lil update & Another Server upgrade….

New Home Forum Updates lil update & Another Server upgrade….

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This topic contains 45 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of vicious1 vicious1 5 hours, 14 minutes ago.

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  • #21545
    Profile photo of vicious1
    vicious1
    Keymaster

    Comments?

    Well I went to the highest tier siteground offers. We kept slamming the current server. So when we didn’t go over the usage things were pretty fast on the site, but when we went over we got throttled for a while until the daily stats reset…even if it was a DNS attack and nothing to do with the users. We are averaging about 5,000 page views, and about 1250 sessions a day and slowly rising.

    So the new server has 1/4th the sites on it and we are allocated more CPU and memory. 1/4th the sites, but does that mean they are higher traffic sites? I never trust marketing jargon….

    I thought moving the shopping cart off the server and using shopify would help, not too much, as the sites traffic keeps going up. So moving the cart off just got offset by more active users. Seems kinda odd the forum doesn’t seem as active as a few months ago but the stats say otherwise. Either way the new hosting comes with staging so now I can finally change the sites theme. Any suggestions? So far I have a demo of Avada to try out. I am looking for speed so Avada might be a little too hefty but I will try it out. I’m not a big fan of all the sliders and stuff, I want lean, mean, and clean. Or even any sites that have a store and are informational that I could learn a thing or two from?

    Sales are down, especially because of the time of year, they should be much higher. So spread the word if you can.

    Still cranking on the full sheet machine (the printrbot crawlbot inspired and approved full sheet cnc), I only have 2 small parts left to go before I can test it. Pretty much the equivalent of the MPCNC’s nut lock and corner top. If it works well all the parts will need to be finalized and then make the second version. I am starting with the 25.4mm going smaller should be easier when I make the 25mm. A little info here, but I will need to move it to its own thread as soon as I have some results to share.

    #21578
    Profile photo of Bill
    Bill
    Participant

    My experience with web platforms is that the database is really the deciding factor for performance, not the theme. You can offset that somewhat by caching pages, but that only really works well with static pages like the main portion of the site, not really for the forum. Is the database on a separate machine or on the same server as the forum?

    #21650
    Profile photo of Gyrnik
    Gyrnik
    Participant

    I know there had been rumblings in the past about stuff like aluminum motor mounts, I think some “plus” sales/upgrades would help quite a bit

    #21651
    Profile photo of vicious1
    vicious1
    Keymaster

    Bill- Same server. I use memchached, amazon CDN, and the regular caching stuff. So all the pictures, .js, and .css is on the Amazon CDN. The rest is okay, I am getting 80-90 on the page speed test pages with a load time of 1.2-1.8 seconds. We were really just beating up the CPU. I think This Theme is getting a little old so I am working on a new one, with hopefully a smaller footprint. The trend it seems these days is Things like Avada and Divi, they have all the bells and whistles built in and it cuases a slow load time. I am hunting for a them built lean and mean now that I don’t have to worry about woocommerce. I think I have found one. I have been tweaking it on my staged copy of the site, looks pretty good.

    Gyrnik- Can you give me some examples? The aluminum motor mounts won’t work and aren’t needed anymore.

    On my end I have been working to take out some of the manual labor involved in the bundle. They take a lot of time to put together. I have slowly been getting things worked out and sourced. I hope to drop the price a bit if I can. Kinda funny but things like counting and bundling Zip ties actually ended up costing a ton of money If I paid someone minimum wage to do it. The new bundles will be coming will 4 times the cable ties just because it is easier/cheaper by about half to get them pre-packaged. Things like the ramps boards and mk8 extruders are the worst. I know you can buy them from aliexpress or ebay cheaper, but then 2 things happen. Bad components and slow shipping. I hand assemble and test all the boards that is by far the largest cost in the bundles right now. I got 2 batches of 220 drv8825’s that do not work…imagine trying to buy on from ebay and return the driver! My supplier is going to assemble them from now on but I still have to flash and test every single one, 3 axis and the LCD. The mk8’s are the best extruder but they are assembled incorrectly. I am going to start buying these assembled and just put them together right instead of taking them apart and fixing, then re assembling. The last 200 or so extruders I bought at different times all had the hot end insulation trapped in the nozzle so I had to unclog them before they were even used…Maybe I just need to go back to china and find someone to do it my way.

