Field of Science

Handling viral traffic

Around 4am EST on May 28, we started getting *a lot* of traffic to the website. This very quickly overloaded the server, resulting in the website running very slowly. We did some optimization. Things sped up, and our reward was more traffic. So we switched to a more powerful server. And so on.

Things are finally under control. At least for the moment, anyway. You can see that we've managed to get the average page load time down to a reasonable length of time for the last day or so, without any large spikes:

Of course, overwhelming amounts of traffic is a good problem to have, and I won't complain if things overheat again.


Anonymous said...

Probably migrating the site away from Spry would be a good step in the right direction.

It's unmaintained and the last stable release was 6 years ago!

GamesWithWords said...

Bit by bit! Spry is mostly gone; there are just a handful of things I still have to replace.

The big thrust right now is to try to get rid of Flash. A year ago, everything on the site was Flash. Now, only 2 of the 5 ongoing projects use Flash. I expect it to be gone entirely by the end of the year, other than the archived projects.

GamesWithWords said...

PS The biggest limitation is that we don't have funding for a developer. (Folks reading at home: Please vote for candidates that support science.) But I have a summer student who will be working primarily on web development, so I'm hoping we'll get through some of the To Do list.

Unknown said...

I did the test - the page loads were quick - no problem, but the calculation of the score has been going on without a result for over an hour.

GamesWithWords said...

You have to click "next" to get to the screen with the score. Sorry about that.