As the site continues to grow, one of the things that is going to be important is the speed at which it loads. Six months ago, I moved to a virtual private server at the time we rolled out design upgrades, expanded comment features including email notification, the online membership services (which still have yet to be developed but the technology is in place), and a host of other upgrades.
Last night, the site began cacheing itself to Amazon Cloudfront and S3. Long story short, static version of many of the site’s files, such as images, are being automatically replicated to Amazon.com’s enormous infrastructure around the world. That means when you visit the site, your browser can send a request to fetch the content from the closest server, drastically decreasing load times. The process will take a few days to get everything switched over and replicated throughout the globe but in the end, it should be worth it. Over the next six to twelve months, a majority of the static content should be hosted on Amazon Web Service’s S3, improving performance even further. Depending upon where you are located and how you access the site, you may notice the change instantly or little to no change for weeks as everything is migrated.