April 20, 2015
We’re experimenting with some changes that might allow us to use our old gallery software if it works. If you don’t mind, please poke through some galleries while we monitor CPU usage. If our CPU numbers spike, we might have to abruptly turn off our galleries again. Apologies in advance if that happens while you’re exploring. Update 1:45 pm PDT – Unfortunately, our test appears to have been unsuccessful. We’ve hd to disable our galleries again for the time being.
April 19, 2015
We are experimenting with a few different options to see how they affect performance and usability. One such option is our coverage of the April 2015 World Naked Bike Ride in San Francisco as well as our Tribute to Cookie Dough. Check them out and continue to poke around. We’ll continue to update this post with more news of our progress.
April 18, 2015
Please accept our apologies for the ongoing issues with the photo galleries. We are working very hard to bring them back online.
The issue began about a month ago when our hosting company informed us that we were using an excessive amount of their server’s CPU. Our site is on a shared server, and our hosting company was forced to reduce our memory usage, preventing any page with a photo gallery from displaying.
After extensive testing, we were able to confirm that it was our photo gallery plugin that was eating up CPU processing. When our site was smaller, this effect wasn’t really noticeable. But as we’ve grown — we now have more than 25,000 photos posted in over 360 posts — it began to use up more and more of the CPU capacity. In one test, we were using over 12% of the CPU’s capacity with only a few hundred page views.
Since this is a hobby site that has never generated any income, we cannot afford to upgrade to a plan that would allow us to have a dedicated server. We’ve been forced to disable the galleries while we seek a solution.
One option would be to use WordPress’ native photo gallery functionality. Our fear is that we won’t know until we’ve uploaded 25,000 photos whether that also has performance problems on our shared server, and if it does, it won’t be as easy to roll back as it was to deactivate the plugin we were using.
We have therefore been looking at other photo sharing services that would allow us to post the photos on another site with the galleries displayed here. Unfortunately, the risque nature of many of our photos — go-go boys in jockstraps, lube wrestling, strip poker, the World Naked Bike Ride, and more — limit our options.
Flickr seemed like a great option at first. We’d have the robustness of Yahoo’s servers to power us, and they allow for risque content provided it is flagged as moderate or restricted so that users who only wish to see safe photos can filter those out. And we like how their galleries display. Unfortunately, they only allow safe photos to be displayed externally. That puts us in an impossible bind: either we only display safe photos here, which wipes out most of our best content, or we improperly mark our risque photos as safe, which runs the high risk of Flickr deleting our account.
We’ve been looking at other external photo hosting options without success. Picasa, 500px, SmugMug, and Zenfolio all prohibit photos with nudity, as far as we can tell. Instagram has content restrictions as well, and doesn’t appear to have a gallery option. Dropbox is a cloud storage service that has photo-sharing capabilities, but they have bandwidth limits that could create problems down the road.
We’ve looked at a few sites that advertise as adult photo hosting sites, but so far, none have gallery options, just individual photos.
We thought about using Flickr for the safe pics, like drag shows and the Castro Street Fair, while having the more risque photos here using WordPress’ native galleries, but since the risque photos constitute a substantial majority of our content, that probably won’t help much.
If you have any suggestions, please let us know!
If you know of any photo hosting services that will allow posting photo galleries on an external site and allows for photos with nudity, please let us know! (We’re fully expecting that anything that suits our needs will not be a free service.) Please post a comment here with any suggestions you have.
In the meantime, we’ll continue our hunt for other options. We’ll post on Twitter as soon as everything is back to normal.
Thank you for your patience!