I apologize to those of you who were met with errors*** and/or the "down for maintenance" message on Thursday night. The site has been experiencing some performance issues, exacerbated by the changes I made to the way things are stored in my database about a month ago. As a result of those changes, the site is storing a LOT more data. In addition, the introduction scanning across date ranges has but more load on the database. The other new feature, displaying a page full of charts, puts even more of a workload on the database.
I've been tweaking things and pruning data for a few weeks now but I've gotten to the point where the site has simply outgrown its database. So I'm going to upgrade to a more powerful database plan (double the RAM) over the weekend. This will also give me a chance to upgrade the database's newly released version, which should also provide a performance boost.
This database change will require me to bring the site down so I can backup the data and import it into the new database. If all goes well there should be more than an hour of downtime. I'm going to try to do this late Friday night so there should be little impact to most people. Hopefully the site will be zooming along by Saturday but, if not, I may need to take it down for a little while to make more modifications.
*** Usualy when you see the "an error occurred" messages and they take about 30 seconds before they appear, the error is actually the site timing out (giving up up after 30 seconds). Most of the time that's because the database is overwhelmed. This upgrade should make those messages a much rarer sight.