New Server

New Server

We’ve recently moved to a snappy new server and so far we’re pleased with the results!

A server is a computer which is on all the time and our website sits on that computer for everyone to access. Everytime someone accesses our site, that server needs to give them the pages that they want as quickly  as possible. This becomes more difficult when you get more people on the site at the same time, more content on the site to display etc.

Previously we were on a grid-service, which means that the hosting company (the people that own the server) have lots of little computers attached together to act like one big computer. They then split that big computer up into lots of little bits, and each website gets a little bit. The advantage of this type of server is that when you need more oomph, you can get it, because you’re part of this big computer.

However, we were noticing that our site was getting a bit slower than we’d like, and occasionally we were being affected by other people on the grid-service.

So, to combat these issues, we moved to a virtual dedicated server. We’re still effectively on a big computer made up of lots of little computers, but now we have a little space on that system set aside for us at all times. It’s quite a lot more powerful than what we had before, as we don’t share it with anybody else. This also means that we’re not affected by what other people are doing, and hence, our site is more secure (less risk from viruses on the server etc).

So far, we’ve seen our average page load time (the time it takes to display a page on our site) drop from 3-4 seconds, to about 1.5-2 seconds. This is a great improvement and we hope you’ll be pleased with the difference.

Don’t worry…we’ve not stopped there…we also have a few other ideas up our sleeve and will be activating some other tools in the very near future which will speed up our site even further.

Graph showing average response time for approx 2 weeks – can you tell when we moved?
Response time for 20/02/2010 - 04/03/2010

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