Whats happening on PollDaddy.com?


Its been a while since we have had an update here on PollDaddy.com. I would just like to tell you about some of the projects we have been working on over the past few months. As you know we were acquired by Automattic last October, and since then we have been integrating with the Automattic team and working on integrating with WordPress through our new PollDaddy Plugin.

From a technical point of view we have had a lot of scaling issues from time to time as we have grown in traffic and users. We started out with one server and have gone through various expansions since. PollDaddy.com was originally (and currently is) built on the Microsoft .NET and SQL Server platforms. Although this system was very powerful and met with all of our needs, over time as we had to add more and more servers and licensing costs would have become prohibitively expensive. We have run a tight ship financially and with over 99% of our users on free accounts, in order to continue to provide the kind of service we wanted to, we needed a new plan.

Our new owners Automattic run over 1,000 Linux based servers at present, but unfortunately we could not utilize any of this hardware with our current setup. So, along with their technical team we came up with a plan to migrate all of our code and database to run on open platforms based around the LAMP stack of Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

For the past 3 months we have been hard at work migrating all of our code and data and are now coming to the end of that phase. Actually PollDaddy Answers is the first site we have launched like this and now runs much faster with increased stability. We will be rolling out the rest of our sites on this new platform over the next 2-3 weeks which means you will see a big increase in speed overall.

As soon as we have all of that done we will be getting to work on a complete redesign of PollDaddy.com. We have a  great team of UI and design people at our disposable now. They are currently looking over your suggestions for improving the format of PollDaddy that you have kindly contributed over the past few month. If you have any ideas you would like to share with us the please contact us directly and we will take your suggestions on board.

In summary we have been working hard on the code and systems at the heart of PollDaddy in order to have a solid foundation to build all of the really great features you have been asking for. We will have updates on all of this soon and will be launching our new site over the coming weeks.

Please keep in touch with support in the mean time and let us know what you are thinking!


6 thoughts on “Whats happening on PollDaddy.com?

  1. Yes, to my surprise I see Polldaddy with WordPress.com. This must be a great move.

    Rather than just Poll and Survey, we would like to see more service from you like embedded discussion in blog. I mean it looks like shoutbox but more to the forum feel.

  2. “Along with their technical team we came up with a plan to migrate all of our code and database” sounds much more elegant than getting me, Barry, and Michael drunk at various points of time in Sligo. 🙂

    Gofree, if you’d like an embedded discussion you should check out IntenseDebate: http://www.intensedebate.com/ . It’s also part of the Automattic family.

  3. I look forward to the amusing anecdotes of your forthcoming disaster. Throwing away perfectly good code just so you can move to a slower, more inadequate platform? I could understand migrating to mono, but to php/mysql? That’s insane.

    The programmer hours this will cost you alone will be more than the cost of any new servers. This will be 3-4 times more expensive than your expecting. You could probably invest half that time into improving your existing code and get much better results.

    Be honest, this was a political decision, not a decision based technical or financial merits.

  4. @toldyou Actually it has been quite a smooth transition. We use an XML/XSL model to render all of our pages, so the amount of code we have had to re-write has not been as much as you might think. We are probably about 2 weeks away from completing this. If anything we have found the PHP/MYSQL model has forced us to think harder about what we are doing with our code and has led to a much cleaner system.

    Automattic have a team of super PHP coders and Linux system admins so once this is complete our development team suddenly grows from 2 to about 20. That’s pretty sweet in my opinion 🙂

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