Ben Nadel
On User Experience (UX) Design, JavaScript, ColdFusion, Node.js, Life, and Love.
I am the chief technical officer at InVision App, Inc - a prototyping and collaboration platform for designers, built by designers. I also rock out in JavaScript and ColdFusion 24x7.
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Ben Nadel at CFUNITED 2010 (Landsdown, VA) with:

Required Changes To My RSS Feed Format

By Ben Nadel on
Tags: Work

Some of you may know that I was recently added to the MXNA feed site. Some of you may not. Either way, MXNA hits my RSS feed like no body's business and actually managed to crash my site last night with some long running threads. Crashing the site means crashing the server and since my server space is graciously donated by my boss Jim Curran over at Nylon Technology, this is unacceptable.

In order to remedy this, I have updated my RSS feed to provide no more than 500 characters per post and to strip out all HTML elements. If you want to read more, you have to come to the site and view the entry for yourself. Sorry if this is an inconvenience for anyone, but it is what is necessary.

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Reader Comments

Ben:

Can you explain in more detail how MXNA can crash your web server? I had not heard before that MXNA was a problem.

Sorry, I was not clear with what was going on. My RSS feed was NOT efficient. It was crazy long. MXNA just hits its it a lot. Because my RSS feed was not working well, the increased traffic to it was crashing my site.

So, just to iterate - it was NOT a problem with MXNA, it was a problem with MY RSS FEED. It just was brought to light because of the higher traffic.

Ben, I had the same problem when I was added to MXNA (in addition to a backup software crashing my MySQL server, but that's another story). I had to do something very similar to what you did.

You could try Ray's scopecache on the main feed or make the feed static by saving the feed out to an XML file and only refreshing the file when you add a post. static files would reduce load on your database and CF server and would also provide a spider friendly URL.

The only major issue I see is how you provide custom feeds and having to deal with all the permutations might be a nightmare unless you create some way of caching bits of different feeds and then performing a quick post-assembly.

Adam, Chris,

All good suggestions. I think the problem was the sheer amount of data that was transfering in the RSS feed. With only a small snippet, I don't know of I need to take the time to optimize just yet. However, I do like the static idea. I will think that one over. I will also look into FeedBurner.

Thanks fellas!