Hosting Server Updates 2020-01-12
If you were up last night / this morning between the approximate hours of 11pm and 3:30am PST, you may have noticed a maintenance page here at RPLS Today stating, "We're working on some stuff". I had an opportunity to work on the server a bit last night and wanted to do it during the slowest traffic time of the week (typically). So I thought I'd give you some insight into what's going on.
I didn't upgrade the hosting plan, but I did move RPLS Today to a different server closer to the geographic center of the US. It was previously hosted over here in the Pacific Northwest, but I realize that the folks on the East Coast were kind of getting the short end of the stick (or the long end, depending on how you look at it). So the website is now on a server in Dallas. After the move, I spent some time with configuration to optimize it some more. Tonight, I plan to do more optimization that may require a reboot or two of the server.
The location of DNS management was also moved to a better, faster service, in hopes of shaving off a few milliseconds of load time. I'm hoping tonight's efforts will further shave off some load time. All of this is something I've wanted to do for awhile, but I knew it was going to require a big chunk of time at a non-busy traffic time, plus accounting for adjustments after the fact and possible troubleshooting. Overall, the process has gone well so far.
If you are noticing significantly more or less load time, I'd love to hear about it. But just know that it may change a bit more tonight. So if you use the site over the next week and consistently notice the site loading slower or faster, I'd love to hear about it. It's safe to say that some folks who are now a tad further from the server could potentially see a tiny slowdown, but I'm trying to make it so everyone has a consistently better experience overall. Technically the distance shouldn't be a big enough factor to be super noticeable and the tweaks I'm working on should overcome the distance issue anyway, and then some.
Server and DNS updates and optimizations are in progress and I'm hoping you'll let me know about your experience in regards to speed and performance here at RPLS Today over the coming week.
My own experience just now is that submitting a new post was MUCH faster. Nearly instantaneous response when I clicked the "Add Topic" button. 🙂
Here in Boston the response times are about twice as fast as before. Thanks Wendell!
Just a quick note to let you know that, from Southern California anyway, the performance of the site has shown a ten-fold increase.
There are almost no sites that I frequent for which I would have tolerated the sluggish site performance during the last year or so. RPLS Today being the sole exception.
I've waited to chime in, expecting a reversion to prior speeds, but it is time to speak up. I am digging the ability to move from topic to topic with almost instantaneous response. Used to be that way.
Thank you for your efforts, Wendell.
I will be providing support for the site, when I get a chance tomorrow.
JA, PLS, SoCal
Thank you! I really appreciate your patience while I spent many months trying to find the best hosting solution. It's not easy figuring out what to do when you don't have much experience with high-traffic website hosting.
In the original post, I mentioned that I didn't upgrade the hosting plan. But I did move to a comparable host at about the same price point. This is the third time I've moved RPLS Today in the past year, in an effort to find the best results. So I guess you could make the argument that I upgraded. I do feel like this is the best so far, and I have a LOT more freedom in regards to server settings and configuration. So I'm truly hoping that we hear more good feedback about load times.
That said, anyone experiencing a slowdown should also report to me so I can try to make it better.
Thank you! All good news so far. 😎
Speed here in Alaska is GREATLY IMPROVED. At least 2x faster for me, maybe more. Odd coincidence if it is geographic location distance from server to user, as the Pacific NW would be a lot closer geographically than Dallas obviously. Not complaining, it really is quite an improvement on speed.
Well, after watching the server stats since the move, I'm thinking that my concerns about distance may be unfounded. I think the new server is so fast and efficient that it overcomes anything in regards to geographic location.
Thank you for the feedback! 🤩
Am in the opposite side of the world on a little red dot. Cant really feel any difference but thumbs up on continuously improving the forum!
So maybe that truly is the geographic distance playing a factor in this case. 🙂 I certainly don't want to discount our valued users from outside North America, so thank you very much for your feedback!
alls i know is i like the new font better. and yeah, now that you mention it things seem a tad quicker.
well, ok, am i the only one this morning who can only get cached versions of the site?
like, about 12 hours or so old?
MUCH quicker down under too
it's weird- i have to log in to get a sort of current version. but that's still not right, as it will show, say 8 posts in a thread but when i hit "last post" it doesn't take me to the latest one, but to the one from the cached version.
i don't know anything about this stuff, just enough to barely be able to describe it (i hope).