In the past the MrTech website was used to advertise my services as a consultant in computer repairs.
Growing past the point where I could service all my requests, the site was taken offline and instead I created this blog. That's not to say I'm not doing work anymore, I am having to work on all kinds of systems and I've decided to start a chronicle of these various blogs, shopping cart, dating and other scripts I en up working on. Here now is the first of these software packages, Skadate version 9.
My previous research in dating software had me run across Skadate so I was familiar with the name but that was about it. Once the login information was provided I was able to quickly figure out the navigation interface. One section for global site management and another section to manage site content like members, posts, pictures, groups and all the other wonderful features that come along with online dating sites. It's rough around the edges in some areas and other features just don't work as you would expect them to, but overall it's not very difficult to figure out how to do a particular task, except you may have to re-learn it every-time since again, it isn't setup as would be expected. The features you would need are all there and if not you can purchase add-on's and the templates are all free.
Want a new template installed, you open a menu, preview all the templates, choose the one you like, apply and you have a new look. Great for seasonal changes and to keep your site from getting stale. If you are really serious about your site and you have many members generating real money for you, consider having a custom template coded uniquely for your site. My first task was to move to a new server because their current one was constantly banning users for "spam" like behavior which is funny since the whole point of a dating site is to get lots of traffic and get them to come back often. Overall the switch over went really smoothly with transferring the backups being the biggest headache as it takes so long. This article doesn't get into the nitty gritty details but here is a quick list of how I got all the tasks done without a glitch: - Backup database using cPanel and save a copy to my local computer. - Use file manager inside cPanel and use the compress feature to compress the entire file and folder structure (my safety copy).
- The fastest way to transfer those files is to generate a full site backup and have it transfer to your new server. In this case you choose the remote server option, enter the same information you would to login to your ftp account and in no time your files will have failed. If the files don't show up, test the login information and try again.
- Login to new server and restore all the files inside your public_html directory.
- Login to your new cPanel account, and create a new database, assign a user with full permissions.
- Open phpMyAdmin from within cPanel and import the sql backup file you saved on your computer earlier.
- You will have to re-create any email addresses or forwarders that were setup on your previous host.
- Back to file manager (or ftp if you prefer), open the 'include' folder and then edit the configuration file. Not sure of the name off hand but it's one of the first 3 or 4 files and is name conf or something to that effect.
- Change the file with your new database information, username, password and anything else that has changed. Save file and upload it back to the server.
- Go back to your old host and double check to make sure you haven't forgotten to duplicate any features you had turned on.
- Still on your old host, go to domain forwarding and enter the address of your new site using only the IP address and not the domain name.
OK, what I mean is that you create an account called Skadate on your new host then your would be sent an IP address along with a sub-folder where all your files live. In my case the address could be 184.108.40.206/~skadate (this is not necessary, however by doing this, anybody going to your old host will automatically be forwarded to your new host bypassing the entire old site altogether.
Why would you do this?
Well you don't want a new member joining on the old site after you have done all the database transfers already. This is just another way to take precautions as well as help get access to your site faster by only having to type the URL and no remember the IP address. - Support is decent but not very quick in most cases. I've had 4 tickets open and 3 of them are waiting for a reply while another one where the ownership transfers had been dealt with twice already is still not showing the updated information.
Not only did we deal with it twice but today is was brought up all over again that we need to prove this and prove that and who is the new owner? So now 3 attempts at explaining new ownership later and still haven't gotten anywhere. Nothing bad, nothing good - at this point in my professional career, I expect anybody working a phone or ticket support system to either let me down or altogether avoid the question. Take my advice, expect to be making 3 calls and you won't be as frustrated when the first or second calls fail.
Final thoughts about Skadate 9 is that I don't mind working on it but would not invest in this software for my personal website portfolio. I have seen other solutions and white label seems more appealing and I find that they offer a different pricing structure that seems could cut deep into your profits at the start and you are at the mercy of help desk tickets to make any "free" changes to your installation.
On the plus side, you only buy it once and the updates are free as long as you own the license.