    #21662
    Profile photo of Gyrnik
    Gyrnik
    Participant

    I’m not sure how much of this stuff will over complicate your inventory/life (or is even fesiable). Stuff that doesn’t require a bunch of support would be ideal. Here’s a couple ideas off the top of my head:

    PEI sheets that fit your heaters (finding right thickness adhesive etc was a PITA, would be so much easier to just buy one that I know will work)
    Maybe consider a “premium” bundle… PETG? Drag chain/braided wire tubing stuff (could also sell that on the side).

    When I was new, figuring out the extruder and stuff was a nightmare. The wiring kit is a nice start, but extra connectors and extensions for the fan and extruder would be an easy sale for me. I know it’s machine dependant, but perhaps offer the shroud/fan mount & fan. In your defense you mention extending the wires, but friends of mine had no idea what connectors to use and how to go about doing it. Something a little slicker than cut and solder. Either empty connectors that fit, or jumpers of a predetermined length. I wound up using XT style connectors for the heaters and JST’s for the fans so I can quickly switch between print/cnc without having to screw and unscrew things.

    Can you make parts have options? To make your store a little friendlier. Ie click extruder base price $40. then a little box for the driver (yes +$X.XX or NO), then a fan, driver, heater, etc. Then boom add it all to cart.

    #21719
    Profile photo of Jeffeb3
    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    Obviously, keeping Ryan’s lights on is a big benefit for everyone here, but there are so many smart people out there who contribute to the “add ons” that it really helps to have a large, healthy community. Ryan is doing a great job stewarding his creation, keeping it “open” and encouraging contribution. We should all feel responsible for doing our part.

    IMHO, the best thing we can do to regain momentum for the MPCNC is to post details about the projects we make with it to Thingiverse, instructables, hackaday, youtube, etc. People love reading about the creativity of others, and I think the biggest hurdle to getting into CNC milling is just finding enough things you can do with them.

    I know there are a lot of projects people are making. I know there are a lot of parts for the MPCNC on TV. I don’t see enough milled projects using the MPCNC. There are a lot of people doing the laser stuff too, and I don’t see much there either.

    Post your stuff. Also post it here in the “builds” forum, and we can all follow/share/like/etc. these projects to get a good amount of publicity to this project, and hopefully get back some traction.

    #21723
    Profile photo of vicious1
    vicious1
    Keymaster

    Thanks Jeffeb3. I am working on the site update now. So to follow up on your idea I had an idea for a collage page. If I can pull it off. I would like to just put up pics to things made with the machine, then if you click on the picture it will take you to the thread/page/site/post of where ever the pic came from. That way it kind of gives proof of the quality and we don’t just get flooded with the “look it moves” vids we have on you tube. Youtube is a bit tough to search because of key words and stuff. So I figured I can get pics of the final project and that way you could quickly look thought it and check out what interests you (laser,stickers,milling, pcb’s, ect)

    There are a bunch of cool projects being done with the MPCNC but you are right they are all over the place and I am probably the only one that has the time to follow and hunt them all down.

    The forum sounds a bit bleak with all the trouble shooting stuff but really a vast majority have just built and used it. Which is a great thing! Again I am probably the only one that could possibly know this. And I have no idea how many are actually out there. I would venture to guess more than half of the builds did not come through my hands. That means we have thousands out there.

    If I were new to the machine and came to look at the forums I might think this thing has a bunch of issues but really I would say half are trouble shooting parts that are non standard, or issues with the recommended stuff not bought from me. The other half are large build issues (long z axis or just large machine). Not bad if you see it in context but heavy on the trouble shooting side, light on the “look at this cool thing” side. I am very guilty of this I keep making things and not putting up pics or anything.

