The wind of change

Hey Everyone! Nice to meet you guys and gals of DesignFloat community:)

Just a short introduction of myself, I’m Anastasia and I’ll be..hmm…well let’s call it the editor of this blog. I wonder what I have to do to keep you healthy, wealthy and happy? Any ideas might be of a great help so if anyone would like to give me some guidance, you are more than welcome!

I’ve been involved in website development business for about 7 years now and yet I have to tell that I don’t know even 30% of what’s going on in this mad world of design. New talents and companies come on arena every other day with fresh ideas, new achievements, unique approach and their own special feeling of what’s called design. Apart from personal perception of designer and uniqueness of his work, we need to make people love our little online design creatures and thus we need to take into account what majority thinks, feels, finds interesting, funny and takes for unique. In this blog we’ll try to keep track of newly coming design events, review and discuss works of art, speak about different design styles and invent new ones. We’ll be posting interviews with some well known personalities of this design world as well as simply have fun. Cheers and see you soon!

Ooops …I’m almost forgot, I’m gonna be the God at DesignFloat. No sacrifice needed, just NO SPAM please.

Sincerely Yours,

Anastasia

Whoops, we ran out of disk space!

Well, sorry for the nearly 8 hours of downtime yesterday evening. Turns out we ran out of disk space which caused MySQL to shut down. We’re going to begin the process of giving the database it’s own server which should not only speed up the site a little, but keep this from happening again. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Update: After we got the server up yesterday evening, it appears a huge influx of traffic around 4:30am caused our cache to exceed the applications memory limit. I’ve just added a fix that will prevent the cached files from getting as large as they had so we should be able to better handle influxes of traffic in the future.

I guess this is all part of the growing pains. Traffic has been at record highs the past 2 weeks and apparently the server configuration we were running couldn’t keep up. Sorry guys!

Sorry for the SPAM email!

Hey Everyone,

I would like to express a huge apologie for the SPAM email that was sent out. An admin module that sends announcements to all the members was hacked and used to solicit the email. I have since disabled and removed the module and will be working to resolve the hole that allowed someone to exploit the module.

Again, I’m really sorry for the email that you all received.

Kind Regards,
Andrew

Third Server Move is Complete

Well guys, our third server move has been completed and with it, hopefully you’re noticing faster load times. There were a few hiccups, but overall it went really well. Here’s a summary of some things that we encountered and what the status is for them:

  • Private Messages: Because the new server is running PHP5, we discovered that the private messaging feature was adding 30+ seconds to the load times of the home and upcoming pages. As a result, we have disabled private messaging until we can rework it for PHP5.
  • Blank Pages: This one was the most frustrating for me. Various pages throughout the site were blanking for no apparent reason. We traced down to an Apache configuration setting and after a simple single-line .htaccess change, the blanking pages were all working again.
  • Search Pagination: We made some progress on an outstanding bug dealing with the pagination of search results. While the bug isn’t completely fixed, you can now view all the pages of results.

So what’s next for Design Float? Over a month ago you may remember that I promised some new features were on there way including the ability to submit videos and podcasts. These features are still finished, I just hadn’t had the time to implement them because I was head deep in finding a scalable server solution. My fantastic sys admin configured the new server for collaborative development so myself and a few of the contract developers now have a dedicated development site to work off of. This will help us deploy the features we already have built as well as make the development of future additions much quicker and easier.

This is truly a learning experience for me and continues to remain a side project to my main gig, so I’m doing the best that I can given the time and resources available. Thank you all for your continued support and patience.

U-Printing International Poster Design Contest

You The Designer and U-Printing are sponsoring a great poster design contest of which I’m fortunate to be on the panel of judges for. You have until March 21st to get your submissions in and you’ll want to because the prize lineup is fantastic!

1st Place
16 GB Apple iPhone
$250 Printing Credit for UPriting.com
300 Credits for iStockPhoto.com

2nd Place
$150 Printing Credit for UPrinting.com
200 Credits for iStockPhoto.com

3rd Place
$100 Printing Credit for UPrinting.com
100 Credits for iStockPhoto.com

Top 10
18?x 24? Poster Print from UP

View the full details here!

On the Way: Groups, Videos, Podcasts, oh My!

I know it’s been a while since any major updates around Design Float, but I’ve been working hard on getting some awesome new features developed to ensure that Design Float continues to be the best social media site for designers. I have big things planned for the future of Design Float and the first phase of several large feature additions is right around the corner. This first phase is going to include a groups feature and support for video and podcast submissions in addition to some other nice surprises. The features have already been developed so now it’s just a matter of integrating them seamlessly, tying up all the lose design ends, and completing tests. Stay tuned…

Design Float on Squidoo

Well I might be a bit behind, but I’ve decided to see what all the hype behind Squidoo is about, so I went ahead and created a Design Float Lense. Setting up the lense was fast and easy. I was able to have it pull in the latest category specific Design Float content via our RSS feeds.

In the end, I hope this helps spread the word about Design Float and maybe make an impact in the Squidoo design community. If you use Squidoo, be sure to check it out, favorite it, and share any ideas, comments or recommendations with me!

Source: www.squidoo.com/designfloat

Design Float Server Migration

I wanted to give everyone a head’s up that I will be migrating Design Float to a more powerful server that will allow us to scale easier moving forward. The past couple of months, traffic and demand on the databases has continued to increase and we have outgrown the specs of the current solution. Despite all the updates from the recent redesign, things still aren’t fast enough, so this upgrade should also speed things up even more. My apologies for any downtime over the next couple of days.

Design Float "Refreshes"

It’s been about a month since my last update, and as you can see I’ve been hard at work. I launched a completely refreshed layout last night in an attempt to make Design Float a cleaner and more usable website. The new two column layout makes more room for content and eases the cluttered feeling that the previous three column design created. I’ve removed almost all of the Adsense and we’re on our way to taking all advertising in house. You’ll also notice that entry summaries now default to hidden allowing me to fit more entries per page and putting more weight on quality written headlines.

Finally, many of you may have experienced horribly slow load times at certain times during the last month or two. Our traffic continues to grow steadily and the site has been receiving huge bombardments of Stumbleupon visitors recently. I’ve made some small database tweaks that should help ease the loads on the server, so hopefully you’ll find this version a little quicker as well.

Please feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, love and hate for the refreshed layout and the various new features in place and, as always, don’t hesitate to make suggestions!

Updates Around Design Float

Well it’s been a while since my last blog posting. I have since gotten married, visited beautiful Spain on my honeymoon, and settled into a nice little domesticated lifestyle. In addition, I’ve also made a lot of improvements around Design Float. Some you may have noticed, other’s not, but here’s a list of what has been going on around here lately:

  • Private Messages Work: I have finally resolved the long outstanding issue with private messages, so feel free to start adding friends and sending them messages.
  • Related Links: The related links tab located on every entry page now functions and actually pulls related links. Imagine that!
  • Cleaned Up Profile Page: I spent some time reorganizing and cleaning up the profile page. Also coming soon will be the ability to add your usernames to other popular social networking and bookmarking sites right to your profile.

I’ll continue to try and make improvements around the site wherever I can so feel free to keep the feedback and suggestions coming. Until next time.