View Full Version : HauntWorld Server Issues... Please read
09-24-2008, 11:12 PM
I have been AWOL for a few days because Hauntworld is having problems already staying on line and not overloading our data bases. The site was basically FROZEN for 5 days because there are just to many people trying to use this site now to find haunted houses.
Hauntworld is becoming the Travelocity for haunts and the servers just can't take the traffic... we didn't have ONE problem all of last year and we are only in September and already we have tons of issues.
We NOW HAVE THREE yes THREE servers to handle this traffic, the one Hauntworld is on has TWO THOUSAND GIGS FOR BANDWIDTH... 3 GIG of RAM, and it wasn't enough.
I had to order yet ANOTHER server and I'm moving HauntedHouseOnline.com and all the connecting sites to that server.
HERE IS THE BAD NEWS...
When you go to update your attractions Hauntworld will NOW BE SEVERED from HauntedHouseOnline.com so you must now update BOTH separate.
There is just no other way to do it... Hauntworld.com gets 80% of all the traffic and it needs its own data base all by itself. There just is no other way... now if you want to add a new haunt you must add it to both sites.
HauntedHouseonline.com will update all the sites including HauntedHouseAssociation.org, to HauntedHouses.us, to HalloweenHauntedHouse.com and everything between just NO LONGER feed Hauntworld.com.
Going forward I'm considering wiping the whole data base out 110% and charging just for a basic listing, and well if that cuts out 60% of the listings oh well... it will help my server and keep it running smoother.
Hauntworld might hit 3 million visits this October maybe more...its a staggering number, that requires MEGA servers that are NOT cheap and can't be bought just for that one month. I'm now up to about $12,000.00 in server costs per year.
This is out of control...
I will do EVERYTHING to keep the site running this October, but the way the sites traffic just keeps growing I will have no choice but to make some major changes for 2009, which will result in changes to what we charge for banners, listings and everything else.
I will have to get Hauntworld a server that will probably cost me $1000.00 or more per month, and that won't include the two others that will cost $350.00 per month.
Anyway...sorry for it being down and now hopefully it will stay working from here on out.
09-25-2008, 02:05 AM
Going forward I'm considering wiping the whole data base out 110% and charging just for a basic listing, and well if that cuts out 60% of the listings oh well...
Larry, I don't think haunt owners would complain about a fee for a basic
Plus, from what I can tell, your "basic" listings are not so basic. Listers are
permitted to submit multimedia at no extra charge, correct?
Maybe you could create another listing tier. For example, the "Basic" package could
include no multimedia, except for a photo. They could cost, say, $50 for the
The next package up would include multimedia, and you could charge
And then you have the Featured Listings, of course, whose listings costs
should increase, as well, as HauntWorld becomes more and more *the*
place to go to find haunts.
Actually, you could even go so far as to have a "classifieds" section,
where listers can opt to have a truly text-only ad. That would give
the home haunters a chance at some of the fun, too. :)
Besides, cutting out 60% of the listings kind of defeats the purpose of
Hang in there, Larry. :)
09-25-2008, 04:29 AM
hey larryi kinda know a thing or two about computers and stuff.
now adays most computers have 3 gigs of ram so you might just need to upgrade that to maybe 10 gigs, which will cost you a fraction of the price of a new server.
pretty much for 2 terabytes of bandwidth you need alot more ram.
Just look into upgrading your current servers instead of buying new ones.
09-25-2008, 07:53 AM
I am also in IT, and you really need much more ram, and you may want to configure your servers for load balancing, if you haven't already....
09-26-2008, 02:24 PM
As long as the IT geeks are jumping in... it does sound like you need to load balance your web servers, up the memory, and think about dedicating a box for your database. You should not have to split the database up like that. With the virtual web servers you should have tons more ram on those servers. And, I would put your database on a separate physical server if the traffic is getting fat. Just my $.02.....
Also, just to note, while it is cool to see a peek of the servers, addresses like "wwwwww.YOU" should actually not resolve to anything. (I hit that one on accident when you were down last week.) Of course design changes at your peek time are not all that good of an idea. You guys may want to do some spring cleaning of your servers. :)
09-27-2008, 10:11 AM
In spite of the bandwidth/traffic issues on the HauntWorld.com site, since adding the banner ad on your Find Haunted Houses page, Hauntworld is the number one referring site in our "Links from an external page" website traffic statistics report! I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with the issues resolved!:o
09-27-2008, 08:07 PM
Forgive me if I'm being rude but, 400 banners (if) paying $200 a year could be potentially $80,000. You could own a data bank and someone sitting somewhere (anywhere on the planet) making sure the listings are accurate. Super dooper featured listings could be more. The high attendance haunts spend $150,000 a year to advertise. How much of that did hauntworld work from? Only one group of haunts supported it rather than 1000.
