SparkPeople Technology Update

Hello SparkPeople Members!

I’m back again for the second State of the Spark Address. The topic of today’s address—updating our website technology—puts me in a very good mood.

New Servers Installed! has now entered the major leagues in terms of website traffic, according to my team and our high level outside consultants. As many people had noticed, the growth this year was placing a strain on the site and causing slowdowns during busy times. I apologize for any slowdowns you experienced. But, I’m happy to report that we have been working hard on building the new server architecture. For those of you not familiar with them, servers are just special computers that handle all the visitors to the site.

We needed to build a new server architecture that could handle all of our existing visitors, but also be easily expanded upon to support future growth.

This past weekend, we successfully switched over to the new servers! Josh, our Senior Vice President of Engineering, was at the server location until about 4 a.m. making the switch after many hours of preparation.

When I tried the site Monday morning, it was like getting a new toy because the site was running so fast! This makes me happy because it will improve your experience as well.

SparkPeople Culture
One of the best parts about this upgrade is that it highlights the culture at our company. We work hard to “live the brand” by following SparkPeople principles ourselves.

This upgrade was a complicated and time-consuming technology project. Many companies would have hired someone new to handle this. But our team likes challenges and Josh figured out how to make it happen. Our team takes on challenges regularly to continually improve their skills; this is one of the reasons we’re able to offer the site for free to reach our mission.

Quick commercial break: These servers were very expensive, but much less expensive than I feared because of the skills of our team. So, we would greatly appreciate help from our members—in the form of supporting the site advertisers, using the WebSearch to help us earn revenue, and Spreading the Spark to others.

2007 Growth
Another important outcome of this upgrade is that it gives us a lot of room to grow. We estimate that can now handle an increase of several hundred percent more visitors from where we are now, and we have the ability to expand from there.

This means 2007 could be a great year for all of us, including all of the people who haven't yet heard about SparkPeople!

This potential growth in 2007 is important for a couple of reasons. First, it makes it realistic to reach our mission of helping millions of people. And second, since we are a free site, we must continue growing so that our name attracts high-quality advertisers so we can pay our expenses while keeping the site free for everyone.

Thanks again for your support. Have fun reaching your goals!

Chris “SparkGuy” Downie
SparkPeople Founder & CEO
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Member Comments

A tech update from 2006? Your New Year's resolution for 2014 should be to take this down. Report
Good Morning, Chris!! I know this is an old (er) article, but I stumbled across it today and it reminded me of a profile image I came across. It has MOVING (two cats playing ping-pong) animation! Do we upload the animated pictures just like the still? Just checking... Have a GREAT day!! Annie Report
I just joined on 7/31/08, still new and trying to find my way, but what I've seen so far I like, Chris you are a God send thanks for being there for so many people who lives with the growing problems of being overweight, I know this website is really going to help me and I am passing it along. My goal is to lose another 50 lbs., I have lost 20 so far.Thanks again and GOD BLESS YOU!

Cynthia Report
God bless you and your staff for this life changing website. Thank you Chris!!! Report
Thanks for SP! Report
Thank you Chris for all your hard work and the work by your staff to keep this website free and attainable by all. I have only been on here for almost two months have lost almost 20 lbs. and I couldn't have done it without sparkpeople. Your committment to sparkpeople is inspiring. It is because of people like you that the world is a better place. Thanks from the bottom of my heart. Teri. 1Avery. Report
I remember thanking you for this marvelous resource when I first discovered "Spark". As time has passed and I've read about how many lives have been changed by your generosity.......
.I know that there is definitely a special place in heaven for you. I also know that there is a special place in my heart for you. With much gratitude.....
healthyhabit Report


About The Author

Chris Downie
Chris Downie
As the founder and CEO of SparkPeople, Chris is passionate about helping people reach their goals! See all articles by Chris.
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