The Targeted Content Service

Building a website can be overwhelming and frustrating. You have a vision in your head and all you want to do is get it out and available to the world. 

Have You Noticed?

We’ve been trying to promote helpful articles. Our first round of promotions were about:

How to Publish Your Site

For many of you, this is the first time you will be building a website or maybe it has just been a while. That’s where The Targeted Content Service comes into play. We are the experts and we want to help you achieve your goals and dreams. We will be accomplishing this by presenting helpful resources at the opportune times. Building a website is a unique experience for everyone, what you want, and what you are doing is important to you, we understand that and we are going to do our best to build this service to assist you in your specific needs. 

The only individuals that will see this recommendation are those that have not yet published their website. It may seem simple but there is a lot going on in preparation for getting your website ready for the world. We have created a list of useful tips to help you with that preparation. 

How to Get Search Traffic

This recommendation is for those individuals that have already published their website and might be interested in increasing the traffic to their website. 

Driving traffic to your website can be complicated and there are many different ways to accomplish this. After all, you built this website to share, let us help you do so

When you came to the site, if you had already published your site, we showed you the article about getting traffic. Otherwise, we showed you the article about how to publish your site.

It’s Our Targeted Content System

We’re trying to show the articles to you right when you need them most. We recently updated the links to some articles about working from home and building a community. Soon we’ll try to show articles about different topics.

Hopefully we will keep presenting good articles about topics you need to understand right now. (That is, when you see them, not when you read this blog post. (And really not when I’m writing this blog post!)

Technical Stuff

I’m Nate, from the development team. Perhaps you’ll indulge me while I brag about some of the technical work we’ve been doing to bring this content to your attention.

Our first couple of articles showed up pretty nicely. We presented them to about ten percent of our customers to start. Then, as we gained confidence, we ramped up that percentage. Pretty soon we saw some distressing load times for displaying our recommendations. We took two or three actions to make the recommendations load faster.

Update Hosting Platform

We were making several calls to the hosting platform. Most of these calls were okay, but a few of them were taking way too long. So our first order of business (or, rather, our first order of engineering) was to simply make fewer calls to the hosting platform.

So we modified the hosting platform by adding a new call. This new call allowed the Targeted Content Server to call the Hosting Platform once and get all the information we needed. This saved about three quarters of a second over the several calls we were making before. But the longest part of the call was still taking several seconds to respond. On to Phase 2!

Caching

Once those values were looked up in the Hosting Platform, we cache the answer. This allows repeated calls to the hosting platform to reply without going all they way out to each hosting box to see if there is a web site there.

We put a long cache expiration when the answer is “yes, the site is published.” Figuring that once a site is published, it is unlikely to change back to un-published soon.

Moving The Information

Our content service is talking to at least two back-end sources of information. In the future, those back-end systems will report their findings to us before we ask for them. In other words, when you turn on your website for the first time, the Hosting Platform will make a note of it so the Content system doesn’t have to keep asking. “Are they published yet? Are they published yet?”

We want to hear back from you. If you have questions about what to do next, we would love to know about it. This will help us write articles and promote them to website customers like you.

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Ben Strader
Ben Strader | Product Manager

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