If you were linked to this page and are interested in reading a bit more of the history of this project and a few technical notes about the new site, you should probably start here.
We launched Friday morning, with an e-mail to our MizzouIT DNS contact to switch our themaneater.com domain over to the new site.
Of course, we just couldn't have a flawless launch. The site was slow, the site would break (503 Service Unavailable), and it sucked.
So I rewrote some views. I rewrote some caches. I reconfigured the cache. I disabled the cache. I re-enabled the cache. I reconfigured the URLconf...
...After spending the better part of Friday afternoon trying to optimize the site to no avail, I learned that sometimes the best solution to the most complex problem is the simplest.
Jacob Kaplan-Moss' Django performance tips said "Turn KeepAlive off."
I don’t totally understand how KeepAlive works, but turning it off on our Django servers increased performance by something like 50%.
Launching the site before turning KeepAlive off was like getting on the highway and realizing that the handbrake was on. By 50%, he must have meant 99%.
And a HUGE sigh of relief: I've been involved with this new site on and off for nearly a year and a half now. I can't even express how happy I am to finally be somewhere with it.