So I've been spending a lot of time working on my website this past week since I have a lot of free time. Working at a university has one huge bonus: I get paid days off whenever the students are off. I'm a little half way over my 16 days off.

Slowly the site is gaining in popularity and I have been noticing a degradation in its performance. Aside from the prepackaged popup library I'm using when you cursor over the article links, everything has been scripted by these fingers... ... Well, you'll just have to imagine I'm pointing at my hands. It has been a learning process. I've never gone to school to learn web design, and certainly have no professional experience doing database management. Everything has been trial and error over many different testing mock sites.

This afternoon I began working on making the database engine more efficient. I hadn't meant for it to become the project it ended up being. I only wanted to modify how the database was caching the data. I had programmed my own caching system for the database. I eventually discovered caching systems over the internet I could have used but by that point I had already spent so much time designing my own libraries.

I started today at about 2:30pm. By 4 I knew this was going to take a lot longer then planned, and by 5 I decided to write the whole thing from scratch. It wasn't until 8pm I was finished. But the rewrite was well worth it. I made the database cache system about 8 months ago for a few projects I was kicking around. I have learned a lot in those 8 months and today made a system that is much more light weight and is able to handle the traffic I have incoming. Also, as far as I can tell so far with the testing I've been doing, most of the intermittent errors that have been popping up should be gone now. Huzzah.

For those who want to know, you cache information from the database server so that you don't bog it down with requests. You grab the data once, and then save it on the web server until you need to refresh it again. The data on Global Atheist is cached for 10 minutes.

I got the new redesigned system up in time for the blog Proud Atheists to send more love my way. I noticed a bit of a spike in people and all referrers led to Proud Atheists. Thank you once again. I just hope I can do my part to spread 'the word' about our small corner of the world. A small corner that I've been happy to watch expand even in the little time I've been following.

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Comment by Douglas Christensen on December 30, 2008 at 9:26pm
I do have the articles on the left hand side of the page set up to show the top 10 articles during the past week and month. I also have programmed in the script, though not showing right now, the top articles of the year.

Also the websites are listed in order of popularity, most popular starting at the top left and going left to right, top to bottom. The only time anything else is shown at the top is when I add a new website. The popularity is figured daily around 4am eastern.

Eventually when I get around to doing so, I'll have it so you can click on the name of the website and you can view most articles from that website/blog since it has been on the site. That would be simple to do once I sit myself down to do it :)
Comment by Fr33think3r on December 30, 2008 at 2:38pm
I do like the site.

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