No sleep, lots of stress, but the new site is live

As you will have noticed Side-Line looks completely different since this noon. The change was…

No sleep, lots of stress but the new site is live

As you will have noticed Side-Line looks completely different since this noon. The change was not scheduled, on the contrary, it was a very unwelcome surprise that popped up last night.

We asked our chief editor for some feedback on what happened.

Bernard explains: “It’s Monday October 5th, 08:15 PM when I start to notice that the website is acting up, the loading goes extremely slowly for those logged in in the admin side. It works ok for the web visitors at that moment. The search on the website however seems to take forever, which is a bad sign. I check the server data (CPU and Bandwidth) and the firewall data to make sure that we are not being attacked in an unforeseen way, but aside from the 1800 usual attacks in the last 10 minutes, nothing is causing trouble on our servers (a good caching and web/serversecurity is worth gold these days). Meanwhile my IT-guy – Martin Rosselle aka Winston for the friends – also started looking into it but basically saw that from the server side there were no issues at all.”

In short, the machinery behind the website seemed to work well. Bernard: “Then you instinctively start to go over the list of possible problems, I check the caching and decide to clean the cache entirely on the front end to see if the website itself is really working normal when not being logged in. So I flush the caching and check older articles which would surely not be re-cached immediately. The same slow loading time appears… That’s when the alarm starts to go off and I look into the direction of the template.”

The template is deactivated for a few seconds and indeed, the culprit is found, the template is causing errors.

Bernard: “At that point you don’t have many choices really, either you debug the template, which is actually quite a tedious job and not really my speciality, or you immediately start from scratch. The only problem, I usually take a week or two to work on this, starting from a mother template, but I didn’t really have two weeks. So… I decided not to sleep and work on a solution to make sure that the next day we have something to get us back on normal speed. By 5 AM, I had most of it ready, knew what it would look like, went to sleep for an hour, got back up, drove to work and in the meantime informed Jan Ronald en Stephane that a new template would be installed to go live by 12 in the morning during my break and that we would have to work on it during the 30 minutes break I had. I also had time to add some extra tools and make sure that the reviews are more visible.”

The new site went live at noon today while Bernard in Belgium and Jan Ronald in Norway started to work on extra CSS and make sure there were no more bugs left. By the end of the break everything was ready. Bernard: “Mission accomplished in record time and a BIG thank you to Jan Ronald for jumping on board so quickly!”

A very nice team effort and executed in an absolute record time!



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