Heavy Traffic & Ads

Many of you have noticed that the site has been gradually getting slower over the last few months. Since last summer, our server load has increased by about 50% and that means that our database server is now running at about 90% CPU nearly all of the time.

To combat this, we have designed a new storage system that should significantly reduce the required server resources, and we will be migrating to this over the next few weeks. Hopefully this will give us the performance improvements necessary to keep up with the demand. If not, we will need to make some very substantial investments in new server hardware.

10,000 Users Paying for 1,000,000 Visitors
While doing analysis of our web traffic we realized that the majority of our 8,000+ daily visitors never do any business with us. This is probably because our google search results so frequently put us near the top, and we end up getting a lot of people on our site that have no interest in ever buying cards. This means that the revenue generated by the minority of you that care to buy and sell trading cards paid for server processing and bandwidth that was used for free by more than 1.1 million unique visitors last year.

Our solution… show ads to the millions of visitors that come to the site who don’t care to buy or sell cards, but don’t show ads to the 20,000 dedicated users that have done business with us.

If you have ever purchased store credit or sent us cards on consignment, you will not see any ads while you are logged in.

Who knows… maybe this can help pay for some new server hardware. Let us know what you think.

2010 Q4 Stats

Another great quarter!

Website Performance Notes
As mentioned in last quarter’s stat post, the load on our servers is greater than ever before. Not only are we serving more pages, but each page is sifting through more data. Last quarter we decided to hold off on a couple major database optimizations to ensure that we didn’t introduce any new issues during the holiday season. This quarter we are going to move ahead with those changes. This should make it possible for our servers to handle a lot more than the 4.5 million page views that we get each month.