I was introduced to CiviCRM a few years ago when a new customer needed a replacement for an old poorly designed database solution and needed it quickly. After getting quotes starting at $10,000 for systems supposedly designed for non-profits, I stumbled on CiviCRM which was free, open source and seemed to have a good community behind it. The project became one of my notable success stories as I was able to discover a new product and learn enough about it to implement it in a short time. I even managed some advanced customizing of the system.
The system has worked without any serious issues for the past few years and I hadn’t heard from the customer very often. Then, last week, I got an e-mail stating they’d moved their offices, made some changes to their network and needed me to come in and get the software working again. Everything went smoothly for the first 10 minutes I was there. Then I realized that CiviCRM was running incredibly slow and its top menu had disappeared which pretty much makes it unusable for anyone who doesn’t want to type in a lot of complicated URLs. Again, it had been quite a while since I’d touched CiviCRM or dealt with the specifics of their system so I ended having do do a bit of research to find out what was going on.
In the end, the solution came down to updating the civicrm.settings.php file with the new network information. Once that was done, the system worked great but I ended up taking the long way around to discover it. Along the way, I refreshed my knowledge of CiviCRM and learned a few new things as well. This was just as well as I was able to be even more confident that no other problems lurking in their system when I was done.Continue reading