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How to crash iSpot

This has happened a few times now, most recently when visiting https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/uk-and-ireland/view/observation/837204/an-early-visitor
Usually, when first loaded, the front page gallery photos are not visible, displaying what I refer to as the “no-entry signs”: :no_entry_sign:
But, when visiting individual posts, the same sometimes happens: one or more photos do not display properly. Occasionally, they will eventually load, often not. I found that if I try to load one with the full-size button, sometimes it then loads properly. But lately, this always results in the site crashing with a “500 error”.

could you give a bit more detail, either here or on contact us button. When I try that page it loads immediately with no problem but of course it could be a time of day issue, for example if loads of search engine bots are trying to access the site all at the same time

This seems to happen with any post where, when I open it, at least one photo is not displayed properly. (The number of photos does not seem to make this either more or less likely.) This happens irregularly. Sometimes, if I wait patiently, the picture will eventually display. I have noticed, though, that if I switch to another page, progress is halted till the post has the “focus” again.
Often, I can scroll between the “no entry” photo and other properly-displayed ones without causing the issue. They can be opened full size without problems.
But, if I click on the “full screen” button for the “faulty one”, that’s when I hit the problem. I’m guessing that there has been some glitch in transferring the data, and somehow the address/link/whatever has been corrupted or lost. So I may be asking the site to work with faulty data.

that sounds like it “So I may be asking the site to work with faulty data.” perhaps Chris will comment further. It could well be down to certain periods when there is a sudden load from bots.

Wondering if it’s iSpot’s fault or a computer upgrade?
For a couple of days I’ve had problems with everything slowing down and/or behaving erratically. My son delved deeper - don’t ask me where - but somewhere on the computer such stuff is recorded - AND it seems the computer was updating without informing me - NOW suddenly I see the changes - hate this. Maybe this could be your problem.

Computers both personal and the servers that ispot run on are constantly, at least every few weeks being updated in some way or another. Some of these changes appear minor and others are much more obvious. Things can go wrong during this process and some of the updates actually make things worse to have to be corrected by further updates.

Just remembered: a couple of instances, recently, where I uploaded images and went on to submit, only to find that the images had disappeared. Not easily phased - I just started again

  • I survived the 2018 crisis - I don’t even remember the date - but do remember the angry people who didn’t understand that someone was actually trying to help us. A sad outcome.

iSpot makes use of a third party cache service call CloudFlare. This reduces the load on our servers by checking to see if it can supply pages or part of pages itself without having to ask the server for them. It does, however, have a big disadvantage - when I’ve made changes to the server and can’t then see them because they’re cached! In that situation I sometimes have to log in to CloudFlare and “flush” the cache manually.

On top of that cache, your browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc) will also have a cache and its worthwhile emptying that too (although keeping your cookies is worthwhile to save you having to log in to sites all over again).

All sounds very complicated - we never save our cookies - I’ve got used to that.