Official RPG Codex Discord Server

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Statement as to recent site slowdowns and related issues

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by DarkUnderlord, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. DarkUnderlord Professional Throne Sitter

    DarkUnderlord
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    26,045
    <p>As a lot of people are noticing, the Codex is going slower than it used to, crashing, white-screening, internal server erroring and all sorts. People are also getting logged out and have to log back in two or three times a day. You may be wondering why this is happening...</p>
    <p> </p>
    <p>The short answer is that the Codex is getting busier. A lot busier. And pretty fast too. We're rapidly approaching 2 Million hits per day after passing the 1 Million hit mark about this time last year. Visits (depending on which logging software you prefer) have either jumped to 26,000 unique visits per day, up from 15,000 back in April 2010 [Webalizer] or is passing 15,000 up from 12,000 just a month ago [Google Analytics].</p>
    <p> </p>
    <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="postbody"><a class="postlink" href="../../gallery.php?image=3970" target="_blank"><img style="border: 0pt none;" src="../../gallery/3970.png" alt="" width="765" height="441" /></a></span></p>
    <p> </p>
    <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="postbody"><a class="postlink" href="../../gallery.php?image=3971" target="_blank"><img style="border: 0pt none;" src="../../gallery/3971.png" alt="" width="621" height="383" /></a></span></p>
    <p style="text-align: center;"> </p>
    <p style="text-align: left;"><span class="postbody">As we rely solely on <a href="../../main.php?id=donations">donations</a> and advertising </span><span class="postbody">(Do you play RPGs? <a href="http://www.pokerjunkie.com/">Perhaps you'd like to consider Poker</a>)</span><span class="postbody">, this is obviously putting a fair bit of pressure on our server resources. It currently costs around $400 USD per month to keep the place going¹.</span></p>
    <p style="text-align: left;"> </p>
    <p style="text-align: left;"><span class="postbody">We are currently looking into a number of options as to how exactly we're going to address this. That covers the whole gamut of options from server-side things such as <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HipHop_for_PHP">HipHop</a>, to going the <a href="https://secure.somethingawful.com/products/register.php">Something Awful way</a> and making people pay money in order to cover running costs. Our preference is to keep the Codex free and open as much as possible - however there is a reality that it costs money to keep the place running... but I also don't want to be doing a Wikipedia-esque "message from Jimbo" annual fundraiser every year.</span></p>
    <p style="text-align: left;"> </p>
    <p style="text-align: left;"><span class="postbody">We are currently making some decisions and trying some things out to pinpoint what precisely is causing the load problem and how we can address that. One of the major issues identified is the <a href="../../phpBB/search.php">forum search function</a>, which according to some of the stats we've looked at could more appropriately be named the RAPE function. As a result, it no longer exists and has been replaced with a google search. We know this sucks.</span></p>
    <p style="text-align: left;"> </p>
    <p style="text-align: left;"><span class="postbody">The other query that's slowing the place down is the one that views a thread. Long threads (>1,000 posts) can cause performance issues. I personally don't like locking threads and starting new ones just because they get long but it is something we may have to try. (</span><span class="postbody">Threads in the Playground will always be exempt from this). We may even have to disable public viewing of threads and thus force people to register if they want to read the forums (Again, not a fan so it depends on what other options we can successfully implement).
    </span></p>
    <p style="text-align: left;"> </p>
    <p style="text-align: left;"><span class="postbody">Anyway, the point is we are aware of the problem and we are looking at multiple solutions, including a litany I haven't mentioned. This is personally, my highest priority issue - all other things are off the table until this is resolved. So if you find things don't work occassionally or search suddenly disappears or re-appears or you're suddenly being asked to login to read something, this is why.
    </span></p>
    <p style="text-align: left;"> </p>
    <p style="text-align: left;"><span class="postbody"><span style="font-size: x-small;">¹Yeah, yeah, I'm sure you can google and find a dedicated server out there that promises UNLIMITED bandwidth and SUPER-DUPER resources for as little as $9.99 a month. Unfortunately, we live in the real world and those offers are most certainly not real.</span>
    </span></p>
     
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  2. xemous Arcane

    xemous
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2004
    Messages:
    1,107
    Location:
    AU
    i should donate some money one day
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
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  3. circ Arcane

    circ
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
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    11,469
    Location:
    Great Pacific Garbage Patch
    With that many hits I would imagine a shitload. Which makes me wonder why that revenue is not turned into more memory and another processor or two.
     
