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Guardians of the Republic Forums Start Here Troubleshooting Private: Hate it! Reply To: Private: Hate it!


Dan Griffiths

Hi! My name is Dan and I’m the (new) National IT Director. I’d like to take a few moments to clear up some things.

This set-up was a mistake. Cloud hosting, Word Press and anything Goggle is very bad. (YouTube and such are not the problems)

When I took over, the Oath Keepers site was hosted on a cut-rate shared hosting account through a reseller of a reseller. It was being run through  CloudFlare but even that wasn’t configured correctly. We weren’t, however, using Google (assuming that’s what you meant) for anything other than analytics. Now we’re running on a VPS (I’d rather have a pure bare-metal server, but baby steps) that was custom designed for our purposes. We’re no longer using Google for analytics (we’re using a custom solution), but yes, we’re still using WordPress.

Cloud hosting is not trustworthy nor are they going to admit to any security breaches if they can cover them up.

Totally agree! That’s why we’ve done a TON to bring as much as possible in-house. Our current setup has negated the need for almost any third-party services, and the actual server is backed up incrementally in two off-site locations (a year ago, there weren’t ANY backups).

WordPress has had a history of security problems. They update things in a way that breaks the links. That can be fixed behind the scenes, but it requires someone who knows how to do it.

True! But… so does any major system. We stuck with WordPress for a few reasons. First and foremost, because the people in national leadership who spend the most time working with the system (Stewart and our authors) were already familiar and comfortable with it. Updates only break things if you set them up horribly wrong or hack away at the core or theme/plugin code bases. And as to your suggestion that it requires someone who “knows how to do it”… I’ve been working with WordPress almost since day one, have released over 50 products built on it (themes, plugins and full-scale apps), am a core contributor, have organized, spoken at, and contributed to numerous WordPress conferences (WordCamps) and have been a code reviewer/auditor. I’d like to think I know a bit about WordPress (I know, you had no way of knowing that, so I’m not trying to call you out… just trying to demonstrate intimate familiarity with the platform). I’m also familiar with vBulletin, XenForo, SMF, Drupal, Joomla and a number of other CMSs. The unfortunate reality is that I can find just as many flaws with any of them, and few have remotely the flexibility WordPress does.

Cute little avatars of who is online that spin, what possible need is there for that little whistle and bell?

I don’t! But… a big part of the “bells and whistles” in the redesign is geared towards attracting the younger crowd. Sadly, a significant portion of our user base aren’t spring chickens anymore (myself included) and it’s getting harder and harder to reach the younger members of society. Building a more Facebook-esque site was intended to help bridge the gap and make the site more attractive to them.

Outsourcing email is fine.

I disagree! I want control of my data! And, as of the date I took over, Oath Keepers does control their own data. We’re running our own mail servers. In fact, the only aspect of mailing that isn’t in our full control is bulk mail (handled through Mail Chimp), and that’s only because we currently can’t afford the infrastructure necessary to make sending bulk email on our own practical. I have the software ready, just need to work through the rest of the headaches to get to the point where we can make it a reality.

The very best and most secure software is both open source code, which anyone can audit it and fix it. It’s also completely free! Not only that, but my preferred software for the operating system is the extremely secure OpenBSD.

You aren’t wrong! Our entire software stack is currently built on open source technology.