It hasn’t been long since the revamp, and in these few short months ZU has come out of its rebirth as two entities – the highest quality Zelda fan site out there, and, unfortunately, the slowest. The result? A lot of you guys would rather load some other page on the internet much faster than slow ol’ ZU.
ZU, for the last few years, has sat nicely on a rickety little server that did “good enough” for the size of the site, but never really catered to the demands of high traffic. Well, now we’ve got that kind of traffic, coupled with a layout MUCH more server intensive than the last one we had, coupled further with all of our new, hi-res image and video content!
The result? Our poor old loyal server is panting and wheezing; it just can’t keep up.
Luckily, servers work well in pairs – even if the second one is much less powerful than the first. So, I’m trying to hook ZU’s server up with a date, so to speak. ZU’s server is getting pretty lonely – he’d like to share his SQL database information with another server. Unfortunately, that costs money (but in a good way). Actually, it costs quite a bit of money. I called up ZU’s hosting company the other day to get a price, and it comes out to about $240/mo for an extra server.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Gee, Jason, you’re so smart and nerdy, I didn’t understand a word you said! Could Your Glory describe to me exactly what this big computer in the sky is supposed to do?”
Of course I could! You underestimate my power, lowly ones.
Imagine letting five hundred people access your computer at once. Well, first imagine that they could. So, if five hundred people could all use your little computer at once, it’d run pretty slow, right? That’s why servers are built to handle a lot of people – currently several hundred thousand for ZU – but even for servers it gets to be a bit much. When you’re overworked, you ask a friend for help and split the work. ZU’s server is currently running BOTH parts of the work that happen on the server: The file sending part, and the database information storing part.
The second server would split up this work. ZU’s original server would handle all the files, and the new server would handle all the databases and information storing. Databases are where information like your forum posts, login accounts, and even all of ZU’s newsposts and content are stored. Everything that’s in text on ZU is stored in a database, not in a file.
So when you split up the work, ZU suddenly runs incredibly fast. This is not a marginal speed gain – these are speeds ZU hasn’t seen in years I’m talking about.
Multiply $240 by twelve, and you come out to $2880 as a yearly server bill. I don’t make that kind of surplus money; the ads pay per page load, and since ZU is so slow people aren’t loading the page. So I’m not making enough money to get this server.
This is a giant call for donations – again! – but for a totally different cause that will support ZU as it grows bigger and bigger. The goal is higher than the $2000 revamp because I’d love to see the community chip in and support ZU’s server bill for a year, giving me plenty of time to work out a plan to make more money with either ads, t-shirts, any way possible.
There’s an image at the top of every page. I highly suggest clicking it and donating a dollar or two! Remember that everybody who donates to ZU is eligible for a patron banner on the forums. Patrons now have double-size PM boxes as well!
If every active visitor of ZU donated five bucks, we’d be set for over six years. That’s a nice thought, ain’t it?