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Old October 12th, 2013, 05:03 PM   #9
Steve Price
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 105

Hi Henry

Thanks. Most on-line forums, like us and Organissimo.org, use vBulletin as the software. One thing that we do that they don't do is delete threads; we delete or we archive, a very few forums are simply left in place.

There are a number of reasons why we have this policy. One is that we prefer not to be a repository for stuff with no obvious lasting value, which is what most threads are. Another is that discussion threads within any PHP based software (vBulletin is one of them) are subject to the risk of being destroyed by hackers who attack the site or the server on which it's housed. Also, moving posts to new versions of vBulletin isn't always possible. For example, we're using vBulletin 3.8 right now; nothing on the previous version (2.2, I think) could be imported when we upgraded.

We minimize risk by archiving what we think is worth preserving, as static HTML pages. One advantage this has is that the pages can be stored on my hard drive and restored completely if necessary. We've been with our current web host for quite awhile now, and they're terrific. But we've had problems with previous web hosts that resulted in loss of stuff. Right this minute, I could change us to a new host without losing anything except the currently active discussions, even if our current host refused to cooperate in migrating the site.

Others have suggested that we never delete threads, and although I recognize that it carries certain advantages, I think the disadvantages outweigh them. I understand why you (and some others) prefer the more conventional administration systems, but I'm not willing to live with the disadvantages.

Incidentally, most other forums permit file uploading, which we keep disabled because of the risk of mischief. That makes demands on my time and Filiberto's (we edit every image file sent to us, for example), but we think it's worth doing.

I'm not just blowing the suggestion off, we have given it thought and decided against it.

Steve Price
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