Hi everyone. Many of you will probably have noticed I haven't been very active round here in recent months. I have to thank WHI staff - especially InvU, -Hope, squishyblob, Frappeno and our mods - for their hard work in keeping things alive in my absence. The good news is I'm now back with renewed enthusiasm and lots of ideas of how to improve WeHeartIU in 2013. I want to share some of them with you now so you all have an idea of where we're heading. New server I'm sure a lot of you have noticed that the site has been running very slowly recently. This is partly because we have outgrown the server we are using and partly because our server configuration isn't properly optimised. I'll be addressing both of these problems by moving the site to a new server in the coming weeks. The new host is a specialist in forum optimisation so they will be able to assist me in getting the maximum performance from the new setup. I'll also be trialling the use of a CDN, which should significantly improve the speed of the site for those of you who are geographically far from the server. New forum software At the same time as we move server I will also be coverting the forum software from IP.Board to XenForo. I have been uphappy with the development direction of IPB for a long time now. It is bloated and slow and very unfriendly to use, both as a member and an admin. The version we're running is actually several versions back from the latest release, as in my opinion the newer versions don't add anything worthwhile but do introduce nasty new bugs. XenForo is a much nicer system to use and has an excellent developer community creating addons which I think will really help make WHI a fun place to be. Once we've converted I'll talk more about the new features. Importantly, XenForo is also much more efficient with server resources, so combined with the server upgrade the site performance should be massively improved. Big style changes on the horizon When we change to XenForo I will convert the existing forum layout so the site will look fairly similar to what you see now, apart from some updated graphics. However we have big plans for a dramatic change, one that will be unlike any other forum-based kpop fansite you've seen. This is going to involve a lot of learning and work for me and WHI's graphic artists, so don't expect it any time soon - we're looking at a timescale of several months. But by writing about it here I'm committing myself to seeing it through and actually getting it done at some point! -- Of course, in just a few days now IU will be ending her extended hiatus as her new drama begins to broadcast and her first original Japanese album is released. I hope the improvements we are planning for WHI will help us to continue to be the best place for international fans to support her as she makes her comeback.