On the other end of the scale if it crashes every year you have stolen all of that money and not really provided the potential service. Then Local and state haunt listings get better traffic and you fall off the front search page.
There is enough content on this thing to be anything it could be. And like a seasonal haunt, it should seasonally shift gears in equipment like in August.
It's like calling to have pizza delivered and the phone line is busy for a few weeks. Maybe you don't really like the other available pizza shops so you just go grocery shopping instead. And just live life dissapointed.
Everyone at every level is just going to have to get serious and be somebody. There are blogs out there with comments that would be similar to the forums and listings here in function doing $30,000 per month, Even if the high gear is only achieved for 6 weeks that's $45,000 value minumum plus the rest of the year in traffic at a lower level. A blog on a stupid subject can see 50,000 hits every single day 365. Those are actually slacker levels of traffic. They know they aren't really trying. Those doing better aren't telling why they are successful.
The new haunted house profiles are similar to myspace pages where 14 year old girls make $70,000 a month making free glittery butterfly words available for your site for free.
Until Hauntworld is seriously monitized and supported it is seasonally useless. I mean I appreciate the yearly involvement and personal commitment trying to keep it going but, money should come from customers. A percentage of money from customers should be buying real world overhead. I also appreciate the rule of not having adds all over the place to make it look cheap.
No $25 levels, no $50 limited member ship. get to serious pro listing service cost. $200 to $250. You know what will happen? Instead of being a maggot muncher, you will have a far more respected service. This is a listing of the real somebodies with current information.
The big problem is at all levels of haunting we are helping each other totally for free. That money to help is coming from somewhere and going down the tubes. It doesn't require an association just putting your money where your listing is. You don't need tote bags, T-shirts and membership cards. That's PTA crap. Are you listed or not. The ones that do list will wring in all the locals to also participate when they experience some success because the thing didn't have the ram chip jiggle out in late September.
There are spammers with 20 cheap Wal mart computers in their closet doing more traffic than this.
Plus if there was a budget to work from, I'm sure it would be a little less stressful and would evolve the next ten years more organically than You idiots and that Inflatable Turd post cost me $40 in bandwidth. When in reality things like the turd post we made, keeping us from screwing up every other thread until we were worn out. Yet, some faction of dysfunctional people tuned in to see what stupid things did they come up with on the turd post today? That traffic led to hey where are the haunted houses around here? These people are whacked out and I need to meet people like them close to home. To see what silly things are in that haunted house I have driven by for the last 5 years. Oh, what's this thread about darkness pictures? Where's that?
Maybe they aren't illiterate hillbillies and black plastic? They have to pay money to even be listed. Even a free listing on something that doesn't work is just a waste of typing time. Time that is better spent making something or talking to some one that will refer customers to buy tickets at the door or online.
On the bigger picture, I know in my state, there are so many very successful haunts that could care less and some very good small haunts that have lost faith in even spending the time to have a web site as nothing has been demonstrated.
I think it could be demonstrated. And as a result sold easily listing by listing instead of relying on a dozen haunts, websites and vendors trying to carry everyone.
I'm just saying.
What else does this industry potentially have? a Buyers guide no one wants? Secret phone listings of haunts and vendors? That's just not sociable.
I know I could sell it but, it would interfere with my coming up with crap for the Inflatable turd post so I would need an incentive. If you put in $200 for a listing and it brings even only $1000 back did you make money?
Conversely Larry's check book was lost in a pile of hauntworld videos and the ram didn't get stuck in just right, so even typing out a free listing a couple of times a year as updates were required was a shame.
Again, I'm just saying.
Are we really building a continent wide site with user generated content that boosts everyone proportionally or is this all an evil plan to send people ultimately to .....................dot com. If only one guy is paying for it, he earned the rewards. If everyone contributed it is happening.
There is nothing else happening better anywhere. Can it be made into something?
09-27-2008, 11:45 PM
I've read your post a few times, and I think I understand at least part of it, but by all means, please correct me if I'm wrong.
