We've been receiving reports over the last couple of days that the site has become slow and unusable. This news came as a bit of a shock as we've actually just cleaned up much of the backend database and procedures. Interestingly these complaints fell in line with the start of a new ad campaign with doubleclick which required javascript inserts.

Our suspicions are that it was this that was causing your page loading to "hickup" rather than the page itself (as no delays have been recorded by our backend monitoring software, most active pages being served in an average of 30ms). As we only get complaints when the site slows we'd appreciate feedback from our visitors (just today please) if they've notice a significant improvement in performance.

UPDATE: Just seven hours after posting this article we've had over 150 emails from people all around the world, many thanks to everyone. Things are obviously better, we think we've tracked it down to a combination of the DoubleClick ads we were serving (we'll work with them to deliver their ads a different way) and a "tightness" of bandwidth from our hosting provider.

It seems as though people from different parts of the world had noticed a problem, though most in Europe haven't noticed any slow down. Certainly from here in the UK performance has been fine... For those interested this is our current connectivity (shared):

Netscape: Many people are reporting mixed results using Netscape, we test the site with IE5 and Netscape 4.7, on Windows 98/2000 it seems to be fine, however it would seem that the Netscape programmers haven't been "all good" in being consistent across operating systems as the same version on Mac is troublesome. I hate advising people to use Micro$oft products, but if you're really struggling with Netscape then please try IE (especially on a Mac).

UPDATE2: Have received a response from my advertising broker FlyCast, here's what they have to say:

"I apologize for the troubles this week. We are still working out the fine details of the software upgrade from last Saturday. The main problems this week have stemmed from router issues. We were able to fix this last night around midnight, however this morning the problems are revolving around our front line servers. We're seeing a crash rate of approximately 10%-- meaning that about 10% of your users could be experiencing anything from broken to blank banners, or latency issues. Our Network operations team is adding additional frontline servers to improve the latency issues we've seen. The servers should be online within an hour or so and we expect to see improved performance then. One of the issues that may be deceiving is that once you've opened a browser session and have been "locked-in" to a server that's crashing, you'll continually see errors that may give you the false sense that your users are seeing errors at the same rate. If you re-start your browser (and you don't get connected to one of the 10% of the servers experiencing difficulty) you'll see that adserving is functioning properly. Again, we apologize for the inconveniences this week but are confident that the server upgrade we performed this past weekend will make available a number of new revenue opportunities and features in line with the goals of the new Engage Advertising Network. "