Honestly, I think the software is a bit part of it. Josh, you know my opinion, and I'm biased towards Zeroforum since it's streamlined, written in easy Perl, and is VERY reliable. Since this site has been receiving more traffic, it too has been slowing down (but not as slow as my350, the slowest msg board ever).
You know, I tried about 5 times to write a coherent technical response to this post, but I just can't do it. There are so many things to consider in your quest for 100% uptime that I just couldn't fit them into one post. To keep it very basic, think of the site in layers and think about how you can make each layer tolerant to failure, and in the event of complete failure, make it as easily recoverable as possible.
One thing I would do is to put some monitoring in place. I'll bet the "other site" admins don't know there site is down for hours, probably until one of them log into it and notices. I have some suggestions for open-source monitoring tools that I have used extensively in large enterprise environments, but that can scale down to monitoring processes/content on a single box, and in the event of any type of abnormality, can provide email/text message notification to the admins/mods. We can talk about those offline if you're interested.
I work with IT Disaster Recovery and high-availability planning for some very reputable and well known organizations, and there are just soooo many things you can do (many of which cost nothing) to a) make the site stable b) KEEP the site stable, c) notify you of a problem within the various layers if there is a problem, and d) recover the site quickly when there is a problem.
One thing you should seriously do, religiously, is find a way to notify the user base when the site is having problems...Of course, they'll know it, but letting them know that YOU know and are working on the problem will go miles towards keeping you in good stead with them. Maybe put together a frame with a "site-news" or "site-status" marquee or something. You could even have it be dynamically updated by the monitoring tools so that if there is a problem, the site notifies the users at the same time it's notifying the admins.
Anyway, I could go on for hours. If you're interested in chatting more about it, let me know....This stuff is my job! I'm not a webmaster, I'm really a network engineer, but I was kind of a "jack of all trades" for my last company, and got to do some pretty cool stuff that is right in line with your post.
one suggestion is to make it so that you dont have to register to view threads. You might think huh? how does that make it more stable...well for people who dont intend to post but maybe just want to read a thread and maybe never come back, that means less user profiles and all that goes with that, that might slow down and take up room on the server. And also that would keep the memeber count more accurate.
Hi, I have a 2007 Nissan 350Z which I dearly love ! (250, 0000 miles ) , but the engine light has turned on, I took it to the dealer, and they told me my timing chain is off by a small fraction. I have the codes with me. they are charging me $5,000 :( I can't afford this. My cars runs great...
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