Strictly Spoiler 2019 Thanks

It’s that time as we approach what will be the final spoiler of the series that I take a few minutes to reflect on the 2019 series and say some words of thanks to those who have made this year another huge year for The Strictly Spoiler

And it has been a huge year. Over the course of this series (including the pre series when contestants were being announced) this website has been viewed 5.5 million times (an increase of 46% on 2018) by 1.44 million people (an increase of 87% on 2018). During the busiest weekend this series the spoiler was viewed a whopping 907k times by 328k of you. Thank you to each and every one of you who comes to this website each week to view the content I produce.

Providing the required web servers to keep up demand is not cheap though and like last year those costs have been helped out by a few of you who have chosen to use the donation link or button. Donating is entirely optional and for the overwhelming vast majority of you this site is free to use. Donating does however help me out with the spiralling web hosting costs which continue to rise as more and more people access the site at the same time and I am grateful to those of you who have been able and willing to spare the cash to help me out with these costs.

Anyone who wants to get a last minute donation in or if you just want to buy me a Christmas present or a cool refreshing beer to thank me for all the spoilers you can do so using THIS LINK or the button below

Also thanks go out to the various sources I work with. These days I work closely with several other spoiler sources on social networks or on other websites and together we help each other out by sourcing moles to provide us with the spoiler each week. Between us we’ve had moles for each week of the 2019 series with only one or two close shaves. Also thanks to anyone who has approached me offering their services as a mole over the course of 2019 and anyone who has provided the spoiler to one of the other sources I work with. Without you moles there would not be a spoiler here or anywhere else online.

I also want to thank those of you on the Facebook page who have been very patient the last few weeks. Unfortunately Facebook have blocked the direct linking of this website on their platform in what appears to be an automatic decision on the part of Facebook following malicious complaints from those opposed to what I do in providing the spoiler. This has caused problems with delivering the spoiler and other content to Facebook and also resulted in the purging of a large number of competition entries prior to the prize draws which meant those entries had to be voided. Everyone on Facebook have been very understanding of the situation and I have worked hard to try and restore partial service on that network over the last few weeks.

What this means for the future of the Facebook page I cannot say as its primary purpose was to drive traffic from Facebook to this site and if it cannot meet that purpose anymore there may come a time where it is simply time to call it a day on Facebook. That will be a decision for 2020 though.

Finally I want to thank those of you who are reading this far into the post. You are the people who actually read and engage with all of my content rather than coming, reading the 2nd paragraph of the spoiler post, and then going away again. You are also probably the people who had a far easier time entering the password competition this series 😂

So that’s it for the annual thanks post. Don’t forget there is still The Christmas Special Spoiler available for your viewing delight and the normal discussion/poll posts and spoiler posts will be coming later on tonight too. All that remains is to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2020 when The Strictly Spoiler will be back. Assuming the BBC don’t do anything crazy like a live results show!

Site Migration Complete

Well it took me a little longer than I originally expected due to an assortment of issues and errors on my part but I think we have got there and the site has been moved to the new servers ready for when the spoilers start rolling in!

If any of you have any issues using the site or things like the comments system or voting in polls you can let me know on Facebook or Twitter and I’ll take a look but hopefully all should be good now after a lot of teething issues yesterday and this morning and the songs/dances post for week 2 was posted to the new servers earlier today with no reported issues so all is looking good!

This solution allows me to deploy additional or more powerful web and database servers as and when required on a Saturday night/Sunday and then drop the power when the site is quieter during the week which worked quite well last series. I’ve also managed to tweak the database server settings so that load on the site is distributed across multiple database servers depending on whether you are reading from the database (which most of you will be) or writing to it (which you will do if you use the polls or comments system) which should help out massively at peak times too and is an improvement on 2018 when I had to chuck ridiculously high powered servers at the database to keep it running.

This solution not cheap though and last year it cost about £300 per month which was funded by generous donations from the site’s visitors who helped to support me and the website and this year is no different. If you can afford to and want to help me out with these costs or if you just want to buy me a cool refreshing beer to thank me for all the hard work I do and the spoilers you can do so using THIS LINK or the button below or see below for additional ways to support me including ways of making a donation without me attracting any fees as I do through Paypal.

Or you can support me for free, save money on your energy bills and earn yourselves £50 if you check your prices and switch using MY LINK. Bulb will pay your exit fees, don’t charge any exit fees themselves and have 100% green energy at low prices. Win for the planet and win for your pocket!

You can also read about the numerous other ways you can support me and the work I do including more free ways to support me and additional ways to make a cash donation (which will not charge me like Paypal do) HERE

Upcoming Site Maintenance

Hey guys just doing a post to let you guys know about some upcoming site maintenance. I did briefly touch on this during the Discussion/Poll post for last night’s show but thought I’d do a more detailed post so I don’t get a million comments on Facebook/Twitter asking why the site isn’t working, why there is no content if it is working and why people can’t vote in the polls when I temporarily lock them tomorrow.

For those of you who have been around for the last couple of years you should know what is going to happen and why it is going to happen. For those who don’t know let me briefly explain. During the main series and spoiler weekends this website gets busy. Really busy! Like 700k views in 24 hours busy!!!!! And previously this would cause the site to run slow or even break down at busy times because of the tens of thousands of you trying to access or refresh the site at the same time.

Late 2017 I moved the site to a new scalable solution where I could automatically or manually add in more web servers to cope with times of high demand. I ran this solution in 2018 too and it worked very well barring a couple of 10 minute periods which were down to errors on my part. This solution is expensive though and I do not run it during the off season when traffic to the site is comparatively quiet because if I did I would probably be bankrupt by now!

With the first spoiler due next weekend it is time for me to move the site over to the scalable solution I ran last year and having done some preparations at my end today I will be commencing and hopefully completing that work tomorrow (Monday 23rd September).

During the move you may have issues accessing the website, all polls will enter a state of lockdown until the move is completed in order to maintain consistency with the results during the transfer and you may also notice the site has no content whilst the transfer takes place.

Downtime should be kept to a minimum especially as I’m not moving hosts as the site has been hosted with Amazon Web Services during the off season so it will be a simple matter of pointing to the new servers which should happen fairly quickly though this can depend on your internet service provider. This is also the 3rd time I have now deployed this system and it should (hopefully) be becoming second nature to me by now although I will be trying some new tweaks to the system to help spread the load better on the database servers so there may be some teething issues from that (but hopefully not!). Also this is the first year that the site has been running exclusively on https and whilst I don’t expect that to be a problem as https has worked fine before when running this setup you never know!

As mentioned above the new servers are not cheap and last year they cost about £300 per month and were funded by generous donations from the site’s visitors who helped to support me and the website and this year is no different. If you can afford to and want to help me out with these costs or if you just want to buy me a cool refreshing beer to thank me for all the spoilers you can do so using THIS LINK or the button below or see below for additional ways to support me including ways of making a donation without me attracting any fees as I do through Paypal.

Or you can support me for free, save money on your energy bills and earn yourselves £50 if you check your prices and switch using MY LINK. Bulb will pay your exit fees, don’t charge any exit fees themselves and have 100% green energy at low prices. Win for the planet and win for your pocket!

You can also read about the numerous other ways you can support me and the work I do including more free ways to support me and additional ways to make a cash donation (which will not charge me like Paypal do) HERE

I will be posting again once the site move has completed which should hopefully be done in time for the songs/dances post for week 2 which is expected on Tuesday. In the meantime thank you for your patience if you do experience any downtime tomorrow though this is necessary to prevent downtime when the spoilers start rolling in.