Your first point is that if people are paying to have advertising year-round, then no matter what it takes, the ram/server situation needs to be taken care of no later than August so that all of these haunts that are paying for yearly advertising get their money's worth, especially during haunt season, when it's most important. That means that when people try to access the forum, they should be able to do so, and it shouldn't be slow or difficult to access. Am I right so far?
Now here's where things start getting a bit fuzzy for me. Next you say that the money to pay for taking care of the ram/server situation should come from customers. I'm not really quite clear on who these customers are, but from what I can tell you are speaking of the haunts who want to post listings at Hauntworld.
I apologize, but I have a difficult time understanding you. From what I can tell, you are saying that just a few haunts currently pay for their listings, and those haunts pay most of the money to support Hauntworld. I thought all the Haunts pay for their listings. I would think that professional haunts pay more than home haunts, but that's just my personal input.
Perhaps instead, you are saying that just a few haunts are paying a majority of the money, and some haunts pay very little money. I'm just not quite sure. However, it does appear that you are saying that everybody *should* pay the same amount ($200-$250) for a listing. Is that per month? And they are already paying $200 per month for a banner (before he edited it, the first sentence in Greg's post above said that banners cost $200 per month)? Could you pay that much per month for a listing and banner and also pay for rent, bills, gas, etc., in this economy? Just wondering.
And did I even get it right? I'm just trying to understand. And even if everyone could come up with the money you are suggesting, would that guarantee that the ram/server issues would all be resolved and would no longer exist during the haunt season? I personally believe that time is an issue that needs to be factored in, which means that somehow we would have to find time in a busy schedule to work out these issues way ahead of time. The ram/server issues are never going to take priority over the very important Hauntworld magazine issue that has all of the top haunts in it, and then it's time to work on the haunts. No offense intended, just stating a fact.
I think I will go find that inflatable turd thread now so that I won't disturb any other threads.
09-28-2008, 01:09 AM
Not $200 a month, $200 a year.
Even a home haunt can be somebody for $16.66 per month and it better make the machines work. But, only if the machines work will everyone actually benefit.
Then there is participation on a greater level.
Then Larry doesn't have to have an emergency every year.
Then every haunt actually is a customer with good feed back on what is needed and not needed.
If you can't come up with $16.66 a month you probably just got out of prison and maybe shouldn't be scaring people.
This reduces the burden on the big haunts too, They can get away with maybe $500 for the top listing on their states page Instead of spending $5,000 each on a national campaign.
The world is shifting, HAS shifted and things like Hauntworld can have just as much power as any TV network or Newspaper service. The more subscribers that are more than just active but, investing in the day to day expense of a primo site, the more power it has.
It is all totally irrelivant to wether everyone likes each other or not. We aren't in this to have a party, we are building businesses.
As many old school successful haunts have done so with out Hauntworld and even ignore it's existence, maybe you don't need it at all, and it is totally dysfunctional to be passionate about this site or supporting it OR the future is right here and how information is going to be sought in the very near future.
No worky means no future.
Yet, I have observed other fields and intresting forums and I would check regularly just to see the whackos post something creative. They/We are doing this here. But, to what value. We can be whacked out and clinically dysfunctional and drive massive amounts of intrest here. To what end?
There is so much potential beyond everyone venting and ANY portion of this having any better priority. Picking the top 10 is sorry to say not the highest priority here that go on here. It does serve a function in the whole but, it is one event in thousands of functions this thing provides.
It may be what YOU are most passionate about but, there is so much more available depending on how well formed your frontal lobe is.
09-28-2008, 01:39 AM
I wasn't saying that the top haunts are my priority or passion. I was saying that putting out that magazine with all of the top haunts was very time-consuming and then it was time to begin working on the actual haunts. And I was simply trying to determine where in all of that finding time to fix the ram/server issues fit in. Can it be done by August, as you suggest?
09-28-2008, 02:53 AM
It shouldn't be a "fix" every year. It could be a planned bandwith usage plan. If there is devoted money it isn't predicted usage or what can be afforded but, rather what is consumed out of a budget.
Having money already in means people are available to manage this service totally independent of getting a haunted house(s) in order, get out a magazine or what ever burden.
If each service costs $1000 a month there need to be 60 paying banners at $200 a pop to support this per system.
