The easiest thing to do is setup your cpanel (or whm) to back up nightly and send the backups via FTP to a remote server. Setup a FTP server on your home PC to accept the backups automatically, or buy a NAS (such as a Synology) and you can have a 24/7 FTP server running with extremely low power consumption. You can never have enough backups. Never trust your host.
Not really sure what specifically I can ask. My concern is that two other forum platforms (which are both well known) tend to rank significantly higher than me. We all have forums which are of the same topic, and mine is the oldest. I have over 1 million posts, and have been active for nearly 15 years. My topics rank on page 2 or 3 consistently, while the other forums rank at the top of page 1 consistently. Content is similar, except that my threads (which I've compared) have more genuine content including images (this is a content seo plus). I used to rank extremely well with ipb v2. I noticed a huge drop in rankings and traffic with v3.
I hope that v4 has the same type of "seo" built into it as does your other two competitors. This isn't just me, I see the issue I'm having being the norm among many IPB v3 communities.
My core site is on WordPress. I performed some tests where I wrote a brief article similar to a thread on a competitors site, and I was able to rank my article just above or below their listing on google page 1.
I still believe IPB is the best forum software out there, it just needs some improvement in regards to seo.
I'm curious if you can write a blog article about what SEO improvements have been (or are going to be) put into version 4? Please don't say content is everything, because it's not. :) I oftentimes compare my site to similar competitors, and my threads will have far more relative content with pictures, etc, and rank on page 2 or 3 while the competitor (who uses your competitors forum software) ranks high on page 1.
There are many other factors that go into SEO.
So far IPB 4 is looking really nice! Thanks in advance for any info you can provide in regards to SEO improvements.
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Fatal error : require_once(): Failed opening required '/home/cp/public_html/ipb/ips_kernel/classDbâ€˜mysqlâ€™.php' (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php:/home/cp/public_html/ipb/ips_kernel/') in /home/cp/public_html/ipb/admin/sources/base/ipsRegistry.php on line 2684
I setup a test site and the same thing is happening. All I did was edit the conf_global.php file to point to another db, and I get a blank page. So I switched everything back to the original db settings, and still getting a blank page. Everything is how it was, and still a blank page. I don't get it. Permissions are set correctly as are all settings.
I used this site to check who else is hosted under your IP: http://www.yougetsignal.com
Not sure how accurate it is, but it returned 452 results.
Either way, doesn't really matter, as there are other things that affect performance. You can have 1,000 other websites on the same box, however if they're all very tiny, static html sites that receive no traffic, the affect it will have on your site is minimal.
Load balanced w/ netapp means nothing. Shared hosting companies oversell, period. How can your host guarantee you 256 MB RAM in a shared environment? They can't. Do you have shell access? If so, you can run some commands on the server to see resource usage. Bottom line is you're most likely hitting your limits. 256 MB RAM for a forum is nothing. I have over 5 GB allocated to my forum, and even at that, I hit the limits.
Don't delete inactive members, it won't make a difference. Our db is several GB in size, with 13k+ members. Like Rhett said, the problem is your hosting. Your entire site seems slow. I just did a reverse IP lookup on your domain, and there are 452 other websites being hosted on the same box. Your hosting provider is overselling.