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Hi everyone,

I wanted to post an update about some changes that just went live. They are not related to the recent visible changes to the sites, yet it’s only because we updated the core codebase that we were now able to do this backend improvement.

The change is that 10,000 of our images and static css and javascript files are now being served by a network of servers worldwide. So instead of them only being available from our traditional server locations, they are retreived from one of dozens of server locations which means faster serving time because it’s very likely one of these servers are closer to where you are then our original servers. It costs more for us, but we think it’ll be worth it in everyone’s enjoyment of more stable serving.

Overall we don’t expect you’ll see a major improvement in page serving time at this moment (unless you live outside the US) but we do expect everyone will see much more stable consistent page loading times, less page hang and less latency with the display of images. There are about 3 million more images we went to move to this networked system (all the pet photos you have uploaded) but that will be phase two.

I also want to share with everyone this is just 1 improvement of about 20 we’ll be doing this month to improve page serving speed and download consistency. We’re attacking page serving efficiences from all sides, and this is just one of them.

Please comment in the blog here if you are seeing:

* blank images where images used to be

* pages that have text on them, but no coloring or layout

* site actions that worked last week that don’t now, such as gift popups not displaying or login problems or other actions not working.

If you could try and reload the pages a number of times. Control-R is the key commands on most browsers. Or Control-Shift-R. When you still don’t see the page right, could you let us know.

We’ve tested this a ton, but since this deals with a network of servers being accessed by 10s of thousands of people around the world each with different computers and browsers, we were not able to replicate those conditions. We have however tested the heck out of this and even had it live on one webserver for a couple hours to now complaints, so it’s ready to be tested live. If we do have to make any changes we’ll let you know. Otherwise we hope you all enjoy the better web serving technologies we could deploy.