Some updates on why we’ve chosen self-hosted options and open-source options where generally possible…
Our website is a self-hosted install. It exists on managed hosting, because that lowers maintenance and increases speed and security. It’s a self-install, because that gives us control of our own data rather that forces it to live in a database we don’t own. Best of both worlds.
The forum is open-source but self-installed on servers we manage. Same exact reasons. The best tools make self-install and self-hosting or 3rd party hosting an option. This is part of our commitment of not selling the data, even inadvertently.
The new vidchat chat is not self-install, self-hosted, but it has elements of both. There’s not a solution for that which is still mobile responsive with a currently maintained code base (the last such solution became abandonware some years ago). However, this solution is faster, more secure, more stable, and does not take our database data and put it with a 3rd party. It ALLOWS Facebook login as an option for convenience if you’re a regular user, but not a requirement. We made Facebook integration an INDIVIDUAL choice.
As we continue to make upgrades, this is the paradigm we’re using: data security, data privacy, self-managed and/or self-hosted where feasible. We think these are good moves. Cheers!
FYI: The reason we can run website maintenance and not have the forum be affected, and vice versa is that this new approach is more modular. Separate servers = each resource is served up faster and is more reliable independently of an issue with any one resource. This has long-term implications for improved stability of the community.