Do Your PartFor a long time SummitPost has been experiencing periods where it goes slower than your average website. This is caused by all the great contributions which makes the database run slow. As one of the greatest mountaineering websites of all times I feel as though this is a issue where we can help make a difference. This article was created to help show you some of the things you can do.
I feel as though SP is coming into a new Era where we as members have to be responsible with how we post and what extras we have on the site that are not necessary. Take a Stand and join the operation.
Private MessagesMany of the active members including myself send lots of Private Messages, over the years this could range from hundreds to thousands. If you never look at them, it's time to remove them. But what about the Private Messages I wanna keep? Simply archive them which will make it easier to find and separate it from the main inbox. When removing private messages you can remove them in bulk by hitting the "select all" link at the bottom of the inbox page. Then hit the delete button (or archive if you want to save them). This may take a while depending on how many private messages you have built up. Even just deleting some of your inbox messages would be doing SP a favor, so don't feel obligated to go crazy with it. But if your willing, be sure to do the same with the Sent Box.
Page VersionsPage Versions are a huge part of the problem from my understanding. There are over 35,000 pages posted here on SP (not including images) which most of them have back up versions. These are created to help restore information in case of accidental removal of important text or other scenarios. There are 3 back ups per page, so in theory there are 105,000 pages from back ups alone! I'm not saying back ups are a bad thing, but if your the page owner and/or has a trusted admin for your page, then you should remove the back ups. This can be done by going to any of your pages, clicking on the page menu link called "View History". Near the bottom left there is a link that says "All" which will check all the versions, then hit the button called "Delete Selected Versions". This will not harm your page in any way.
Be sure to do this after making all/most of your revisions to that pages or else the back ups will appear again. Keep in mind if you have a lot of editors or a admin of a page you don't fully trust, then keep the back ups for that page. Then proceed to do this with more of your pages to help save space and database load.
Resizing ImagesResizing pictures is another important thing you can do. Unfortunately it does very little for the database, but does save space on the SummitPost server which over time might save a little bit of speed if many people start doing this. To do this use your favorite resizing program, for me I use Picasa 3. I use the export mode to resize the pictures which can be seen on youtube. You can also find online image resizers which may take longer one by one. Resizing your image will also speed up the upload process.
Other ThingsThere are a few other things we can do to help like deleting irrelevant pictures or ones that are not very informative. Also deleting old forum posts that do not serve helpful to SP. If you can't delete it, ask the elves to delete it.
When posting pictures, try to make them count. I take thousands of photographs and often times have a hard time choosing between ones that are similar but are not exactly the same. Some might post both pictures, but I discourage this because not only of space take up, but for the audience who browses though pictures.
Back in the "Good old days" of SP you could post all kinds of stuff and not worry about it. SP has gotten a lot more content since and needs more care for what gets posted. It is even more important than ever that posts are relevant to SP. I know it's gonna sound a little strange, but here is one way to think of it: In the wilderness back in the day you could camp where ever you want when ever you wanted to. Now days there are many designated camping zones and limitations to camping which is set in place to help preserve the wilderness.
I, Josh Lewis have done pretty much everything in this article. I hope others can join in as well. Keep in mind that SP still may run slow even with a lot of people participating, but every bit helps. But it's worth a shot, I say go for it!
About this Article: If you have anything to add or correct, please let me know. I hope that no one was offended in any way, but want whats best for SummitPost.