The Lodge is now Speedier
Some of you may have noticed an improvement in site performance, i.e., page and image load times – over the last month or so. I had two most fortunate things happen in the past two months.
First off, my VPS host upgraded all of their plans by lessening the amount of accounts per server, in turn increasing the amount of shared resources available. End result, I was given a little more memory and CPU juice — both of which this site needs in large supply in order to run like a champ. And by the way… I’ve dealt with a plethora of webhosts over the years, and these guys are tops. I highly recommend ServInt to any of you who may be looking for ‘managed’ VPS hosting. They f**king rock. The performance is stellar and the support even more so.
Next… early last month I had a gentleman contact me regarding sponsored CDN service. For those of you that don’t know what a CDN is, don’t feel bad… I wasn’t really all that familiar with the service myself.
He sent me an email that read something like this…
“We would like to be a part of the awesomeness that is Huntsman’s Lodge. Would you please consider letting us sponsor some of your content so that we may be associated with this spectacularly fantastical WoW fan site, and in addition, be able to provide your users with an even more incredibly amazing and satisfying experience — if that is even possible..?”
I don’t have the email in front of me right now, but that’s about how it read, as I recall.
So to explain things a bit… CDN stands for Content Delivery Network, which basically is a vast network of servers located across the globe, serving up a site’s static files from servers closest to the visitor’s geographical location.
For example… UK visitors comprise the second largest portion of visitors to this site when defined by region. Before, all my friends across the pond had to wait for the data to reach them from a server in Los Angeles. Now, my pages are served up to them from a CDN location in London, resulting in much better site performance for my brothers and sisters in jolly old England.
For those of you out on the west coast, you’ll have seen less of an improvement in page load speed, but you may have noticed a marked upgrade to the overall performance of the site. The CDN service lessens the load on the site’s primary server, which means things will always load fast no matter whether it’s peak traffic time or not. Pretty cool, huh. 😀
Oh, and by the way… the CDN service is provided to me by MaxCDN. I’ve been very satisfied with the service I’ve received from these guys and they made the whole setup process really easy. It’s not exactly a service that most site owners need, but if you get any sort of traffic and are looking to increase speed and reliability, I’d definitely hit these guys up.
At any rate… I’m pretty excited about all of that stuff. Those of you who’ve been around for a few years may recall that I’ve had my share of web hosting woes and occasional site downtime in the past, but not anymore. We’re fully stable, operational and ready for anything. Perhaps I’ll go fishing for another WoW.com nod so I can see what this new setup can handle. *waves at Frostheim*
As I mentioned in Wednesday’s update, I plan on making some improvements to the overall feel and usability of the site in the coming weeks. I’ve had to redirect some of my attention to other projects lately, but as soon as things start to mellow out a little… I plan on banging away in here.
Would you believe that this site’s nearly three years old..? It’s amazing to me when I think about how much it’s grown over the years, and even more amazing… that I’m still keeping up with it. Maintaining a blog that gets any sort of traffic is hard work, let me tell ya… Ask any of the popular WoW bloggers out there, and I’m sure they”ll say the same.
Anyway… I’ll delve into the whole three year anniversary sentiment next month, but I mention it now because it’s really gotten me motivated to ramp this place up. I may not be as ‘involved’ with WoW as I used to be, but I’m still as passionate about our beloved class, and most importantly… I’m really proud of this little site. 🙂
However… it wouldn’t be nearly as popular and successful without all of you – The Lodge faithful – so I want to start spending a little time polishing things up and enhancing the overall user-experience even more.
When I built this site I knew nothing about WordPress, so it was more or less an ongoing experiment in blogging, along with me ascending the learning curve of a new content management system. I think I’ve done a fair job, but were I to start over knowing what I know now, I would have done things a bit differently. However, that’s pretty much the case with just about any endeavor in life.
In the coming weeks and months, my intention is to update the staleness, fill in the gaps, and provide a more enriching user experience – from this hunter’s point of view. I also am looking forward to giving the site a visual makeover. I am a web developer by trade, so that’s the sort of stuff I really enjoy.
Alrighty… well that’s about it for now. I just wanted to keep you all apprised regarding present and future plans with the site. I may be amped over the release of Diablo, but I ain’t going anywhere. The WoW hunter in me is still very much alive. 🙂