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  4. HardCode Erudite

    HardCode
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,138
    Something has to be awfully wrong with either the database layout, database column indexes, or the query that retrieves the thread content. Since only so many posts are loaded at one time (i.e. posts per page), the total number of posts related to a thread should not matter. Feel free to PM me if you want me to take a look at anything.
     
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  5. DarkUnderlord Professional Throne Sitter

    DarkUnderlord
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Messages:
    26,045
    Taluntain can answer better but not a lot. If you noticed, the ads we get are rather generic. Generic ads that nobody clicks on don't pay. If this was a travel site and we had people wanting to book trips and clicking on related travel ads, we'd get better revenue. We also do have an issue that ad companies want good wholesome websites that aren't filled with rude words and "niggers lol" (we've had ad companies express interest and the minute they've looked deeper, they've run away screaming). We also deny ads that make noise or are annoying (pop-ups), which also removes a whole bunch of higher paying options.

    Optimised queries are coming shortly. Just as soon as Taluntain finishes the server upgrade. At this stage, we're hoping that will resolve 90% of our issues. There is a simple reality though that more data in a database = slower query no matter how optimised things are. So we'll have to wait and see how well it works.
     
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  6. someone else Arcane Patron

    someone else
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    6,560
    Location:
    In the window
    Limit GD browsing.
     
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  7. HardCode Erudite

    HardCode
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,138
    Granted, but if the problem was simply too many rows in the table, the slowdown would be evident for threads with 1 post as much as threads with more than 1000 posts. Just keep that in mind.
     
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  8. CrimsonAngel Prophet

    CrimsonAngel
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    2,258
    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Donations are okay with me.

    I would rather see this place be free and open and donations trying to cover the cost.
     
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  9. Major_Blackhart Codexia Lord Sodom Patron

    Major_Blackhart
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2002
    Messages:
    16,904
    Location:
    Jersey for now
    The codex is my second home, the one where nobody judges me for being a sexual malcontent. I'll do what I can!
     
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  10. Taluntain Most Frabjous

    Taluntain
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    Messages:
    4,225
    Location:
    Your Mind
    1) There are precious few advertisers who are willing to allow Codex to show their ads. Those that do, pay bottom rates, which is the norm for independent gaming websites anyway.
    2) Probably the majority of the Codex user base is blocking all ads.
    3) Those that aren't blocking ads, aren't clicking on them.

    That does result in a shitload. Or rather, loads of shit. Not green.
     
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  11. Mangoose Arcane Patron

    Mangoose
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    19,101
    Location:
    I'm a Banana
    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity
    Suck my d, I've been logged in and out for maybe 1-2 years.

    And I've already donated :smug:
     
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  12. Krraloth Prophet Patron

    Krraloth
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,196
    Location:
    Boringland
    Wasteland 2
    Now explain something to me, which in fact may be basic but I never understood. You get revenue by having people clicking on the ads banner even if in the end nobody buys said product or follow through with payments on said ads?

    So to speak, if any lurker (not logged) would click on the banner, will it generate enough revenue to make the server pay by itself?

    Honestly I thought that only by paying or donating one would be able to help fund the website, and I'm not sure how many people know this.

    I've been lurking on the codex for at least a couple of years and i never seen mentioned supporting by means of clicking on the ads banners. Now i might not be so knowledgeable but I assume some other people don't know this?
     
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  13. flushfire Augur

    flushfire
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Messages:
    673
    Using google to search the forums ain't so bad. Never used codex own search now that I think about it.
     
