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48 posts

Geek
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Topic # 118977 15-May-2013 15:13
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Hi there,

I support a website that is hosted on www.wcn.net.nz. However WCN and the site have been offline for a few days now.

I have tried contacting them on their support email address, but I've had no response,

This is a volunteer supported free web hosting service for not-for-profit organisations in the Wellington region. 

It looks like its gone, but before I tell the organisation that they need to start looking at hosting somewhere else, I'm trying to find out if WCN has gone for good.

Has anybody got any info they would like to share?

Rgds
Chris


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1848 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 820143 15-May-2013 15:26
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Chris, I know the WCN has had funding difficulties in the past, but I've not seen anything to indicate imminent closure.

You could try calling the City Council, or maybe the 2020 Communications Trust who seem to have a close affiliation (www.2020.org.nz/).

Let us know what you find.

R.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 820145 15-May-2013 15:28
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Details of the Trust's Charitable status are here, 

It also includes phone numbers and a physical address, maybe they will be able to help...

http://www.register.charities.govt.nz/CharitiesRegister/ViewCharity?accountId=1cf27a26-9034-df11-9281-0015c5f3da29&searchId=09beadeb-6aee-4074-a277-43c56dcc8623



48 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 820164 15-May-2013 15:59
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Thanks for the info, I never thought to check the Charities Register. Will post back if I find out anything.

Rgds
Chris


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 820216 15-May-2013 17:45
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If the website has been down for days, it is possibly false economy to use a free one. Web hosting isn't expensive, and will also include support so perhaps a chance to investigate other options.



48 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 820308 15-May-2013 20:50
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Yes, I understand the economies of hosting. WCN provided a much needed service for not-for-profit organisations.

I have advised the organisation I support we will probably need to move to a paid for hoster. I've already provided them with the costs they are up for, I agree it does not cost that much these days and it will be much easier for me to support them on a commercial platform.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 820338 15-May-2013 21:47
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westy_nz: Yes, I understand the economies of hosting. WCN provided a much needed service for not-for-profit organisations.

I have advised the organisation I support we will probably need to move to a paid for hoster. I've already provided them with the costs they are up for, I agree it does not cost that much these days and it will be much easier for me to support them on a commercial platform.


Although there are good ones and not so good ones.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 820452 16-May-2013 08:59
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Hi Chris,

I've heard from a colleague that the WCN was originally run by the then WICT (Wellington Information and Communication Trust ... now the 2020 Communications Trust), but they handed it over to the School of Government and Business after the City Council cut the funding.

No idea what they are doing with it now, but the inability to access anything served by the WCN seems to indicate a closure.

As previously advised, there are a lot of reasonably priced hosting sites available thesedays ... some may even come to the party gratis for a worthwhile non-profit group?

Cheers,

R.



48 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 820453 16-May-2013 09:00
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Well the advice to contact the charity paid off. I got this reply this morning for those that are interested:

The WCN server has been disconnected from the Internet for some days now. The School of Business and Government (SBG) house our server and have supported us for the last few years. They are making changes to their IT infrastructure to reflect the needs of their business. Unfortunately we were not warned in advance that these changes were to be made and no one was aware of the impact on the WCN server.

We are working with SBG to get the WCN server back on-line as soon as possible.
Once the WCN server is back on line we will be reviewing the situation and looking to the future for WCN. This may require that users of WCN make a financial contribution to help support future operations.

We will provide more information as the situation evolves.
So, it's good that they will be back online. 

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Wannabe Geek


Reply # 821514 18-May-2013 11:06
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This has been really useful, Chris. I run one WCN website and was puzzled by the continuing dead silence and the lack of web info. Others doing the same also knew nothing.

WCN have been good with server change warnings in the past and I assumed the outage was sudden (true from their perspective) and would be over in a day (wrong).

I plan to shift to commercial hosting ($53.55 pa incl gst). Some groups can afford that, others not.

What I took as a message was the need for alternate emailing to likely website users.  In retrospect, WCN needed to be able to email webmasters. Our group has a Google based group email facility and this looks really useful now. (I don't know any details. It all occurs in a galaxy far far away. Namely, the computer 2 metres from mine.)




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Geek
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  Reply # 821827 19-May-2013 08:45
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Thanks! That message was supposed to have been sent to all WCN users. From what I hear not all people received it.

They are still down and I've not heard back from them on any time frame yet.

Looks like I'll be re-creating the site I support on another hoster.

Rgds
Chris




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Geek
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  Reply # 824154 23-May-2013 14:46
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I see http://wcn.net.nz/ is back up.

Seems most of the sites are as well... Apart from the one I support :-(

I've contacted their helpdesk system, which is back uo as well.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 824160 23-May-2013 14:57
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Loads really slowly for me.

If you go for commercial hosting, don't go too cheap, as there are both good and not so good ones around. Check out their support first, by asking them questions etc to see how responsive they are. Look what sorts of backups they do, how long they have been around for etc. Some cheap ones are very slow and overload their servers, and can take days to reply to tickets, as they have to support more cusomters. 
These days hosting is cheap so I don't really see the need for a community service. Some hosts may also provide free hosting to community groups, in exchange for advertising on their website, although I suspect only NZ ones will do that.



48 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 824165 23-May-2013 15:12
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Yes, I just want my site back up so I can get a current DB back up!

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 824404 23-May-2013 20:41
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westy_nz: Yes, I just want my site back up so I can get a current DB back up!


If they are running Cpanel, they can do a full Cpanel backup, and then get your host to restore it on a new server. This is what I do, and it is really easy and fast. Just ask them to send you for a full Cpanel backup of the account.
That said, you should always have local backups too, and a backup schedule. This is even more important on a free provider or a cheap one, where their own backups may not be the best. I have database backups automatically emailed to a free gmail email address on a daily basis.



48 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 824543 24-May-2013 08:47
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Yes, i do have my monthly backups of MySQL and the Joomla templates and files.

Just want  a recent one. the organisation doesn't make many changes.

I'm sure WCN are close to getting all sites back up by the look of it.

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