TikTok trend with high visitor numbers (Loading problems fixed)

    • Official Post


    I already wrote a blog post about it, but I guess I should dedicate an extra topic to this as well.

    Around mid of February the SP-Studio began trending on TikTok, which is great! Many people created videos with it. But this had one downside. My server is overloaded because it cannot handle so many visitors at the same time. Since then I got hundrets of e-mails complaining about the website not loading. And unfortunately this does not only mean it loads slowly... it does noit load at all for them.

    I understand that this is annoying, but I cannot do much about it. Boosting the server is expensive (and for now there was no rise in donations for supporting the SP-Studio). But I am working on other ways to improve the situation! If I find a solution I'll let you know here. In the meaintime I will use this topic to help you with some tips, even though it looks like they do not help much when the server is overloaded.

    These are some things I know about the loading problems:

    • Your country matters. I get less complaints from central Europe than from other countries. So I assume this might be an issue. Maybe the server prioritises requests if they are near. But using a VPN does not seem to help.
    • 10:00 UTC might be a good time. This is the time when the server is less overrun (check your timezone here). It seems like the loading problems still happen, but this helped at least some users to get access.
    • Most reports are abourt smartphones, not computers. I don't understand why computers work better. Maybe it's just because more visitors use smartphones. Or maybe it's because computers often use a better internet connection.
    • Improve your internet speed. Visit https://www.google.com/search?q=speedtest and start the test. Less than 10 mbit/s can be a problem, so try to get to a good wifi spot.
    • :!: Do not push the reload button all the time. This makes the server overload worse and does not help at all. Instead try again after 30 minutes. Use a hard refresh then ore clear your browser cache once if you feel stuck (as described here).
  • Additionally, there are some steps that you can take to help reduce the load on the server:

    1. Use the website during off-peak hours if possible. As mentioned, 10:00 UTC seems to be a good time to access the website.
    2. Avoid using multiple tabs or browsers to access the website. This will increase the load on the server and make it harder for others to access the website.
    3. Use the website for a shorter duration. Try to finish your task on the website quickly and exit to give others a chance to access it.
    4. Share your creation on social media instead of creating multiple videos on the website. This will help reduce the load on the server and allow others to access it as well.
    5. Lastly, consider supporting the website through donations. As the website owner mentioned, boosting the server is expensive, and donations can help to cover the cost of maintaining the website and improving its performance.

    Hopefully, these tips will help improve the loading problems for users of the SP-Studio website.

    • Official Post

    Thank you! :)

    Just one extra thought regarding the part about "use the website for a shorter duration": As far as I know Lars coded the base for the SP-Studio in a way so that no assets must be loaded after the initial loading proccess. You can even go offline then. So when you manage to get past this point you can use the SP-Studio without blocking the server for others as long as you want. It might be even better to keep the tab open after it loaded instead of reloading again with your next visit.

    • Official Post

    Today I will try something to improve the server situation. I will activate a Cloudflare Global CDN - which SHOULD lead to faster loading times. Let's hope it works! A content delivery network (CDN) is a group of geographically distributed servers which support the original server. They help to make the website load faster if you do not live near the original server. So this sounds like a good solution for the current problem.

    This may result in the entire website being unavailable for a short period of time!

    When the transition is completed may vary depending on your location.

    • Official Post

    It seems like the website is working again, now with the new Cloudflare servers as support. But I need your help with something:

    If you experienced loading problems during the last week...

    Please visit sp-studio.de, try if it loads now and fill out this form:

    Loading problems | SP-Studio

    I cannot test it myself since I never had the loading problems. Collecting this information will help everybody else as well. Thank you! :heart:

    • Official Post

    Update on the server situation: The change from Tuesday worked and the server problems are fixed.

    If you still experience loading problems it is very likely these are caused by your browser or internet connection. I updated the help page.

    The visitor numbers are still wild. A new all-time-record for the SP-Studio. And I have to admit this makes me tear up from time to time. It's like... so many years of work finally pay off. And I don't just mean this because of the money, but because of the recognition. Back when the SP-Studio first became famous it was pretty small compared to today and there was no actualy website for the community. Then I worked hard to improve it, but I was too late - the visitor numbers declined slowly because I missed the opportunity when the hype was there. This feels a bit like a second chance to show how the SP-Studio improved since back then. Of course nobody can tell how lon this TikTok trend will stay. Will new visitors decide to come back? I have no idea, but this is not important at the moment. At least Lars and I gave our best to provide them with an app we can be proud of. So I am pretty happy right now. :)

  • Janina

    Changed the title of the thread from “Loading problems (caused by TikTok trend with high visitor numbers)” to “TikTok trend with high visitor numbers (Loading problems fixed)”.
    • Official Post

    Small update: From now on there are more "info boxes" in the SP-Studio. Like the ads they appear on bottom of the category lists of items, so they will not annoy you by causing more scrolling. The content of these boxes can be a helpful hint about how to use the SP-Studio... or it can lead to different areas of the website like contests and wish voting. I had the feeling that most mobile users do not use the regular menu, so this is a way to inform them about all the things they can do.

    I also improved the mobile view of some pages (like the contests and the wish voting submission) and shortened the text there. Currently 84% of all users vitis the website with a smartphone. And I added the two top questions to the F.A.Q. because nobody reads all of them.

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