Performance Tips

Introduction

If you are running a high traffic site, there are some things you can do to improve the performance of the software and make sure it stays performing well. We'll discuss those items in this file.

Disable the Search Engine

The search engine is a nice feature to provide to your users, but it is very resource intensive. All you need to do is remove the search.cgi file from your server, and remove the search form from your ranking pages. This will allow more of the server's resources to be dedicated to processing incoming and outoing hits.

Clear the IP Tracking Logs Often

One thing that can take a lot of time to process is the IP logs. If you are using the IP tracking feature, it is highly recommended that you set the IP Address Expiration value to a maximum of 86400. This will ensure that the IP tracking logs do not get too large, which results in slower execution of the in.cgi script.

Use Cron if it is Available

If you have cron available on your server, using it can help to reduce the server load. If the hit tracking script doesn't always have to check the time, it will be more efficient. If you understand how to setup cron, it is highly recommended that you use it.

Categories

The categories feature of AutoRank Pro can add significant processing time to the software if you are building seperate pages for each category. Try to keep the number of categories to a minimum. If you do have a lot of categories, it is highly recommended that you do all rebuilds through cron if it is available.

Members

Keep track of your members. Delete accounts that are no longer participating. It takes time to process accounts even if they aren't sending hits, so it will benefit you to remove inactive accounts.

The Cheat Log

If you never look at the cheat log, disable it. If you do use it, be sure to clear it every so often. You should try to keep it under 2 megs in size.

Gateway Page HTML

If you are using a customized gateway page, keep your HTML to a minimum. The more HTML that the script has to process, the slower it is. Only put the items that are essential on that page. If you add a lot of extras in your HTML, it can slow the software down.

If You Don't Care About Cheating

Yes, there are some top list administrators who don't care about cheaters. If that is you, disable all of the cheat protection features. This will improve the performance of the in.cgi script and allow you to track more hits per day using fewer resources.

C Hit Tracking Software

If you have access to a C compiler on your server and can use cron, we highly recommend using the C hit tracking software. C is a compiled language and is much faster than Perl. In addition, the time it takes to fork a new process is much smaller for the C hit tracking software because the executable size is much smaller. You can expect to reduce the server load while at the same time processing more hits if you switch to the C hit tracking software.