haha. 😛
What I did instead of letting them roam around (on an unsuccessful search for BMW content that they were never going to find) was to redirect any incoming traffic to kyleabaker.com to BimmerMania.com if and only if the referring address matched any one from a list that I compiled.
The list simply contains the domains of various BMW related websites that link to the old BMW content that I hosted. This effectively filters the incoming traffic to kyleabaker.com and points BMW enthusiasts where they are looking for while at the same time helping BimmerMania.com continue to take advantage of these referring addresses that are continually sending me traffic.
If anyone is interested in how exactly I did this then you can find the code samples here for an Apache .htaccess file. I will continue to update the linked forum post as I find more incoming links that need to be redirected and learn new ways to optimize the code for faster parsing. 😀
Cleaning the MySQL database
I took up the task of cleaning the BimmerMania.com database today which basically meant that I had to go through and remove unused tables that had previously been used when I had the phpBB 2.x forum installed.
I actually don’t know of an easy way to do this. Fortunately for me, I have always used a non-default extension for the phpBB tables (default extension is “phpbb_”) so I was able to tell when tables were old and which were new. Cleaning the database should increase performance a little, however, I don’t think it will be noticable for this clean up since it really wasn’t loaded down enough to slow it yet anyways.
BimmerMania.com RSS Feed back online
I spent some time today working to get the RSS feed link back and it is now working again. It still needs just a few tweaks to perfect it and validate it, but it is very close so far.
I would like to get different versions of feeds available and this shouldn’t be too difficult, but no one has written a good modification for the phpBB 3.x forums yet so I will be writing it from scratch or modifying the Simple RSS mod that I used.
I think I should be able to quickly modify that script to produce output for:
Hopefully I can manage to get all of these formats into one file that accepts a parameter to specify the type and version so it can be a very simple installation and a very simple file to update. 😀
Attention to detail
I spend some time working through some flaws in the site like placement and erroneous or poor choice of words for various links and descriptions. I also plan to go through and clean up the home page so it updates more often as a Feed subscription would and just show a list of the latest posts and some BMW news that I post.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions or comments!
While sitting on my butt at home (after another surgery) I’ve been converting my BimmerMania.com website from phpBB 2.0.23 to phpBB 3.x. The actual forum was fairly straight forward and simple to convert! That took about 15-20 minutes before that part was complete. That is counting the time that I wasted searching for guides, tips and tricks on the conversion so I wouldn’t piss off any members of the site by messing up anything. 😀
Well, I made the new design live and the board is enabled! I’m still tweaking several pages, but I decided to make go a head and make it live simply because the boards are pretty active and I didn’t want to manually copy new posts from the old forum which was live (phpBB2) to the new one (phpBB3). That would have been too much work! Oh and copying over new members and matching their posts.
The conversion is simple, but it’s a one time deal, you can’t sync several times to update posts and members as far as I know. If I could have just synchronized all of the posts and members later then I would have completed the entire conversion behind the scenes and released it all at once. Oh well.
Anyhoo, the fun and long part of the conversion if two fold:
Well, I’m now about half way done recreating the downloads section of the site. The only remaining portions after this are the contact page (it’s there, but none functional at the moment) and a garage. There are apparently no garages made as of yet for phpBB 3.x, so it looks like I may need to port the car garage that I used in phpBB 2.x over. This could take some time. 🙁
Oh well, back to work!
Well, BimmerMania.com is pretty much completely converted to phpBB 3.0.1! I’ve held off on a couple of items in my to-do list until I have time to get around to them. They aren’t show-stoppers, so the site is fine without them (just two fairly small tweaks).
The phpBB Garage for phpBB 3.x is coming kind of slow. I’d prefer to use a Garage that’s already been developed, but hey..what are you gonna do when there’s nothing out there already!? If anyone comes across a garage mod then please let me know!