    #21726
    Profile photo of vicious1
    vicious1
    Keymaster

    Also….I am a geeky mechanical engineer. Business, webdesign, shipping, sourcing, sales, ordering, marketing, video production, all don’t come easy to me. I like to make stuff, So I struggle with the rest and value all of your input greatly. Some things that might be obvious to you are probably not to me.

    I do hope to keep this thing going. I am doing what I can to provide fair prices and a trustworthy place to buy your parts.

    #21733
    Profile photo of Jeffeb3
    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    A collage page would be awesome. But if only people who already have an MPCNC see it… It will still be awesome, and I’ll want to see it.

    Most people that get to your site already found the MPCNC. So the “front” of the site (the back being the forums) is more about getting people to the store, and some good instructions, and getting the deal closed. (((coffee is for closers 😀 ))). It also drives some traffic on its own, I know my google news forwards me your posts. I’m not sure if that’s typical for people that make, or just for me because I’m already frequenting this site.

    Thingiverse, etc. has the potential to bring people who don’t know what an MPCNC is. At least for me, I found it on Thingiverse, and I really had made the decision to buy before I visited vicious1.com. If you had a CNC project featured on the TV front page, I’m sure that would translate into a lot of sales (easier said than done). There’s a bunch of stuff that is marked MPCNC, but it’s all tools/extras/special builds of the MPCNC. There should probably be a table top arcade, a raspberry pi case, little hardware bins, all that stuff, with a sentence in the description like, “I made this on the MPCNC (here)”. Bonus points if it has 3D printed parts that are also made on the MPCNC.

    #21739
    Profile photo of Gyrnik
    Gyrnik
    Participant

    Man, I have a TON of stuff I’ve made with my MPCNC, and I’ve documented almost none of it. A bunch of it is completely outside of the realm of what people normally use it for (ceramics).

    Maybe separate/make subforum “builds and things built” so you could collect all the cool neat things in one place? I’m not a huge fan of the way subforums display on the main forum page (you have to click on the “getting started” to see if there are new posts in “cut speeds/settings”, but you also don’t want a bunch of empty forums adding to the clutter.

    #21740
    Profile photo of vicious1
    vicious1
    Keymaster

    I can try anything, If it doesn’t work I can always take it down. What forum would you like, and where?

    #21831
    Profile photo of Travis
    Travis
    Participant

    Ok to sound blatantly cheesy that right there is the reason you and this “thing” is working.
    “What would you like, and where”

    Please do not lose that attitude!
    I am a new guy here and am trying to tool up a business and I ran into your project here. This is a great model for growth, success and hopefully new designs.
    Super cool stuff here that I have been showing to others.

    So here ya go,

    Thank you!

    #21838
    Profile photo of Jeffeb3
    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    Builds and things built:
    – MPCNC builds
    – MP3DP builds
    – Projects

    Maybe a laser forum, or sub forum? It seems like the 2 laser posts get Q&A that could probably be separate threads.

    Is it possible to enable subscribing to entire forums or sub forums?

    #21842
    Profile photo of Bill
    Bill
    Participant

    My pet peeves are the login should take you back to the page you were at instead of taking you to the main site and I’d like a better indication of which messages are new since you last read, maybe even clicking on a thread takes you to that last message. Neither are deal breakers, or else I wouldn’t still be here. 🙂

    I agree with Jeff re: splitting the builds into three sections.

    #21851
    Profile photo of Jeffeb3
    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    Maybe a “Tips and Techniques” also?

    #21861
    Profile photo of vicious1
    vicious1
    Keymaster

    Bill I think I can finally do this. Your mainly wanting it at the forums correct? As soon as I get the login in the forum sidebar it should leave you right where you are. Fingers crossed. Or I can put it in the footer of every page, maybe that is better

    Okay, can someone summarize the forum structure you think would be ideal with the included sections you all suggested and I will change it, then see what it takes to move the threads around as we see fit. If a few of you will agree on it I’m down for whatever.

    #21864
    Profile photo of vicious1
    vicious1
    Keymaster

    Alright Bill, does it work? High five or…no?

