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Last edited by Lukas Esch; April 27th, 2013 at 08:55 PM.
Here's a few suggestions.
While browsing this thread I had a few nasty database errors as both an authenticated an an anonymous user. You need to get some of the load off of your database. Looking at the stats on the forum home page I see: "There are currently 1502 users online. 54 members and 1448 guests". You should set up a Varnish cache to deliver content to the unauthenticated users. What it does is after Apache processes and renders all of the PHP code and sends the response to an anonymous user, Varnish caches that response for however long it's set. When another anonymous user requests the same page, it'll serve up the cached html and not hit the DB at all. Since it looks like a very small percentage of users are logged in this should take quite a load off the DB.
Offload static assets onto a CDN. A huge portion of the load of this site is image files. Put those up on an Amazon server so that the server that is working to process the PHP isn't also working to deliver the images. This will also have the effect of the browser being able to make more concurrent http requests. Check out this table: http://www.browserscope.org/?category=network, latest version of Chrome connections per hostname= 6, max allowed connections= 12, so by offloading assets to a separate server, you're doubling the number of connections the browser is making at once.
Check out a performance test I ran for forums.conceptart.org: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/130430_4D_95/
When the site responds, it's pretty fast. 2.2 seconds to visually complete isn't bad. I think getting the anonymous user load off the DB via Varnish would be the greatest improvement you could make. It's much better than a couple of years ago or so when I remember the site being completely unusable.
This is a bit pie-in-the-sky, but why not lay it out. I'd drop vBulletin as the base for the site. It sounds like you're wanting to expand beyond the features of a forum and are held back by the software.
API-ify your content. Make it consumable to a number of devices rather than this single web front.
GET http://api.conceptart.org/sketchbooks/ = get list of sketchbooks
GET http://api.conceptart.org/sketchbooks/uid = get user's sketchbooks
GET http://api.conceptart.org/images/ = get images
GET http://api.conceptart.org/images/uid = get images by userid
And so forth...
Return JSON response, iterate over it in the template whether it be web front, native application, or whatever.
Some parts of the site make sense as a forum. General Discussion and whatnot. But I'd really customize the experience of areas like Sketchbooks and Community competitions. Create more post types than the single forum post type you have now. Sketchbooks seems like they should be more blogs than forum posts, they're personal to the person that created them. Other users posting in their thread are not of equal weight.
Images should be uploaded to the CA.org server and not be a pain in the ass to do so. I think this is the reason I stopped posting regularly here. It was taking 1/2 hour or so to upload 14 figure drawings. It's a shame that so many classic threads have faded into the ether with missing images.
Social integration. Hover over images to easily share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. Increase traffic to the site via social channels. You've got this going on with Addthis, but I'd customize it a bit so that Facebook is sharing the image and put Pinterest in the list.
Can't sleep so I'm working a bit more... =A=
- "... of the Week" badges should all be working again! I found all old icons and placed them in their correct folder so that every badge should show up again
Some of them still have transparency problems: IoW, ChoW and Teen. Unfortunately a few badges from these challanges are not placed on our server. Don't ask me why, but they're stored on image hosting sites, so I can't change them. So if you're having an badge that is not getting displayed properly (or isn't getting displayed AT ALL), then write me a PM and I'll fix it.
- The "Exclusive Sketchbook" section has been deleted. The threads aren't lost of course! They've been moved to the normal sketchbook section where the owners can continue posting!
Our reasons for this was that they didn't get much traffic and comments, even though awesome people are posting in there.
Last edited by Lukas Esch; May 23rd, 2013 at 10:55 AM.
many images are missing, is there a chance they will come back?
I don't know VK. Your SB was reported as having missing images and they couldn't be located. I'm very sorry. If they do turn up they will be uploaded.
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; June 11th, 2013 at 08:04 AM.
Velocity Kendall We already talked about it and there is nothing we can do about it right now. As BlackSpot stated, when they show up they will be uploaded instantly. We had several hardware failures by our server provider, so we can't do more than saying sorry.
Spellsword95 The issue is known. We're still tweaking the design a lot and some variables are harder to find than it looks like. Still thanks for reporting!
I am told that attachments are back now as well. I checked VK's thread and they are good. The new system admin is an ace (he used to run an entire data center) and he has had quite a lot to fix after we experienced EIGHT hardware failures with the datacenter which wiped out almost two months of my life. We are now on the very top of the line raid servers with three times as much RAM as we had a few months and the slave servers have to go in next. New operating system. New hardware. Things should go better now.
I've been away for a while; has the uploading problem been fixed yet? I tried uploading some sketches but it doesn't seem to be going through. I'm not sure if it's an issue with CA or my own connection, which has been pretty sketchy as of late.
Check out my sketchbook! Socially acceptable opportunity to yell at a teenage girl!
thanks for your help people