Website – entering the new frontier with the Skeptical Raptor Version 4.0

August was one of the most successful months for the Skeptical Raptor website. We had one of the highest number of visitors for a month since this website was founded in January 2012. We again exceeded 2 million hits.

And because of the successful GoFundMe effort, I was able to afford a sweet new server, with gorgeous lines, and multicolored lights. Actually, I don’t know what it looks like, it probably just looks like a box.

As a result, for the past 14 days, I have had only 3 minutes of downtime. In August we had almost 300 minutes of downtime. And in July, over 1000 minutes. I got boatloads of messages back then that my website wasn’t working. And it wasn’t. So thanks to all who helped out with the funding. More on that later.

Hacking

 

Believe it or not, this website has been subject to a brute force hacking attack over the past 2 weeks. And you didn’t notice, because of my super powerful, gold plated server (no, just a box). We’ve had to spend a boatload of time patching everything, and snooping around to find if I have any vulnerabilities. There may have been a few, but they’re gone now.

And just to be clear, my password is not password. I am not running the Democratic National Committee’s server.

I’m not sure why anyone would want to hack the feathery dinosaur’s website. It’s not like this place is a repository of state secrets about Donald Trump’s vaccination record.

Website redesign

 

This is going to start next week. We’re going to try to test it out in the real world late at night, so there might be downtime as we upload the new super secret code, figure out it’s lame, and reinstall the backup. Usually, it’s a matter of seconds, but if someone pushes the wrong button, all might not be fine.

This will be version 4.0 of the website:

  • Version 1.0 went from about January 2012 through May 2013. It was just a boring old WordPress website on a tiny server in Pueblo, Colorado. Wherever that is.
  • Version 2.0 went from June 2013 through January 2015. We overwhelmed the servers in Pueblo, CO, to the point that they quickly shut us down. That was stressful.
  • Version 3.0 went from March 2015 (yes it took almost a month to move to a new server farm, far more powerful, and far more expensive than the $15.00 a month that we paid back in the day). This version really didn’t have much visible to the user, just a more powerful server.
  • Version 4.0 starts this week. After overwhelming the new more powerful server that we used since March 2015, we moved over to a powerful individual server (no more sharing), a complete cleanup of the code, and eventually a new web design.

Fundraising

 

I know, I hate this. But because of the hacking attack, some of the activities that I planned went to plugging holes, most of which I had no idea existed.

I would like to raise a little bit more, just to make sure the Skeptical Raptor website remains a good experience. We’re going to clean out some of the ads (since most of you use AdBlock, I doubt anyone will notice), make the landing page more readable, and make it more mobile friendly.

So, I still near your help, anything will help.

And that’s that.

Please contribute. We need your help.

 

The Original Skeptical Raptor
Chief Executive Officer at SkepticalRaptor
Lifetime lover of science, especially biomedical research. Spent years in academics, business development, research, and traveling the world shilling for Big Pharma. I love sports, mostly college basketball and football, hockey, and baseball. I enjoy great food and intelligent conversation. And a delicious morning coffee!