2012 Developer budget

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This page is kept as an archival reference.
If you want to raise a point about it, please start a discussion thread on the community forum.

This page was a draft being put together by Mike Peel in 2012.

We currently have a budget of £30k allocated towards our developer activities. The 2012 Activity Plan summarises this as follows:

"Various needs including maintaining the WMUK websites and email systems (including the donation site and QRpedia), and developing MediaWiki to support the global projects and general wiki community. Expected to be contract work, rather than a single employee. QRpedia will be the first software project that WMUK has run and should complement the services supplied from Germany and the U.S. More essential is the need to maintain our part of the fundraising software."

This page fleshes out this summary, providing more technical and contextual information, as well as a breakdown of the budget into the appropriate subsections. It is intended to be relevant in the period 1 February 2012 through to 31 January 2013.

Status as of January 2012

Our websites and general online tech needs currently utilize a Virtual Private Server donated and managed by Mike Peel, as well as hosting provided by the Wikimedia Foundation. These needs are currently as follows (they are hosted by WMUK unless otherwise stated).

  • Wikis
    • Public wiki: hosted by the WMF (tied in with Single User Login)
    • Private wikis (office and board, plus the largely-unused internal wiki)
    • Project wikis (britainloveswikipedia.org)
  • Wordpress for our blog
  • CiviCRM (with Joomla) for donations
  • DirectDebit form (custom software)
  • glamwiki.org
  • Email
    • Personal addresses - POP/IMAP/SMTP, webmail. Also many forwarders.
    • Mailing lists (mailman)
    • Forwarders to OTRS

We also have service providers for domain names and SSL certificates.

Upcoming needs and opportunities

  • All of the above need maintaining and upgrading
  • The direct debit form needs moving from an iframe solution to an API solution, ideally directly integrated with CiviCRM
  • Gift Aid for CiviCRM
  • QRPedia
  • Hosting a mirror of the Wikimedia project dumps - see [1]
  • OTRS/other CRM system
  • We need to establish a more robust backup plan
  • Security review, and improvements based on the outcome of that review
  • Mediawiki development
  • 2012-13 fundraiser (does this fall under this budget, or the fundraiser budget?)
    • Banner design
    • Landing page design, including forms
  • wikipedia.org.uk portal (e.g. like http://www.wikipedia.pl/ )?
  • Expense system?
  • Community server?

General approach

Since our needs are so varied in terms of the skills and knowledge they require, and each need does not require a significant amount of work at the current time, our general approach is to hire contractors as needed, and to collaborate with partners where possible. Also offer bounties for development of specific non-urgent things?

Note that a single person could fulfill the needs of several contracts.



The current solution of a VPS works well for our current purposes, but our needs will go beyond this. Suggest a trio (or quadruple) of setups:

  1. 'Confidential' server - donation website, internal wikis, email. Either stick with existing VPS fully migrated to WMUK ownership, or new VPS.
  2. 'Community' server - WMUK projects (QRPedia etc), tools that don't fit in on the toolserver or Wikimedia Labs. Could go with either VPS or dedicated server. Would need logins for individuals, an SVN, etc.
  3. 'Mirror' server - needs to have large disk and bandwidth capacity. Needs to be a dedicated server.
  4. 'Backup' server - not sure whether this is needed or not, but we need somewhere off the main servers to keep backups.

Projected costs are:

  1. VPS - Webfusion community VPS, £30/month inc. VAT = £360
  2. Mirror server. A Dell PowerEdge R510 server, with space for up to 12 hard disks, 4 core 2.16GHz CPU, 16GB memory (probably don't need this amount; cost over 4GB is £200), 12 2TB HDs (24TB in total) costs circa £5,500. Coloration for a 2U server with 10Mbit connection is circa £100/month (but may be donated for free). Hence total cost for server and 1 year of operation is circa £6,700. Would need sysadmin in place to set it up.

SSL certificates

We are currently using an interim system that provides adequate security for our fundraising subdomains (including 256-bit encryption), but there is a lot of scope to improve here. The best solution would be to have a "wildcard" certificate for wikimedia.org.uk that comprehensively covers all of the sections of the website, includes a warranty in the case of problems, and is signed by the industry-standard GlobalSign organisation. Options here include:

  • 123-reg Domain or Organisation SSL, with Wildcard, either £175/year (£150/year for 2+ years), or £225/year (£200/year for 2+ years)
  • GlobalSign directly, £429-£499/year

This issue should be resolved once we have a sysadmin in place to fully implement it.

Domain portfolio

There are several issues here, which depend more on strategy and legal advice rather more than they do on budgetary requirements or technical possibilities.

Current domains

Wikimedia UK currently owns 8 domain names. Those marked with * are core to our long-term activities; the other domains are currently being used for specific projects whose duration is currently unclear. As of the end of 2011, all of our domains were renewed on the minimum period permitted (1 year for .com/.net/.org domains, 2 years for .co.uk/.org.uk domains). From this year onwards, our core domains (marked with *) are renewed for the maximum period possible to ensure long-term stability for the projects that rely on them.

We use ukreg.org for our domain names. Renewal costs are £3.45+VAT(=£4.15)/year for .uk domains, £10.49+VAT(=12.59)/year for .org domains. UK domains can only be renewed within 180 days of their expiry. Discounts are available if domain credits are purchased in advance of renewal (see below), and will be used where possible. Budgets are given for discounted (nominal) amounts.

