Site Updates: Load Time

I just wanted to post an update about the load time to the site recently.  I’ve received a few comments that the site has been slow over the last week or two.  We have experienced this as well, especially when trying to create posts.  There are two things that have led to this:

First of all, our hosting company has had some issues lately with their servers.  That has led to a few instances of downtime in the last few weeks.  I’ve looked in to this, and discusses it with the hosting company, and it seems to be an isolated incident to last week (so perhaps they were making some upgrades/changes at the time).

The bigger issue has been the increased traffic to the site.  The month of March saw the second biggest monthly traffic total to the site in the site’s history.  As of right now, the month of April projects to be the biggest month in site history as far as traffic.  Also, we’ve been adding more photos to the site, which demand more bandwidth.

The month of March saw a bandwidth total that was double what the site used in January and February, and almost double the usage from December, which saw a similar traffic total.  The month of April is expected to be much higher, and already after 11 days has matched the totals of January and February.

Put it another way: in the month of January, the servers had 31 days to handle what we’ve seen in 11 days in April.  The demand on the servers has almost tripled, which is why the site has been running slow.

Obviously this is a good thing, as it means the site is continuing to grow.  However, the site running slow is extremely annoying, not just to you, but to us.  I’ve been busy the last few weeks with all of the traveling, but this week I finally have some time to look in to the issue.  There are two things I’m looking at:

1. The obvious solution will be to upgrade to a better server.  I’m looking in to my options, and should have a solution in a day or two, after discussing the process with my hosting company.

2. The current theme was last updated in December 2009.  A new edition hasn’t been released since then, which means this theme is pretty outdated. It was last updated under WordPress version 2.9.  Since then, WordPress has been upgraded ten times, and is currently on version 3.1.1.  I might consider switching to a newer theme that has been optimized for the most recent release of WordPress.

I will definitely be upgrading to a better server, as I not only expect the site’s traffic to maintain the current levels, but to continue to rise, which means that option #1 is inevitable.  As for upgrading the theme, I’ll keep that on the back burner for now, but it’s something I’ll consider.

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