Migration to new host about to commence.
This is just a quick update to let users know that I am about to start the process of migrating NI Ferry Site to its new European host. As notified earlier in the week, this process may lead to the site becoming unavailable or slow for periods during the next 48 hours or so. This will be the last post before a snapshot of the site contents and database is taken for use on the new host. Any further posts and updates will be from the new host. The process will see the site move from Surpass Hosting based in the US to a much more suitable hosting package with 1&1 internet in Europe. Should there be any unexpected downtime or in the event the site breaks I will update users via the NIFS Facebook Page.
Amongst the benefits of the move are a much better hardware specification for the site to run on, faster physical connection to the internet, unlimited bandwidth transfer, a much more up to date version of php, http2, ssl security, DDOS attack protection, and automatic updating of plugins. 1&1 are also able to boast that they use 100% green electricity and have a global geo-redundant infrastructure. By moving to Europe the site will no longer rely on the transatlantic internet backbone to serve pages to the majority of users. Ideally NIFS would have moved to a physical server location in the UK or Ireland, but this was cost prohibitive for what is a privately funded site.
In advance of the move the site has had a small in-service refit over the past couple of days. The main change most users will notice is a cleanup of the main menu. The database and image files have also been optimised which should improve performance, in addition to making the transfer of them to the new host quicker. Over the next few weeks I will continue to tidy up site navigation which has been largely unchanged over the past 2 years and was designed for a site much smaller than what NIFS has now grown to. This however should have no noticeable impact on site performance.