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 Post subject: Re: We need your donations. Campaign 2011
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:37 pm 
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Nice rant, but let's look at the Kilobytes of traffic generated by the different forum pages being loaded in December.

Code:
13382732 24.38% /viewtopic.php          
6086338 11.09% /          
5502153 10.02% /viewforum.php          
4166194 7.59% /ucp.php          
1190957 2.17% /forum/viewtopic.php          
1134286 2.07% /download/file.php          
955745 1.74% /forum/viewforum.php          
816188 1.49% /forum/download/file.php          
718637 1.31% /style.php          


This comes to ~33 Gb of traffic and 60% of total traffic in December 2010

For comparison this was around 16 Gb of traffic in February 2010.

You can make the ads go away by registering


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 Post subject: Re: We need your donations. Campaign 2011
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:06 pm 
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How much of that could be web crawlers? It may help to block some bots...

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 Post subject: Re: We need your donations. Campaign 2011
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:31 pm 
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If I may say a few words...

I see that javascript files are getting gzipped before being sent across the wires, but that's about it. Could you possibly ask your hosting company to reconfigure Apache to also gzip php files for your site? It can easily be done and would save you (and them) quite a bit on bandwidth if they can spare the small increase in cpu useage. The prezipped files get cached anyways so this increase is quite minimal.

If they do not want to go this route (I don't see why they wouldn't), you could at least remove the whitespace from the html or css that's getting served, either directly in some of the phbb files or through some magical plugin if one exists. I'm not very familiar with phpbb, but there may be some useful caching/compression addons to help with the bandwidth. The other thing they could do that might help would be to add expires headers for static content that isn't very likely to change, that way browsers are more likely to cache it.

Having stricter limits on avatar and signature sizes may also help a bit, and force people to compress their images a bit more if they want them hosted on your servers. Someone also brought up a good point earlier, and it may be worthwhile to sift through your server logs and determine if any ddos attacks are contributing to this increase in bandwidth usage. There's also the option of splitting up the forum/blog/files hosting into separate servers/providers. Depending on the usage of each, it may be more beneficial to go that route instead...

Also, if you don't mind me asking, what is your current hosting setup and costs associated with it? I'd prefer if things were more efficient before donating, as the money would then become more useful that way...

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 Post subject: Re: We need your donations. Campaign 2011
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:45 pm 
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Didn't this site also have G00gle ads?
I always clicked on them when I was here to "donate" a bit :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: We need your donations. Campaign 2011
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:56 pm 
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Yes, there are still some, look at the google ads bar above if you go to a forum.

I checked the logs and there are no DDOS attacks, there's just a lot of forum activity. I did add some bots to the robots.txt file, just to be sure to get rid of those I saw. You must realize we use a lot of images and stuff at this forum. A post with an image of 42K that has been viewed 186 times results in 8 Mb of traffic if not cached properly by a browser. This is just one example. We have many images, attachments and so forth. We have 300 Mb worth of files in attachments alone. And a lot of times people already link to other image sites and download sites. Our attachments are restricted to 256 Kb.

Stripping code to remove whitespace is a seriously large task, IMO.

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 Post subject: Re: We need your donations. Campaign 2011
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:06 pm 
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I definitely would be against any type of ads since preservation of site integrity should be a common theme that separates you from other such outlets. Accepting donations yearly/bi-yearly and/or getting a cheaper (or donated) host are always better options for practical results.

Additionally, going "off the grid" just to minimize user-base and conserve bandwidth is generally NOT a good thing. I say this with conviction based on personal experience from my own half-hearted game development community forums. Yes, you would definitely see a decrease in overall traffic and thus users who just leech your content, but you'd also see a decrease in the ever-so-often intelligent researchers and developers that might frequent as regulars and help expand the core concepts I'm sure you started this site for to begin with. Besides that, if your bandwidth isn't largely coming from file downloads and more-so from script requests, I hardly think THOSE users are to blame since they probably just register, visit the site once, get a file, and then are gone forever.

If you are only tipping the scales in the 80GB bandwidth range, you shouldn't have an issue with a solid shared hosting package at a dozen locations. I use dreamhost personally and before they decided to tag themselves as "unlimited" bandwidth, my static number fell in the 2TB a month range -- of which I managed to tip a quarter of on a couple months. More importantly in the case of an active forums like this would be CPU usage (since it's a shared box). No, I cannot fully guarantee that you wouldn't use a gargantuan amount of CPU for your forums; however, I can say that I too run an old phpBB2 forum with a few thousand users and somewhat similar activity levels as this one without any hassle. It would certainly be worth a shot and a worthy investment to give them a try.

Then again, I AM one of the described people who basically was dropped a link for this site by a non-english-speaking 3D artist I hardly know in an effort to help finish up some code for conversion of an obscure file format. The only reason I'm really writing this post or even remember this forum is primarily because I found an email relating to donations being requested. While I only have $1.73 in my Paypal (which I could still donate if need be), I'm not against donating bandwidth, file hosting, or site backup/mirroring (which would probably be detrimental in your current state).

At any rate best of luck finding an overall solution.


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 Post subject: Re: We need your donations. Campaign 2011
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:37 pm 
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Yes, the core concept is "open". So to put too many restrictions is not an option.

We are currently working on possible deal with our host. The problem with "unlimited" bandwith is that a lot those companies do limit the bandwidth when things get out of hand. At the end of the day, someone has to pay for it.

If others like hostgator, or dreamhost (any others?) can offer the same stability for less, then we will certainly be interested to move.

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 Post subject: Re: We need your donations. Campaign 2011
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:30 pm 
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Okay, we've struck a deal with our current host for the time being. The total amount of donations we received at this time is 35 euros. Many thanks to those few members for the support! As you can probably imagine, that won't last even a quarter of a year though, but it is most certainly welcome and helps. :]

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 Post subject: Re: We need your donations. Campaign 2011
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:07 pm 
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I posted about the donation drive on Hacker News a few days ago, but I don't think it did much. =/

Anyways, woo for cooperative, understanding webhosts! :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: We need your donations. Campaign 2011
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:28 pm 
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Mr.Mouse wrote:
The total amount of donations we received at this time is 35 euros


what.

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 Post subject: Re: We need your donations. Campaign 2011
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:50 pm 
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What do you mean, 'what.'?
:)

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 Post subject: Re: We need your donations. Campaign 2011
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:48 pm 
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Mr.Mouse wrote:
What do you mean, 'what.'?
:)


i think i'd convinced myself xentax was larger than it is :ninja:
do those google ad impressions count for much?

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 Post subject: Re: We need your donations. Campaign 2011
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:07 pm 
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GoogleAds? They account for nothing. Nobody clicks on them. Don't forget this is a community of usually intellectual people programming and modding that are probably not easily lured into clicking on Google Ads. ;) And while we have thousands of members, there is a hard core of much less. And not everyone is in the position of having money to donate, or don't want to, or couldn't care either way. Also, a lot do not have Paypal, so even if they wanted to they can't. Well, not true, but I haven't exactly got a Donation page up with help on how to do it, either. We have a bank account number though, see http://www.xentax.com and then the About page.

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 Post subject: Re: We need your donations. Campaign 2011
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:59 pm 
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Heh, that's the first time I'd actually looked at that page; I didn't realize I was on the Xentax Foundation board... :P What is the IBAN number listed there?

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 Post subject: Re: We need your donations. Campaign 2011
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:43 pm 
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International bank account number, a world-wide standard for inter-bank transfer.


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