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.
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!
16 GB Apple iPhone
$250 Printing Credit for UPriting.com
300 Credits for iStockPhoto.com
$150 Printing Credit for UPrinting.com
200 Credits for iStockPhoto.com
$100 Printing Credit for UPrinting.com
100 Credits for iStockPhoto.com
18?x 24? Poster Print from UP
View the full details here!
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…
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!
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.
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!
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.
As many of you have probably seen, the much (or so I hear) anticipated Blog Rush has finally launched.
In their words:
“BlogRush is a free service that was created to help bloggers solve their #1 need:
More Readers For Their Blog.
By adding the BlogRush Widget to a blog, a blogger can get instant distribution for their latest blog post titles across a network of related blogs.
BlogRush users earn “syndication credits” (the right to have their blog post titles shown inside a widget on another related blog) based on their own traffic (loads of the widget) as well as the traffic of other users they refer to BlogRush. Users can automatically refer others to BlogRush via special links on the widget, as well as through the promotion of a special referral URL they are given.”
I figured it was worth a shot. I’ll do an update in a few weeks to let everyone know how it does. In the meantime:
It’s been a while since my last post so I figured it was time for a general update. A few big things have happened over the past couple of weeks. I accepted a new day job working on an exciting new web startup, so I’ve been trying to prepare for a departure from my current day job. The end of my two weeks notice is this Friday, so once the transition goes though, things will run a little more smoothly for me.
In addition to accepting a new day job, I decided to move Design Float over to a new host that I feel can better handle current and projected bandwidth demands. I decided on Media Temple’s Grid Server and couldn’t be happier. The transfer went much smoother than I expected and took only a few hours with no downtown and no data loss. I feel good about our new home and look forward to settling in with Media Temple as Design Floats permanent home.
The site is still steadily growing, we are approaching 500 members and should hit 600 by the end of the month. Feed subscriptions have surpassed the 1,000 mark and continues to increase (1,389 at last glance). I expect over 40,000 unique visitors this month and am hoping to break the 100,000 page views a month mark.
In an attempt to lighten the burden of my student loan debt, I have opened up some sponsorship sections throughout the site. My intent is not to cover the site in ads and the majority of the banners that display in the sidebar currently are banner exchanges with other respected and relevant projects and I will only accept sponsors that I feel our users will find useful and relevant.
Thank you to everyone who continues to visit and support Design Float and remember, your praise, complaints, suggestions, and ideas are always appreciated!
Design Float was featured on Killer Startups (a startup about startups, go figure) a few weeks ago. It’s actually a pretty neat Digg style website and they’re currently adding about 30 new startups a day. Anyway, if you have some free time, head over there and give Design Float a vote!