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a guest Dec 5th, 2019 620 Never
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  1. This is a new article series writing up the major changes and updates to PCGamingWiki, which I plan to put out on a more regular basis. I think it'll be interesting to look back and review all the major accomplishments and improvements we have made. As this is the very first 'Progress report', and so much has happened over the last year, we'll be bringing everyone up to speed with the very first year in review of 2019.
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  3. Server administrator
  4. In January 2019 we welcomed Snuxoll to our ranks as our new paid server administrator. Snuxoll done a fantastic job keeping everything up and running with excellent up-time despite our surges in traffic. He has exceeded expectations and gone far beyond the initial job specification by developing several new features. Not only that, but Snuxoll has integrated into our community and has taken on a support role and always responds diligently (however please don't disturb him too much, he has a job to do!) We are very grateful for the great work done this year, as you'll see below.
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  6. Server move from Hetzner to DigitalOcean
  7. Early in 2019, we began a process of modernising PCGamingWiki infrastructure with the move of our image storage from Hetzner to DigitalOcean Spaces, removing some pain points we faced with our legacy image storage and paving the way to making our site easier to scale and maintain.
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  9. More recently in October 2019, we completed the second phase of this move, and PCGamingWiki along with the sidewikis now run on DigitalOcean's managed Kubernetes service. This gives us greatly improved management of the site and the ability to rapidly scale up on-demand as needed. You may have noticed some substantial performance improvements as well. This is especially important as traffic has increased substantially in 2019.
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  11. PCGamingWiki Account
  12. Previously we have used a ‘bridge’ to maintain accounts between the wiki and forum (2013-2018). However due to a major security update for our forum software IP Board, we were forced to abandon the bridge and separate accounts between the wiki and the forum. To be fair, the bridge had problems even when it worked, and the advice I was given to shelve the bridge permanently and maintain two separate accounts for ease of updates.
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  14. However Snuxoll stepped in and suggested that we use Keycloak to allow a single account to login to the wiki, forum and sidewikis, making a true 'single sign-on' account. This has now been accomplished beautifully and not only is the system live right now, it also allows users to create an account using Steam - something that MediaWiki doesn't natively support.
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  16. Right now the PCGamingWiki Account is optional but it will soon be the only way to login once we disable native logins. If you register using the same email address as registered on the wiki side, you will inherit the account on either side.
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  18. Assignments
  19. Assignments is the process PCGamingWiki uses to allocate or purchase review codes for newly released games to give to our editors to complete articles. After a period of absence, we 'rebooted' the Assignments system in early 2019.
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  21. Our previous Assignments website system was a custom coded piece of software developed by a volunteer which wasn't quite fit for purpose. We decided to design a new Assignment system using wiki template, which Aemony stepped in and helped to develop for us. This new system tracks applications, assignments, completion and notes - all integrating into the Home page and replacing the deprecated 'Notable releases' widget. This has made the process of tracking new games and assignments much simpler. In addition, I'd like to thank Rose for taking on press responsibility and for keeping on top of review code requests and being in charge of assigning review codes.
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  23. We are looking for new editors to help take on review codes, which are abundant!
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  25. Sponsorships
  26. Our sponsorships have been renewed in earnest this year, with improved cooperation. With GOG.com we have much closer partnership with our new GOG.com shared account which contains virtually the entire GOG.com library. We are also running giveaways with GOG.com keys in the Summer and Christmas sales. With Gamesplanet, we work together to provide £300 of game credit per month so that we can allocate these games to our editors - this helps tremendously as many interesting unfortunately are not available on GOG.com.
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  28. Editor role
  29. You may have seen the 'orange' names - these are a new role in our community for some elevated privileges including Files approval, access to the special #editors channel on Discord and access to our GOG.com shared account. More recently we welcome Rose and AlRayes_BRN to the Editor role.
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  31. WSGF
  32. The 'widescreen gaming forum' unfortunately suffered some issues with their forum and software, having their files marked as malicious by Google. In our support, we have agreed to host WSGF files on their behalf. Many thanks to Skipclarke and Justice for helping to upload all the WSGF files to PCGamingWiki. We have also instituted a new 'password protection' policy on files which may flag as false positives.
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  34. News section
  35. We have implemented a 'News' section which is designed to crowdsource news items and improve community participation. Anyone can submit news, and the best news is featured on the Home page and Forum sidebar area. We have also consolidated the forums so that some of them don't look so empty. We crave comments so if you have anything good (or bad!) to say please respond below.
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  37. Page popularity tracking
  38. If you look on the Home page, and underneath the Home page's search bar, you'll now see game articles ranked by pageviews. Many thanks to Garrett who helped immensely in allowing us to use Matomo API to help create this widget, which has been invaluable in allowing editors to see which articles are getting the most attention.
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  40. Traffic
  41. Any community and website is predicated on its growth and I'm happy to say that we have had substantial growth with a 22% increase in page views and 30% increase in visitors compared to last year. We are planning some big changes to the article structure over the next month or so, and hopefully this will result in even bigger growth in the coming year.
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  43. Closing words
  44. Many thanks to all the contributors to PCGamingWiki over the last year. We've had a great 2019, and hopefully 2020 will be even better!
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