Not doing any of this means the forums and haunt listings have no value or reliability. It's a catch 22. Maybe it has already been a catch 22 for haunted houses willing to buy banners?
I'm just making suggestions. It's not my machine.
09-28-2008, 07:11 AM
Good thoughts and suggestions. But right now Larry needs to focus on keeping this site up for those who already paid for banner ads. He says and it appears that traffic is heaver this time of year. We need this problem fixed as this is when our banner ads need to be seen. It does not do us good in Jan or July or Dec. This also goes for listings not just banner ads. If not then we all have given Larry some extra money to dump into the Darkness.
Larry I ask you as well as many others here if what you say is true about your site then please stay on top of this problem. Honestly I do think that Larry will or hope he does on this issue. Larry just stay on top of this. Shane and its just Shane this time.
09-28-2008, 10:31 AM
Here are the details from siteanalytics.compete.com. I know these are not perfect but they are a good measure of what you are buying when you are buying add space and hit count. You also need to take in mind that these numbers get thrown off by things like some of the anti-virus products scanning all the links you search, NOT visit, but search in Google.
I ran the site for our now defunct haunt for many years. The topic of not only hit count, but the value of hits from searches from large sources is an issue. Yea, it was cool to see that we got over 100 hits in October from the UK. Did those sell our tickets? Its hard to tell, maybe....
Check the details for yourself. BTW, The Engagement and Growth metrics are probably more what you want to see than a historic view of visitors over the last year.
09-28-2008, 12:10 PM
All those on our competing chart are currently on top of one another on the same machines. The yearly fix (as an observer) has been to temporarily seperate them out.
I'm suggesting it isn't just telling Larry to do it or he has to do it but, Intentionally purchasing banners to allow for an infastructure.
Myspace used to go through servere access problems wether it has any real use to the planet or not. Hauntworld is now trying to be an extention of myspace for haunt profiles, utoob for haunt related video, multiple forums and so on.
On the same token, are we discovering that haunts are not seeing or are not aware of any appreciable ticket sales from even riding on a free listing? Some locations 2% to 4% might not amount to much in actual dollars taken in but, had they invested it country wide would have been "the way" to be accessed and would have or will in the future result in higher returns?
The other issue I can think of is participation has not been more for a number of reasons. One is that it has not been made a fee based system and is trying to be a free application service. If that is the case, I don't want to hear how much things are costing or that the yearly problem is bigger than usual. There should have been a billionare venture capitalist in the server room a month ago getting ready to flip this bitch in 10 years.
Or we need to take up a collection to send Larry to billionare school and get him an Alfred to carry on if he dies on us. Alfred would know which black boxes to switch all the cables to. It would be called Project Hauntworld Begins. If Larry can survive Mongolian sword fighting, Hauntworld will really be something.
09-28-2008, 12:26 PM
Or worse yet, after this halloween season Morgan Freeman will blow up Hauntworld so that everyones information doesn't fall into the wrong hands?
09-28-2008, 12:28 PM
Don't carry your cell phones with you...Hauntworld might be tracking you.
09-28-2008, 06:50 PM
The first year I had server problems wasn't because the site didn't work, it was when I didn't have my own server so I got some 7,000.00 bill for bandwidth, and I was like WTF... I wasn't charging anyone a dime and I got that bill.
So then I started charging, got a dedicated server and made this site with all these cool graphics and that choked the server to the point of not working at all... I had problems all that year.
The next year, last year I planned for a ton of traffic and the site worked like a charm...
This year we did the same as always, but we already had to much traffic, and it was overloading the site. My server company took 2 weeks to increase the RAM, but that didn't solve the problem.
We keep adding all of these services and benefits to the site and there is a ton of coding and coding issues helped choke up the site. I'm investing 6 figures to this site per year right now... i don't have millions so I learn my doing, and sometimes you do and you learn.
We do not charge nearly enough for what we offer, neither does HH.com, so we should be granted some degree of learning on the fly, but at the same time you should expect results.
I'm trying and doing everything I can to stay on top of this... more changes on the way to make the site work better and smoother.
I can't solve this overload on the server, I have a giant server, and the only way I'm going to do that is charge double what I charge now and get a 2 or 3k server per month, and two years from now that won't even be enough.
This just keeps going up.
I'm doing everything I can I promise you!
Lastly, I'm also spending something around $15,000.00 of my own money to promote the site on other sites. A full breakdown coming after the season.
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