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  14. Carlos' Bitch1 Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Carlos' Bitch1
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    7,953
    Location:
    Cuntington Manor
    Yes, explain exactly how the ad system works, and how revenue is made from it. Is it each click? Does the website have to fully load? etc and so on.
     
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  15. FaChoi Educated

    FaChoi
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    533
    Location:
    ciudad subterranean los andes
    Do the amazon links at the top bring in much?

    It seems a lot of people don't notice them, though I have clicked through them before when I wanted to buy something.
     
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  16. Taluntain Most Frabjous

    Taluntain
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Your Mind
    There are various types of ads in rotation. Some pay only for showing (small minority). Some pay per click. Some pay per action (when you click and actually buy something).

    And no, clicking like stupid would just get you blacklisted by the advertising provider and none of your clicks would count. In fact, some advertising providers tend to discard more than 1 click on the same (type of) ad from the same user in 24 hours. So anything beyond what'd be considered "normal" clicking on ads would be pointless.

    If everybody was clicking on ads at least a few times a day, sure, even with the bottom rates that Codex is getting it'd probably amount to something. But as there's no magic wand out there that would make most of the Codex users not block all ads, let alone click on them, there's really not much point in discussing this fairy tale scenario as it'll never happen anyway.

    By the way, the sticky about ads in the Site Feedback forum that explains most of this has been there for several years now...
     
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  17. Taluntain Most Frabjous

    Taluntain
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
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    4,225
    Location:
    Your Mind
    Amazon referrals across all the sites on our little network (not just Codex) have brought in less than $50 to date this year. So it's safe to say that people aren't using them much.
     
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  18. Krraloth Prophet Patron

    Krraloth
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,196
    Location:
    Boringland
    Wasteland 2
    Mh, makes sense for them to prevent abusing of the clicking, still, clicking once in 24 hours is not really that painful I think.
    My bad about the ads topic, I didn't check it before, that explains everything i need to know.

    Thankee.
     
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  19. FaChoi Educated

    FaChoi
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    533
    Location:
    ciudad subterranean los andes
    I'd reckon people would use the referral links more if they noticed them better, especially in the Library.
     
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  20. attackfighter Magister

    attackfighter
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Messages:
    2,255
    Wait, you mean people aren't clicking on the Moe Mecha ads? :retarded:
     
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  21. Raapys Arcane

    Raapys
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,887
    I blame the Bioware fans.
     
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  22. Brotherman Bill Arcane Sad Loser

    Brotherman Bill
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Messages:
    6,833
    400 000 visits? Who ARE all these people? There's a couple hundred active forumers at max.
     
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  23. Zeus Cipher

    Zeus
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,523
    Not only will a Google search save you money, it's probably more accurate. I can't count the number of times I tried to find something on the Codex, only to resort to a quick "site:rpgcodex.net blah blah" and get what I need in two seconds.

    Is it too late to impose a, "First rule of RPGcodex is you do not talk about RPGCodex" rule?


    Maybe you guys should run news stories on Amazon deals. I'm serious. Based on a RPG Watch forum post, I once bought Drakensang, King's Bounty and Mount & Blade (my third copy, first retail) for less than $30 new. I didn't use the Codex links because, well, it was mentioned in an RPG Watch post and I forgot.

    But the point is, CheapAssGamer-style, "Hey, Gothic II Gold is going for $10 right now on Amazon" posts would not only introduce 2011 newbies to CRPG classics, it'd probably bring in some cash, as people would follow the link on the main page to said deal and impulse buy you guys a cut of the profits.
     
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  24. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    20,233
    Location:
    DiNMRK
    Butthurt lurkers from the Bioware boards.
     
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  25. Serious_Business Best Poster on the Codex

    Serious_Business
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    3,785
    Location:
    Frown Town
    Good things come to an end, huh? Cute, but I wouldn't pay for an internet forum, even if I spend a lot of time on this place. Your own your own gents, jackals don't help each other

    I say burn down GD. There's a lot of suckers who aren't here for the rpgs, don't give them a reason to post. I don't mean that there should be more heavy moderation, I just mean forget the bullshit threads about politics and talking about your feelings and such. No loss for anyone
     
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