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Poor Customer Service
02-25-2008, 10:48 AM
Post: #11
GREAT Customer Service - YMMV
DZOIC Handshakes demands quite a lot ... I'm surprised it runs acceptably well on any shared host. Wink

Some applications, especially if heavily visited, are just not particularly well suited for a uber-lowcost shared webhost. Do you have any idea what type of infrastructure "the big guys" social-networking sites employ?

That's not to say that it wouldn't run better on a less heavily loaded server; what kinds of loads are you routinely seeing on your server?

Have you considered whether or not something like DreamHost PS might better meet your needs (where you can guarantee exclusive use of particular levels of resources are reserved for your site)?

--rlparker
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02-25-2008, 06:54 PM
Post: #12
GREAT Customer Service - YMMV
I got pretty good results everywhere i went in your site. 3-6 seconds typically. There was one page that is really in need of reconsidering though. It violates some things and what not. I suspect you know what section that is, but I am not going to say it publicly because I don't want to cause undue trouble. There is an acronym for the org that looks into this stuff though. It's also the name of the actress who played the cranky bartender on Cheers.
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02-25-2008, 07:02 PM
Post: #13
GREAT Customer Service - YMMV
Quote:I got pretty good results everywhere i went in your site. 3-6 seconds typically.
My results were similar, though it was more like 5-9 seconds (which I didn't think was all that bad considering the software being run).
Quote:It violates some things and what not. I suspect you know what section that is, but I am not going to say it publicly ...
Yeah, I noticed that too (which I suspect is why the OP was reticent to post the url in the first place) Wink

--rlparker
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02-26-2008, 07:30 PM
Post: #14
GREAT Customer Service - YMMV
I was loading pages in about 2-3 seconds with the only noticeable pause being offsite calls. Myspace for furries huh? Definitely a marketable concept and one that will doubtlessly generate income. As mentioned already some of the content will get you in hot water. I doubt you really need that particular aspect to retain the project's viability.

Top stuff all 'round. Not my cup of tea personally but verrry nice indeed.

I'd vote for it in Site of the Month if ever submitted.
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02-29-2008, 01:51 PM
Post: #15
Poor Customer Service
The load time seems to be more about your code and content than anything else. Things are going wrong from the very first line of HTML being served (wrong DTD). The traffic you mentioned must be page views since you don't really have many active participants yet, most of those hits are probably from people in the game clicking links to your sites in other players' profiles.

You can blame it on the server all you want, and it is technically true that your site may load faster on another server, but with proper code you can have the exact same appearance and function and drastically reduce load times. I think the real problem is that you don't have certain key foundational knowledge and were never taught important design principles. I see thousands of people who spend 5 minutes 'learning' HTML, then jump right into PHP and using tools like DreamWeaver without really understanding what they're doing.

For the type of site you have, you need to separate your view into three different aspects: code, content, and design. Your design is beautiful and that alone is definitely something to be proud of. It shows a strong connection to the content, and that gives me the impression that you're doing most or all of the work yourself. That's where I think you're getting into trouble. You might do well to find someone in your um.. community? pack? herd? who is skilled at writing clean and valid code.

My own ignorance and wishful thinking tell me that you probably have your market cornered, at least I hope there isn't really a lot of competition. If that's the case then your site will likely have no choice but to grow. I promise you that when you start getting active members from all over the net (rather than what you get now from just the game) there isn't a server in the world that is going to make bad code look good fast enough to keep people happy.

Trust me, find someone with /real/ experience coding (and fur, of course) and let them see your PHP source. Someone who has been doing it long enough to remember the ancient days when good code was practically mandatory if you wanted any visitors.

When a site has 'proper' code, the only difference between dialup and broadband is how long images/videos/sounds take to load... the code and database interaction should always be finished before the pictures are done loading. You better do that now before you start needing to maintain thousands of simultaneous connections and hire a DBA full time just to keep the kennel clean.
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02-29-2008, 01:59 PM
Post: #16
Poor Customer Service
As I think rlparker mentioned, the OP is using
the DZOIC Handshakes social networking web application and hasn't handcoded the site.

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02-29-2008, 02:38 PM
Post: #17
Poor Customer Service is not the problem
Quote:As I think rlparker mentioned, the OP is using
the DZOIC Handshakes social networking web application and hasn't handcoded the site.
True as that is, it doesn't make the code any better, and I think tyop's observations are "spot on"! Wink

He went into considerably more detail than I was interested in describing, but a lot of what he says was tacitly implied by my initial comments about the site's suitability for *any* shared server - he makes the point even stronger by pointing out that the site will still suffer from lack of proper coding even if hosted on a powerful dedicated box (the symptoms will just take longer to surface).

