Those of you who were around during the 2017 series will recall that towards the end of the series the site started to experience outages around the time the spoiler was posted due to the volume of traffic the site was receiving.
The last few weeks of the 2017 series I experimented with a number of solutions and the best one was a clustered web hosting solution of multiple servers with the ability to add in more servers if existing ones begin to struggle which kept the site up for the final spoiler weekend (barring a couple of teething glitches as this was a learning experience for me). This solution was expensive and cost me about £170 for the 2 weeks I had it deployed in December 2017 and so the site was migrated back to a cheaper solution for the off season.
It is my intention to move this site over to the clustered solution once again ready for the 2018 series and work to do this will begin on 16th September 2018. It is expected that the site move will take a couple of days during which you may experience problems accessing the site depending on how quick the site move takes and how quick your ISP realises the site has moved.
I will also be making some changes to the software I use to run polls when I make the site move so polls make look a little different once the move is complete. The poll software I currently run has some bugs that can cause incorrect polls to display on posts which have been annoying me for some time and hopefully a move to new poll software will fix these bugs. I attempted a move of polling software last series but reverted once the site started struggling at peak times
The date of the site move has been selected as a time that should be fairly quiet for the website to minimise disruption and a time enough in advance of the new series to allow me to complete the work before the series begins properly.
It goes without saying that the new hosting solution is extremely expensive, and the costs can significantly vary if more power is needed in the cluster of servers to keep them up, but it is necessary for me to provide a good user experience for all who try to view the spoiler especially those who want to view it the second it comes in and who refresh the site in order to do so. It will also allow me to provide spoilers in real time like I attempted to do at some points last series rather than waiting for the full result to come in before posting the spoiler
Quite a few of you have donated towards my hosting costs already this series and I’m grateful to each and every one of you who has donated as the hosting costs are now significant and I sadly can’t plough all the ad revenue the site receives into hosting costs as I have other operating costs and living expenses. If you want to help me out you can donate using THIS LINK which sends all the money to me or you can use the button below but the big corporate bigwigs at PayPal will take a cut if you use the button so please use the link if you can