Infrastructure Update

One year ago today, I posted a status update about’s infrastructure and other behind-the-scenes technical stuff. Since this isn’t really camera-related, I try to keep posts about it to a minimum but I’m sure at least a few of our readers are curious what’s changed over the course of our first year.

Backup Status: We have an automated nightly backup process in place. Backups of the website and wiki database are automatically created and we currently maintain one offsite copy of the nightly backup in case of catastrophic failure of the server. We’d like to add a second offsite backup location. If you can provide around 200MB of space on a server and an FTP login, please let me know!

Social Media: Vox has been busy keeping our twitter feed full of interesting links and we’ve now got over 250 followers. If you don’t already, please follow us on twitter! Our Camera-Wiki Facebook page is close to 100 followers and continues to see slow steady growth. We recently created a Google Plus Camera-Wiki page. Our G+ page is just a place holder for now but should become more active in the future. Google Plus doesn’t currently allow for syndication of twitter, so there’s not much to see yet. If you’re a Google Plus user and you’d like to volunteer to post regular updates or even just repost our tweets to our G+ page, please let me know!

MediaWiki Status: We successfully upgraded to MediaWiki 1.17.x in October 2011. An upgrade to MediaWiki 1.18.x is planned after we complete some category changes currently being made. Work on MediaWiki 1.19 is under way with a possible release by April of 2012. Once 1.19 is released and looks stable, we’ll upgrade to that version. We hope 1.19 will give us the ability to make further usability improvements to the article editor and flickr image posting process. You can find out what version of MediaWiki we’re running at any time by visiting the version page.

Server Status: We continue to rely on Dreamhost VPS (Virtual Private Server) for our hosting, one VPS acts as a MySQL DB server and another hosts the Apache web server, MediaWiki, and WordPress software. Our resource usage is slowly climbing as Camera-Wiki’s popularity and traffic rises. We will increase our VPS resource allocation as needed to keep up but each increase brings slightly higher hosting costs. As always, the best way to help is to make a donation to the hosting fund! If everyone who uses Camera-Wiki donated just $5 or $10 per year, we’d be able to easily cover our annual hosting costs.

Site Traffic: Immediately after our launch a year ago, we were receiving around 3,000 page views per day. By March of 2011, that doubled to 6,000 page views per day. Today, we’re averaging close to 18,000 page views per day. These stats are based on the Analog stats program used at Dreamhost. We’ve also started using Google analytics to get more detailed numbers. Google uses a more restrictive algorithm that ignores page views by non-human agents, such as bots, proxies and caches. GA results for February 2012 show around 150,000 page views and more than 40,000 unique visitors to Camera-Wiki! We also track our Alexa ranking and, during our first year we’ve moved steadily up the chart of most visited websites from our starting point at over 400,000 to our current rank of closer to 200,000 for US websites. Breaking 100,000 on Alexa’s US charts is a significant achievement but could happen for Camera-Wiki during 2012.

That’s it for now. Thanks to everyone who has helped make it this far!

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