We will keep this post stickied in order to keep everyone updated on our progress. You can find updates at the bottom of the post. If you are wondering why HLS looks the way it does right now, read on:
After the launch of HLS 3.0, we saw traffic unlike anything that we’ve ever experienced in the history of our site. However, with that increased traffic, some ugly problems started to rear their ugly head and HLS started a series of crashes.
Because of this, we have reached a point in which I am forced to temporarily pull the plug on the 3.0 features while we address these issues. However, the core functions of HLS will remain intact.
You will see the same usual content that we have always provided in our blog and our forums are still live as well.
However, the new sections for News, Video, and Recruiting that we added were 100% depended on our 3.0 theme (which, after much research, help from our host, and many tireless hours of testing, ended up being the root cause). This means that those sections will be temporarily down until we are able to design a new theme to duplicate that functionality.
Disqus will also be gone. Part of this is due to some issues that it was also causing with our server, but mostly, we have reached the point of diminishing returns with the platform. We have reverted back to the WordPress commenting system; however, it is now enhanced with Jetpack so you can log in via Facebook, Twitter, and even your HLS account to comment. The good news is that you don’t have disjointed logins anymore which should be a welcome change for all.
I can’t apologize enough for failing to catch these issues before it turned into serious problems and that is all on me.
I was hoping that I would have some more time to develop a new solution without having to yank the plug so abruptly on 3.0; however, it was either that, or watch HLS get suspended by our host. That choice was easy.
However, I also need to thank all of you, the Loyal Readers, for visiting this site like you have, especially within the last week. If it weren’t for the increased traffic that y’all brought, we wouldn’t have been able to find these issues. And thanks to this week being particularly big, the watchful eyes of our host were able to exactly point out where things were going wrong.
Again, I apologize for the sudden changes, but I promise that I’m not going to stop until we get all the 3.0 functionality back that we had before. The entire HLS staff also will not stop delivering the same great content that you have come to expect as well.
Thanks for sticking with us.
Update (11/12/2012): Our host, InMotion, has helped us isolate some issues. It appears that Google’s bots aren’t helping matters during our off-peak hours as they are slamming our site. We’ve been working to further control their behavior by correcting errors in our robot.txt file (which one of our plugins apparently kept overwriting!).
As InMotion showed that these late night hours were actually causing the most load, we are hopeful that we can get our server load down to the point in which we can re-enable 3.0 and then further work on optimizing that set up instead of starting from scratch.
Update (11/13/2012): As of now it appears that Google and other crawlers aren’t bombarding us like they once were. If we have another solid day of performance, I am going to try to flip the 3.0 switch back on late tonight/early tomorrow morning.
Cross your fingers.