--rlparker
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02-29-2008, 04:11 PM
Post: #18
Poor Customer Service
Quote:I think tyop's observations are "spot on"!
Heh. I actually thought tyop's post largely missed the point.

I'll apologize up front for what actually turned into a bit of a long post, and a bit of a rant in places. Despite what it's about to sound like, I actually agree with a lot of the stuff tyop had to say. The overriding point of this post is that it's dangerous to get locked into "standards" tunnel vision without taking the chance to think critically about what decisions that road requires taking why we're making these decisions.

Quote:Things are going wrong from the very first line of HTML being served (wrong DTD).
It takes just as much time to spit out a grossly non-standard site as it does to generate beautifully valid code. Actually, valid code tends to have more overhead, not less.

Quote:For the type of site you have, you need to separate your view into three different aspects: code, content, and design.
This depends, somewhat. If the goal is to reduce load time, you actually don't want to do this at all.

The MVC design pattern exists primarily to solve the problem of writing maintainable code. It allows you to easily swap out your data store, your application logic, and your user interface independently of each other, and to guarantee that a change to one will never break the others. But the isolation isn't free; it comes at a cost of speed and memory because you need to do a lot of data passing to make it work.

Computers are powerful enough these days and have enough memory that the decision to make the trade-off should normally be obvious, but you have to make it nevertheless. There may be situations where another design patten is vastly preferable.

Quote:When a site has 'proper' code, the only difference between dialup and broadband is how long images/videos/sounds take to load
As I load his site now, the thing that takes a long time to load are the images. He has a very graphics intensive site, after all. Improving code quality is likely to do precisely nothing to address this issue.

Quote:the code and database interaction should always be finished before the pictures are done loading.
Well, no matter how the code is written, the images won't be loaded before the HTML that calls for them gets sent to the user, and the HTML won't be sent to the user until the database queries needed to generate that code are executed. Invalid code may be annoying, but it can't break the basic workflow necessary to render a page.

I think what you're really saying is that as programmers we should design all of our database queries to happen before we start generating any HTML. But what if our database work is non-trivial and the feeling of responsiveness to the user is important? In that case, we should probably spit out some HTML up front so that they can see the site do something.

Quote:Someone who has been doing it long enough to remember the ancient days when good code was practically mandatory if you wanted any visitors.
The ancient days of the 1990s, when nobody had even heard of the W3C, and when Geocities and Angelfire wrote the most grotesquely invalid pages ever? Or maybe of the 1980s, when we didn't know what graphics were, and the only "semantics" we ever needed was <p>? Possibly the 1970s, where we were just thrilled that we could send web pages back and forth at each other at all?

As far as the evolution of the web goes, semantic and design principles are relatively new. Semantics didn't really become a big deal until after 2000. Design patterns didn't mean too much until people started writing web applications rather than merely web pages.

~~*~~

Regardless, I have no idea about the internals of DZOIC, and am not about to presume to based on the DOCTYPE that it happens to spit out (which the w3 validator actually accepts as ok). I doubt the thread starter is really interested in reprogramming this commercial software package anyway.
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02-29-2008, 04:24 PM
Post: #19
Poor Customer Service
Quote:Heh. I actually thought tyop's post largely missed the point.
Well, I think you *both* make good points, while looking at the issue from different perspectives. To me, the relevant point of all this discussion is that I don't see this as a "DreamHost customer service issue" at all.

It is very easy with this type of a discussion to get pretty involved with the whole discussion of standards, semantics, and design strategy .. which is great, but maybe not of much interest to the original poster. He just wants his site to run "faster", and I'm not sure he is likely to get that on a shared server using his chosen software. Wink
Quote:I doubt the thread starter is really interested in reprogramming this commercial software package anyway.
I agree with you completely on that, but I don't really have any viable or reasonably easy "fix" for what he is seeing with his site's performance.

I just think his expectations are unrealistic, given the nature (in its entirety) of his site ... and I don't think it is fair to lay all the blame for the resultant user experience on DreamHost's customer service, infrastructure, or platform. Wink

--rlparker
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03-02-2008, 08:31 AM
Post: #20
Poor Customer Service
I think DH is a bit slow too.
Perhaps DH needs more database servers. It's too easy for anyone to one-click install some heavy web application.
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