An Update Regarding Recent Performance Issues
Posted: February 16, 2022
Before diving into things, from the TPDb team to you, we hope everyone had a safe and wonderful holiday and start to this new year! We can't wait to work with you and see what this year has in store!
If you weren't already aware, over the holiday and New Year's, the site had experienced some drastic performance degradation and we sincerely apologize. We never planned for this to happen and worked tirelessly to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Today, we're happy to report that the site has been back up at full performance for over a month now with minor issues. Throughout this year, we plan to bring even more performance improvements and optimizations to ensure the site performs to the best of its ability so that you and everyone that enjoys the site has a fluid and enjoyable experience!
What was the Cause?
While investigating the issue, we were able to determine that the root cause of the performance issues was related to how the site performed searches. We know search on the site wasn't perfect by any means - requiring exact titles including punctuation, results weren't accurate, search queries were slow to process, and more. This was something that we planned to upgrade at the start of this year (2022) and due to the issues, were able to get a head start.
During the outage, search results were taking anywhere between 10 seconds to over 6.5 minutes, with an average of around 3 minutes, to return results. Due to everyone experiencing the issue, it added additional stress to our infrastructure and caused the site to suffer because of it. This led to various timeout errors, pages not loading or becoming unresponsive, and much more.
What was the Solution?
Knowing the root cause of the issue allowed us to focus our efforts effectively to resolve the issue as fast as possible. The biggest update that we've released to address the issue was a new and improved search engine! We're super excited to have this implemented and can't wait to have it fully tuned, bringing you the best results possible!
The various improvements include
- Much more accurate results based off your search term
No longer do you need to…
- Use the strict search character to narrow results
- Use exact title and punctuation to find a movie or show
- Search terms and results now handle typos gracefully so “Harry Pooter” will return results for “Harry Potter”
- Synonyms are now supported
- And the biggest one of all, responses are now super fast!
While there's still some fine-tuning left, we wanted to release this update to address the performance issue and allow everyone to get back to enjoying the site! As touched upon above, with the release of our new search engine, we're now seeing responses being returned in milliseconds rather than seconds as experienced before the performance issues and minutes experienced during the issue. Even though there's still some work left, some known issues that you may experience include (at the time of writing this post)
- Search results not being as accurate as we'd like them
- Results missing data (especially when searching for individuals rather than shows or movies)
- New items not displaying in search results (a recently added title to TMDb may take hours/days before it's displayed)
- Advanced search for Pro Lite and Pro users has been disabled until we're able to update and ensure it works with the new search engine
Over the coming days/weeks, we will be releasing additional updates to further improve search performance and results so stay tuned for more information!
As a token of apology, we will be crediting all users that had an active subscription during the holidays and start of January 50% off their next month of their subscription as well as offering 50% off the first month for any new subscription activations for the remainder of the month (until February 28, 2022 @ 23:59 EST). Use the following code at checkout to receive the discounted rate.
Once again, we'd like to apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your patience while we worked to resolve the issue. We look forward to further improving the performance of the site and can't wait to work with you all to build TPDb into something truly amazing!
Additional update information can be found on our change log. Any future updates will be posted there as well.