We are excited to announce a major investment in the server architecture for Non-Profit Soapbox which will ensure greater stability and responsiveness for your website. Specifically, for the technically-inclined, we have completed deployment and testing of a new load balancing platform. What is a load balancer? Think of it as a traffic cop for the entire Soapbox platform whose sole job it is to get traffic moving in the right direction as quickly as possible. This upgrade is available immediately to all Soapbox clients.
To take advantage of the benefits, you must repoint your domain name to the new load balancer. If you follow the steps below for either the recommended or alternate approach, there should be no downtime for your website.
What do you need to do to migrate your Non-Profit Soapbox 2 site?
Pointing your domain name to the new load balancer requires you to login to your domain name hosting provider and update the records they have on file for your domain name. Nearly every domain name provider today allows you to do this through simple control panels.
There are two routes you can choose for this process: our recommended approach and an alternate approach, if required. The basic question you’ll need to answer with your domain registrar is whether or not your root domain name (also known as the “zone apex” and displayed as something like “myorg.org”) can be forwarded to your “www.myorg.org” address. If the answer is “yes”, then follow our recommended approach. If the answer is “no”, and you want to ensure that myorg.org still points to your website just as www.myorg.org does, then follow the alternate approach.
Recommended approach, if your domain registrar allows for forwarding your root domain:
- Login to your domain registrar
- Delete the current A records for the domain names pointing to the old Non-Profit Soapbox 2 load balancer IP address of 188.8.131.52
- Setup forwarding for myorg.org to point to www.myorg.org following your domain name host’s instructions
- Create a CNAME record for ‘www’ pointing to lb-picnet-sbx2.directrouter.com
- Choose the shortest Time To Live (TTL) option available from your domain name host - usually ½ hour
- Save the changes
- Repeat for each domain name you have pointing to Soapbox pointing to the old Non-Profit Soapbox 2 load balancer IP address of 184.108.40.206
Alternate approach, if your domain registrar doesn’t allow for forwarding your root domain:
- Login to your domain registrar
- Update all A records for your domain name pointing to the old Non-Profit Soapbox 2 load balancer IP address of 220.127.116.11 to the new IP address of 18.104.22.168. These records will likely include entries for “@” and “www”.
- Choose the shortest Time to live (TTL) option available from your domain name host - usually ½ hour
- Save the changes
- Repeat for each domain url you have pointing to the old Non-Profit Soapbox 2 load balancer IP address of 22.214.171.124
By when do you need to do this?
This update must be completed by September 24th. After September 24th, our old load balancer will be decommissioned and any site still pointing to that hardware will go offline. We'll send several reminders between now and then but we recommend that you make this change as soon as reasonably possible to take advantage of the upgraded hardware.
We’re excited about this update and the increased stability and responsiveness it will provide to your site. As always, should you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact us by opening a ticket. We’ll be happy to answer whatever questions we can to assist in this process.
VP of Products & Marketing
Common Questions and Answers
What is the advantage of the recommended approach?
Following the reommended approach will mean that you do not need to do this process again, should we upgrade the Soapbox load balancer in the future.
The recommended approach sounds super confusing and I don’t have a clue how to find out if my root domain name can forward. Do I need to follow the recommended approach?
Nope! You can use the alternate approach.
What is the downside of using the alternate approach?
Should we upgrade the Soapbox load balancer in the future or make any other changes that affect the IP address, you’ll need to update your A records again.
How long will it take for the change to become effective after I update my domain records?
Most domain registrars will state in their confirmation page that the changes can take up to 48 hours but that the actual timeframe will be significantly shorter. If you set the Time to live (TTL) to be ½ hour, as described above, it will likely take less than one hour.
Will my site experience downtime?
No, there should not be any downtime given the nature of the change.
Does this upgrade come with an additional cost for my organization?
No, the upgrade to the server architecture is covered by the monthly fee for your website.
Does this affect me if I use Soapbox Engage?
If you are a Soapbox Engage client using only http://[prefix].nonprofitsoapbox.com as your public url, you may disregard this message. All required updates have been made for your site by the Soapbox team.
The A records for my domain point to 126.96.36.199 rather than 188.8.131.52 as the instructions state. What does that mean and what should I do?
If your current A records point to 184.108.40.206, this means that your site is a Soapbox 1 site. Please refer to this article for migration details. All of the details will be the same except for where you will need to point your CNAME or A records.
What is a load balancer?
As with other cloud-based services, Soapbox has multiple servers mirroring each other to accommodate large traffic to the platform. The load balancer accepts incoming traffic from the web and directs it to the server with the highest availability at that particular moment. Consider it the traffic cop that keeps things moving efficiently - and the new load balancer is a better, smarter, and faster traffic cop.