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Forums and Blog Hosting

Informe.com is a service which provides the user with ability to create personal portals. All portals have similar structure and are based on open source components such as
  • phpBB forum engine;
  • Wordpress blog engine;
  • MediaWiki hypertext wiki;
  • Gallery photo album manager

When creating the portal the user has an ability to select what components indicated above will be included into his portal. User can create a portal in a simple way using portal installation wizard.

System allows broad abilities of portal customization. The user can select common theme from the library for all components of the portal (home page, blog, wiki and forum) or different themes for each section. Also, user is able to upload portal logo and header as well as change the structure of portals main page by selecting components which will be shown there. Localization system is used to translate site content to 38 languages.

Standard features of the components (phpBB, wordpress, galery) are expanded by the additional extensions.

There is an ability to add tags to content and search for tagged items by select the word from the tag cloud. User is able to use second-level domains to access his/her portal. Owner of the portal has an ability to inspect statistic reports for his site such as the most popular portals, topics, search requests, the most active users, themes usage statistics etc.

Central site contains the information about all created portals, their ratings, statistics of visits, etc. Portals in the catalogue are grouped by categories (such as computers, sport or music). Visitors are able to enter portal rank and comment its content.

The site is in top 3 sites of The 2008 Best Websites on Elance Winners in Best Functionality and Most Unique categories (http://www.elance.com/p/promo/best-website/winners.html).

Technical solution

Informe.com is scalable, high loaded system. The portals are distributed over 5 servers with central site on separate server. Central server periodically aggregates statistic from portal servers. Estimation of server loading is one of the purposes for statistics gathering. Portals and central site communicates using XML-RPS protocol.

When new portal is set up the central server creates it from repository and register it in DNS with the name .informe.com. Sources of portal are divided into repository to shared and personal parts. Only personal part of the portal is copied when the new portal is created. Shared part is accessible through symbolic links. This approach reduces the time of portal creation and simplifies the maintenance of the portal. Portal auto-updates subsystem provides the ability to update shared part of the repository and modification of the all personal parts. There is an ability to update portal to newer version by the request of the portals owner.

Nginx. server is used to reduce load when serving the static content of the central site. Some pages (messages) are static and are generated by schedule. Performance of the portals is increased by using eAccelerator.

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