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14 October 2009
3.38am
mjb
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 536
Member Since:
14 October 2009
Offline

I found the Beatles Bible website by pure accident and what a tremendous site it is. I cannot EVER get enough imfo on the Beatles and this place is just fantastic Cool

My only problem is the speed it takes to load pages.  I'm in the UK (although that really shouldn't make any difference) and each page takes about 10-15 seconds to load up on a good day!

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
15 October 2009
1.52am
Joe
Pepperland
Admin
Forum Posts: 3447
Member Since:
31 March 2008
Offline

Hi MJB. Thanks for dropping by, and for your comments. Like you I'm a total Beatles nut, and it's always good to meet fellow fans.

I'm glad you like my site, and I'm sorry for the slow loading times. I'm aware of the problems, and hope to do something about it in the nearish future.

In web geek terms, here's the issue. The site is hosted in the US (although I live in the UK) on shared hosting. This is a cheapish option for people without the funds for dedicated, faster hosting, and essentially means it's on a server box with a load of other people's sites. If one site decides to run a resource-heavy script it can slow down everyone else's, so it's not ideal.

Point two: the site itself uses a content management system called WordPress. This keeps all the content in a database, and builds pages when people demand them (ie if you click on the Rubber Soul article, it'll be built from scratch, compiling the header, main content, widgets on the right-hand side etc). I've enabled caching to pre-compile pages, so that when someone clicks on a page, it should be stored for a set amount of time, speeding up the load times for other users.

Unfortunately certain pages, including the whole of this forum, can't be cached due to the way they're set up. Additionally, although the site is largely text-based (ie not complicated), there are certain aspects, like the Google maps, which can take a while to bring in. The more functionality that's added, the slower the site can be to load.

I've spent some time trying to optimise the code, and it's a lot faster than it used to be in the early, experimental days. The only real solution, though, is to move to a faster host. I've got plans to do this, but I've just moved house and I'm not really in a position to spend a weekend troubleshooting a new server! When things settle down I hope to get on it though – in the meantime please be patient…

Joe

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

15 October 2009
6.38am
mjb
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 536
Member Since:
14 October 2009
Offline

Thanks for all that info Joe. Now I know it's nothing to do with my PC I'm happier (if you can understand that!).

You must have put in so many hours (er, months actually) to get this all up and running;  I take my hat off to you.

It's good to see the comments from others that maybe correct a few errors. This could end up being the definitve site. I just love it to bits…..I've been playing the Remasters to death and every now and then I think "Ah let's see what the site says about the making of so-and-so track".  Lewisohn's Recording book was the best thing EVER published about the Beatles and it's briiliant to see you incorporate that and expand it in this site. Now I'm a member hopefully I might add a few comments if I feel they might be useful……

All the best and keep up this excellent work!

MJB

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
15 October 2009
6.43am
mjb
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 536
Member Since:
14 October 2009
Offline

Forgot to mention:

I can't upload an Avatar! I've made sure it's a jpeg and no more than 80x80 pixels etc but when I click browse and select the image there is nothing showing for me to click to upload. Is there a fault?

Sorry to be a moaner Smile

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
15 October 2009
9.40am
Joe
Pepperland
Admin
Forum Posts: 3447
Member Since:
31 March 2008
Offline

Thank you! It's great to get feedback, positive or negative, but it's really nice when people appreciate what you do. I have spent many hours on this – the big push was to get the articles on each song written. That took some time – about six months, and I did at least one every day. My poor wife got a bit fed up with me slaving over the computer with Beatles books strewn everywhere.

Over time I've revisited, redesigned the site, added bits and pieces, but there's still loads to do. I do hope it becomes the definitive fan site in time. At the moment I've done key dates up to 1969, but I hope to eventually have a full blog detailing everything that The Beatles did day by day, right up to the present day if I can find the information. But there's so much else to do – I want to do full discographies for any countries I can find out about, expand the photo gallery (at the moment it's quite sparse), come up with some interesting features and do whatever else I can.

Unfortunately I have a day job which gets in the way. My background is journalism so writing content isn't a problem, but there's always *loads* of server tinkering to do. Which brings me to the avatar problem. It's a known bug though I wasn't aware of it before. I'll upgrade the forum to the latest version and see if that fixes the problem. Back in a minute!

