About site downtime lately.

We had a problem with our largest guitar website - it has over 5 million posts. And it also has between 60,000 and 80,000 visitors a day. These visitors run a lot of searches for information. Now our smaller sites also have a lot of posts and visitors too. And they also run a lot of searches. All together our 8 guitar websites generate nearly 100,000 visits, 4,500 posts and an untold number of thousands of searches every day.

When a search is created it locks the parts of the database that contain posts and threads and such while it's searching. Well, this reached a critical mass and so many thousands of searches were going on at one time that it was locking the database for too long and ALL of our sites on this server would exhibit "stalls" and slow loading pages.

So, we spent a lot of time and money to fix this issue.

Unfortunately, to fix the issue required a lot of work on the background software that runs all the websites on our server and this required stopping and starting the software while the work was being completed. Guess what that looks like? It looks a lot like stalls and slow loading pages.

So, what you've been experiencing is both the problem - and the fix for the problem. But they look the same to you.

I'd love to tell you that everything is fixed, and there are no more issues. But we are still checking to see if things are really and truly fixed and we are done. Or if more issues are still out there to be fixed.

We're sorry for the problems that you see as a poorly operated or maintained website. But it's simply growing pains and we are working diligently to overcome each of them as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Thanks for your patience.