Here's why TopCatholicSongs.com was offline on Thursday 1/6/22

Some of you may have noticed that this Top Catholic Songs website was offline or erratic for a few hours on Thursday 1/6/22.  I was attempting to switch hosting to my home-based Synology Disk Station DS1513+ (an NAS – network attached storage unit). It did not go well. The Intel Atom Dual Core 2.13 GHz processor with only 4 GB of RAM cannot handle the demands of this Drupal 6 CMS (content management system).

So I switched back to SiteGround, a hosting company that has made the decision to soon end PHP version 5.6 service. They say that PHP 5.6 it is too old and they don't want to spend money on security maintenance. I am looking for a new hosting company that is willing to host older technologies. 

The problem is that when I switch this Drupal 6 website to PHP 7.x or 8.x, our self-hosted audio players disappear. Embedded audio and video iframes from external sites are unaffected (e.g. SoundCloud and YouTube). There is no fix for this other than hiring a developer to make the Drupal 6 audio modules run under PHP 7 and higher. I don't have the money to hire anyone and I don't have the skills to figure it out myself.

I did try to migrate this massive website to Drupal 7, and then 8, a couple years ago but the same audio player modules in question were never ported beyond Drupal 6.

This kind of breakage of modules or plugins is something that rarely happens with WordPress (which is the CMS I work with most of the time). 

Let me know if you have any ideas. I don't want to shut down TopCatholicSongs.com but it is getting harder and harder to keep it alive. This site was launched in November of 2007 and I took it over in January of 2014 (when Nick Alexander was ready to pull the plug due to a ton of spam comments and a lack of maintenance). I have appreciated very much the challenge of learning Drupal and keeping this historic content available to people everywhere.

Update 3/20/2022: I am close to completing a migration of this entire Drupal 6 website to InMotion Hosting. InMotion has not threatened to turn off PHP 5.6 – at least not yet. There are still some glitches to work out in the staging site. Soon this website will no longer be served up by SiteGround. Kind of sad because SiteGround had been reliably hosting TCS since 2007!

Update 3/30/2022: I have finally migrated this huge Drupal website from SiteGround (which is shutting down support for older PHP versions) to InMotion Hosting. It has been a struggle. The audio players seem to be functioning again. Note that it is much better to post your music or video using iframe code from YouTube, Spotify, ReverbNation or SoundCloud. That will make a future migration from Drupal to WordPress less of a challenge. See tip below for inserting an "iframe embed" into the Source Code editor. Please contact me if you see any glitches on this site. – Richard Schletty


Richard Schletty
TopCatholicSongs.com owner, editor and webmaster

Comments

I noticed a Captcha thing

Is this new Captcha verification part of the migration?  If so, very nice.  I mean, I don't like doing them (who does?) but it makes me feel the site is secure.  

Thanks for the update from late March.  I will refrain from MP3 and simply plaster frame links at everyone :-)

Thank you, Richard! 

Wonder if you could add an

Wonder if you could add an archive page where all the old songs that won't transfer over can be uploaded again. I know that is probably a lot of work as there are a bunch of songs. Might be nice to be able to listen to everything off of one page anyhow. I'm not very tech savy so I don't know what all this would entail. 

One thing that may be neat to do with an upgrade is have a playlist page (youtube or spotify or something), for artists who share their songs on here. Could make up guidlines as it goes, 2 songs per artist or something.  Or just have a playlist for each season or year and leave access to old playlists. May be a good place for people here just to check out everyone's songs and then link to the artist page. I try to find everyone on spotify that posts here anyhow and listen to their albums or songs. 

From what I can tell, it looks like there are 10 pages of songs to download going back to 2015. 
We would have a few people all get assigned 2-3 pages to download and save into a dropbox folder so the songs are stored, until you know what to do with them.  I'd volunteer to get a few pages done. 

A new website with new features for TCS

Thanks so much for your input. Yes, I could rework this website along the lines of your suggestions. In fact, I built a website for performing songwriters using WordPress. The Artist Profiles section of the Minnesota Association of Songwriters website has all the features you suggest – plus more. 

MAS Artist Profiles landing page: mnsongwriters.org/members
My profile: mnsongwriters.org/members/richard-schletty
MAS Members music gallery: mnsongwriters.org/music-gallery
MAS Monthly song reviews (via Zoom): mnsongwriters.org/reviews

You can, in fact, sign up for a free 30-day trial and explore the member features.

In 2020, I used "FG Drupal to WordPress" to migrate hundreds of blog posts from Drupal to a new WordPress site: pneumasolutions.com/blog

The plugin by Frederic Gilles is here: fredericgilles.net/fg-drupal-to-wordpress

I also used "WP All Import" to import comments attached to the above blog articles: wpallimport.com

I also built this WordPress website for Tony Moran (may he RIP). However, it is currently not set up for member-generated media: catholicliturgyinsong.org

So it's probably time for me to make the move to WordPress as it is much better suited to membership profiles with media galleries. I will endeavor to migrate as much as I am able.

Richard Schletty | Schletty Design and Music | www.schletty.com

I'm with Brian in that if you

I'm with Brian in that if you give me a couple pages to download to save something I can help.  I'm also no good as far as tech stuff goes.  What I do have experience in doing is YouTube uploading and the like, so if part of your migration is uploading to an off-site service, I can pull things off here, stick art on it if there is any art that went with it, and post it to a YouTube channel.  Just an idea - I'm not clear on whether things would be hosted directly on WordPress or not. 

Still exploring web hosting options

Thanks for your offer of uploading assistance. Not quite sure how that would work. I will let you know when and if SiteGround disallows this website which requires ancient PHP 5.6. What if cars and cash machines using old software were suddenly made to stop working? Where there's a will, there's a way, as my mother used to say.

Richard Schletty | Schletty Design and Music | www.schletty.com

Update 3/30/2022: Migration complete!

Update 3/30/2022: I have finally migrated this huge Drupal website from SiteGround (which is shutting down support for older PHP versions) to InMotion Hosting. See last paragraph in main story above.

This does not rule out the possibiity of doing a total switchover from Drupal CMS to WordPress CMS in the proximal or distal future.

Richard Schletty | Schletty Design and Music | www.schletty.com

Thank you, Richard, keep us

Thank you, Richard, keep us all posted!
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