The Potentially Short-Lived Status of the New Site

Submitted by C B Wright on

So far the rollout of the new website has been a bittersweet experience.

On the one hand, the feedback I've received regarding the new design has been absolutely enthusiastic. You all like the new features, the archive system, and seem to think the tagging system is a step in the right direction.

On the other hand, the new rollout caused a surge of new visitors on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday -- and I quickly learned that the site was choking on the extra traffic. Database-driven sites consume more resources than static html pages, and while my static site would have weathered the storm fairly well, the new site really needs to be on its own dedicated server to handle everything.

This is a problem. If I were going to move Help Desk over to a dedicated site I'd have to pay for it myself, and I just don't have that kind of money. The server Ubersoft.net is sitting on now is just at temporary setup to try to figure out if I can bring my overhead down -- if I can't, I'll be moving back to static pages for the forseeable future.

So enjoy the new site while you can -- a couple of days at the most, I think -- because unless I figure out a way to deal with the traffic load, the new site will be shelved until circumstances allow for a better solution.

Comments

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I don't suppose you've set

I don't suppose you've set up Drupal's throttle module?

I have...

... though I may have set the threshold too high. Still playing with it.

--
Writer, former musician, occasional cartoonist, and noted authority on his own opinions.

I've been looking...

... but I hadn't come across that thread! Thanks for that!

--
Writer, former musician, occasional cartoonist, and noted authority on his own opinions.

Something like Slicehost

Something like Slicehost might work for you at a reasonable price. Should smoke shared hosting for a site like this.

Something like Slicehost

Something like Slicehost might work for you at a reasonable price. Should smoke shared hosting for a site like this.

(Ack. Sorry for the

(Ack. Sorry for the double-post.)

Theoretically

Theoretically enabling the aggressive page caching mode should make your site rock solid under traffic; you have a nice model where most of your page views won't be from logged in users. It will make Drupal unable to track statistics (but that's true of a static HTML site as well) and there's always weblog parsing which is more accurate anyhow.

Feel free to contact me about performance. This kind of site should be able to be hosted almost anywhere. Unless you did all this in Drupal 4.7. That'd suck but there's a fastcache patch around that is what the aggressive page caching started with.

I'm using Drupal 5.1...

... unfortunately Aggressive Page Caching is incompatible with site Throttling, which people are *also* telling me to use, as well as a few modules (Content, Poormanscron, Token) that I rely on.

There are a number of things that I can do to reduce server load (and I would love to pick your brain about performance issues), but some of the significant ones (like enabling php caching) require having access to a dedicated server or a vhp setup, and at the moment that's not an option. I'll be reverting back to the static site in a few days (sigh) and returning Ubersoft-Drupal back to the test bed until a move to a more exclusive hosting arrangement is viable.

--
Writer, former musician, occasional cartoonist, and noted authority on his own opinions.

Enh

Throttling is mostly useless. Poormanscron is a major resource hit -- I think there are services you can use to hit your cron.php remotely. Not sure about content and token modules, I haven't messed with them too much. Their incompatibility might be overstated. By 'incompatible' it means that the _init and _exit hooks won't be run; so with a little bit of knowledge, one can check and see if these _init or _exit hooks are actually required. They may well not be if it's just serving up a cached page.

Since you're going to revert to static pages anyway, can I suggest just turning on the aggressive page caching for about a day and see what it does to your usage?

I still have a few things to

I still have a few things to do before the switch, so I turned it on today to see how it all shakes out.

I know Token is used by Custom Pagers (at least, when you have it paired up with a view, which I do) so I'm a little concerned about my comic navigation links not working correctly while it's turned on... but we'll see.

--
Writer, former musician, occasional cartoonist, and noted authority on his own opinions.