Domain Initial renewal date Budget Expenditure New renewal date
wikimedia.org.uk * 12 March 2013 9 years = £37.26 Delayed until after 12 September 2012 --
wikimedia.co.uk * 12 March 2013 9 years = £37.26 Delayed until after 12 September 2012 --
britainloveswikipedia.org 19 Dec 2012 1 year = £10.20 (£12.59) £10.20 (pre-paid, will auto-renew in Nov ) --
glamwiki.org * 7 March 2012 1 year = £12.59
9 years = £91.80 (£113.29)
£12.59 (no discount)
7 March 2013
7 March 2022
monmouthpedia.org * 30 Dec 2012 9 years = £91.80 (£113.29) £91.80 30 Dec 2021
scotwiki.org 15 Sept 2012 1 year = £10.20 (£12.59) £10.20 (pre-paid, will auto-renew in Aug) --
wikilovesmonuments.co.uk -- 2 years = £7.08 £7.08 18 Feb 2014
wikilovesmonuments.org.uk -- 2 years = £7.08 £7.08 18 Feb 2014
Total £305.27 (£353.03) £230.75 --

(Original estimate of costs as per 18 Feb 2012: £218.37)


  • 6 February 2012: £12.59 for glamwiki.org
  • 18 Feb 2012: £14.16 for wikilovesmonuments.[co/org].uk
  • 5 April 2012: 20 .org domain-years, £10.20 each, £204 total.

NB: It is not clear whether there is a discount available for UK domain names (price quoted is £57.60+VAT=£69.12 for 10 domain credits, compared with £3.45+VAT=£4.14/year). To be investigated as to whether a domain credit covers 2 years rather than just 1 year.

Potential domains to register

We may want to register alternative forms of the URLs to avoid squatters - costs per year per domain would be as above.

We currently do not own any of the UK domain names for the Wikimedia projects (or their common misspellings); nor does the WMF. Some of these are owned by volunteers, others by domain squatters. We currently lack a strategy or effective solution here due to legal ambiguities - the Wikimedia projects are trademarked by the Wikimedia Foundation, and the WMF have not given us permission to use the trademarks in this fashion, but they are equally not registering these domains themselves. The costs with registering the domains are minimal, but time needs to be invested in identifying and contacting the domain owners (Mike Peel is willing to volunteer to do this), and time (and possibly legal advice and additional money, including transfer fees) may be needed to transfer the domains to WMUK (or WMF) ownership as necessary. This is to be discussed with Geoff Brigham and Michelle Paulson over the next few months.



Skills needed:

  • Prior experience administrating webservers running Linux operating systems, including monitoring, maintenance and upgrading.
  • Experience with Ubuntu and Plesk Parallels server administration (either dedicated server or VPS)
  • Experience with PHP (programming) and MySQL (database)
  • Experience with Mediawiki, CiviCRM, Wordpress, Joomla and OTRS, including the installation, maintenance and upgrades of those platforms and their extensions (desirable)
  • Experience with developing extensions for MediaWiki would be advantageous

Tasks will include:

  • Maintenance of the existing server, including the above mentioned applications, as well as email, SSL, security, backup, and maintenance of domain names
  • Specification, preparation, installation and maintenance of new servers as needed
  • Support of third party websites, including QRPedia
  • Set up and manage WMUK-operated servers, including migrating projects between servers as needed
  • Maintain existing software, carrying out upgrades, reconfigurations and ensuring security
  • Ensure regular backups, both online and offline
  • Establish and manage a CRM system for dealing with incoming emails
  • Manage domain names, including renewal and subdomains
  • Manage SSL certificates, and ensure the security of donation websites

Would report to the Chief Exec for management purposes, would liaise with Mike Peel on the technical side.

Would work either from home or from the office in central London (if the former, then occasional visits to the London office would be needed for reviews)

Hourly rate - unsure what the norm is here. Suggest somewhere between £15-£20 per hour (probably an underestimate), with the expectation that they'd be working between 5 and 10 hours per week depending on demand (this will vary unpredictably over the course of the year). Hence would cost somewhere around £7k per year.

External security review

Two components:

  1. General security review/audit, identifying areas where we need to improve our security (implementation via the sysadmin contract)
  2. Penetration testing. Could be done by Verizon, or other external organisations.

QRPedia development

Things like:

  1. Multilingual user interface for the webpage?
  2. Stats tools
  3. Special features for partnership organisations?

Mediawiki development

Needs identification of Mediawiki projects to support.


Will become relevant in the run-up to the 2012-13 fundraiser, particularly during the testing period over the summer, and the actual fundraiser period. Unclear whether this will be covered by this budget, or the fundraiser budget.


Direct Debit solution

  • Using SmartDebit API. Integrate with CiviCRM.
  • Partnership with others via [2] - details at [3]
  • Needs additional funding of circa £1500 to get the development started. Recommend that we provide this funding.

Gift Aid solution

  • Integrate with CiviCRM.

Other relevant budgets

There are two budget lines relevant to the general issue of tech, but which aren't covered here:

  • Toolserver grant
  • Mass upload tool


Description Amount
'Confidential' server (VPS) £320
'Community' server ???
Mirror server £6,700?
Backup server ???
SSL certificates £250?
Domain names £250
Sysadmin £7,000?
QRPedia ??
Fundraising ???
Direct Debit £1,500?
Gift Aid ???
Unallocated £13,020
Total £30,000
IT Development
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