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

15 October 2009
9.06pm
Joe
Pepperland
Admin
Forum Posts: 3447
Member Since:
31 March 2008
Offline

OK, that took far longer than I meant it to. Hopefully avatars can now be set – let me know if there's a problem.

Incidentally, when I upgraded the forum software I couldn't find the 'reply' button. Turns out it's the envelope icon. Not ideal, as I thought that would have emailed the topic to someone. I'll see if they can be changed in the admin settings. Frown

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

15 October 2009
9.31pm
mjb
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 536
Member Since:
14 October 2009
Offline

So many things look different now! The "post reply" box isn't there as it was to reply to threads….The "my profile" link is different….. I uploaded my Avatar but it's not there……you are going to wish I never joined aren't you?

You will get it sorted I know…..please don't give up……and don't ban me Smile

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
15 October 2009
9.41pm
Joe
Pepperland
Admin
Forum Posts: 3447
Member Since:
31 March 2008
Offline

I'll take a look, though I'm a bit stumped. I'll probably have to create a new account to see what it's like for a standard user. Bear with me.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

15 October 2009
10.00pm
mjb
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 536
Member Since:
14 October 2009
Offline

I have a back of a head as my avatar! Looks like George……..that wasn't what I uploaded, but I'm happy!

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
15 October 2009
10.18pm
joe2
Here
A Beginning
Forum Posts: 6
Member Since:
15 October 2009
Offline

OK. It does work. Here's the deal (it's been a bit of a learning process for me too).

Firstly, the forum software needed updating so that avatars could be uploaded. The previous version had a bug.

The latest software restored some default settings. One of them was that it would look for a person's Gravatar (.com – a globally-recognised avatar that can be used across a number of sites) before the uploaded one. Obviously that's not ideal, so I've switched it around so that:

This forum searches and selects a member avatar in the following sequence until one is found:

  1. Uploaded Avatar
  2. WordPress Avatar Setting
  3. Forum Default Avatars
  4. From Gravatar.com

If you go back to your profile page and browse for an image (it doesn't have to be less than 80x80px – it resizes larger ones) it should upload the pic to my server. When it tells you the upload is complete, you then need to save your profile again. There's a little button below it to do this. All being well you should have your chosen avatar.

The pic of the back of George's head is a standard one I've set up so that when people post comments on articles etc, if they haven't got a Gravatar it's the default pic. It's number two in the list above.

I can't work out how to fix the post, reply etc buttons so they're a bit more obvious. I think there's something missing from the admin area but I won't fix it tonight – it's late and there's a glass of wine calling my name. Laugh

PS one other thing: I found it wouldn't save my settings until I'd added a first and last name in the Personal Identity section. I might disable this – frankly I don't really care what people's real names are, as long as they're polite and don't flame other people.

16 October 2009
8.40am
mjb
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 536
Member Since:
14 October 2009
Offline
11

All sorted Joe – new avatar up!

Hope it was a decent glass of wine……..Smile

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
19 October 2009
10.02am
Joe
Pepperland
Admin
Forum Posts: 3447
Member Since:
31 March 2008
Offline
12

Great stuff.

Incidentally, I'm trialling a new server at the moment. It'll take me a while to troubleshoot, but if I get everything sorted it should zip along nicely (provided I don't get anything wrong – I'm setting up the server from scratch, which is something of a new experience for me). That's why I haven't made any site updates lately (that and moving house, but enough of my domestic issues!).

Joe

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

29 October 2009
9.46am
Joe
Pepperland
Admin
Forum Posts: 3447
Member Since:
31 March 2008
Offline
13

Just to let you know, this site was moved overnight to the new server. All being well, you should now be able to access pages much more quickly than before. I'm really pleased about this Laugh

Please give me a shout if you have any speed problems, anyone.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

3 November 2009
1.32am
mjb
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 536
Member Since:
14 October 2009
Offline
14

Oh that is much better! Excellent work Joe Cool

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
3 November 2009
3.03am
mjb
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 536
Member Since:
14 October 2009
Offline
15

That's a massive improvement Joe Cool

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
3 November 2009
10.04am
mjb
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 536
Member Since:
14 October 2009
Offline
16

Ah-hah…..there's an ECHO around here now!

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
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