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The Ups and Downs of Success

To our readers: Over the past week, our website has experienced increasingly heavy traffic that has presented challenges for our server and, at times, blocked access to the site.

To give you an impression of our traffic, we our now consistently getting 250,000 pageviews a month. That means that our servers sent 250,000 individual pages to people’s browsers. That means we are sending a new page to a computer every 10 seconds.

Now, sending pages is the least resource intense part of our site. What puts even more load on our server are comments and votes. All the data from articles, comments, and votes are stored in a database. Every time you comment or vote on an article, our database has to create a new record and store that action. Another part of running a server is making sure to backup your data. We’ve only had to use our backups once, but without them, if ever our site were to have a catastrophic failure, we would be able to bring it back.

Our problems this week were the result of increased traffic, which put a load on our database, and a bug in our backup process, which runs every night. The two combined put our server over the edge. It took us a few days to track down the bug, but we think we’ve found it.

We apologize to those who have been frustrated with our recent instability. We’ll be monitoring the site closely in the coming days to make sure that we’ve properly addressed the current troubles. But our solution is only short-term.

As our site continues to grow, and as we add significantly to our archive—San Diego Adventist Forum is in the process of adding hundreds of hours of archival MP3s to our site—our server demands will only increase. We are in the process of weighing our future hosting options.

For this, we’d like to ask for your support. Your comments and dedicated readership make Spectrum what it is. Please consider helping us financially.

We’re a small team of volunteers and very-modestly paid staff. Your contribution will help us continue to improve and develop this website.

Thank you so much for your support!

—Spectrum Web Team

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