    #21871
    Profile photo of Jeffeb3
    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    If I were king for a day, I’d have it look like this:

    Help:
    – Assembly
    – Troubleshooting
    – Usage # Formally “Getting Started”

    Builds and Things Built:
    – MPCNC Builds
    – MP3DP Builds
    – Projects
    – Tips and Techniques # Maybe pull the few Cut speed posts into here?

    Development:
    – Hardware
    – Software

    Updates

    Random or Off Topic

    International:
    – French
    – Spanish
    – Swahili

    #21880
    Profile photo of Jeffeb3
    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    Which parts were you trying to fix w.r.t. Bill? The Login takes me to http://www.vicious1.com/login/ after I log in.

    #21890
    Profile photo of vicious1
    vicious1
    Keymaster

    The side bar login on all the forum pages should now leave you were you are.

    #21891
    Profile photo of vicious1
    vicious1
    Keymaster

    Jeff – You can subscribe to a subforum at the top of it, and to subscribe to a thread you need to post in it and there will be a checkbox to subscribe. Sorry to be out of order I am trying to catch up with a ton of changes from the thread and the emails.

    Still looking into showing unread replies or some sort of indication.

    #21896
    Profile photo of Jeffeb3
    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    I see that Subscribe button on the top of a subforum or forum. Has that always been there? 🙂

    You can subscribe to a topic without posting to it in the top right of the first post, too. You don’t have to post to a topic to subscribe.

    #21897
    Profile photo of vicious1
    vicious1
    Keymaster

    Learn something new everyday

    #21898
    Profile photo of Jeffeb3
    Jeffeb3
    Participant

    I was trying to log in using the top bar. That’s what was taking me to the /login page.

    The one on the right, that one is taking me to the very front page, vicious1.com 🙁

    BTW, I know you would rather be modeling something in CAD, and you don’t get paid by the forum topic, so thank you for putting energy into it.

    #21901
    Profile photo of vicious1
    vicious1
    Keymaster

    Dammit….I thought I had this. I’ll try some more after lunch. (Sorry to get your hopes up Bill)

    Thanks, I want the site to work as well as you guys. I learn just as much here as you guys!

    #21934
    Profile photo of Fermata
    Fermata
    Participant

    mostly I like the changes you have made, but the video section is in my opinion worse. I used to like that I could click to videos and see thumbnails of the older items (in order) in the play list and if more than one new item was added I could select them.

    Now I have no idea how many new items are present, and really I have to scroll through (next/previous) the list to see if there are any new ones.

    🙁

    #21935
    Profile photo of vicious1
    vicious1
    Keymaster

    I’ll work on that. I did like the previous gallery myself as well.
    There is arrow in the upper left corner, that has all the video sorted as before, newest to oldest. On each playlist.

    #21939
    Profile photo of Bill
    Bill
    Participant

    Back ‘home’ after a day at a customer site. I don’t see a sidebar at all (Firefox 50.0). When I login from the top menu I end up at http://www.vicious1.com/login/, so the same as what Jeff saw.

    I like the tree Jeff put up, but I think I’d leave ‘Getting Started’ and plan for ‘Usage’ to cover more advanced topics than getting that first project to work. Maybe topics like milling three dimensional surfaces or slicing a 3D design to be routed in layers or changing colors on the fly while 3D printing or … The things you might want to do after you already have a handle on the basics.

    #21941
    Profile photo of Bill
    Bill
    Participant

    Aha! Something refreshed and now I have the sidebar. Eventually I’ll ask you to float it so it’ll be visible even if you are scrolled way down.)

    #21943
    Profile photo of cave
    cave
    Participant

    Re shop sales – building in Australia, obviously parts and hardware are uneconomical to ship. However, I would have liked to be able to buy the cabling kit, and possibly also the electronics (to skip calibration and flashing the firmware – although now that I’ve done it, it was a piece of cake, and firmware especially I would have to have re-done as my GT2 pulleys have a different tooth count).

    So my suggestion is to see if you can find economical shipping for some of these things. I wonder if there is a trade assistance bureau that can help; eg. Chinese postage is ridiculously cheap, I believe there is a special trade arrangement that makes postage cheap.

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