Results of switching to static RSS feed


Here’s the daily usage graph for MacMegasite. Note the dramatic shift on the day I switched to static RSS. More visits with much less data transferred. Each time a user requested backend.php the entire feed was returned, whether or not it changed since their last request. I’m now seeing a majority of 304s (content unchanged) for index.rss in the last visitors stat page.

Static RSS Feed

Since I switched to a static RSS feed at MacHack (thanks Jon :), I’ve noticed a dramatic decrease in bandwidth usage.

Backend.php was accounting for 37% of my hits and almost 56% of the bandwidth usage. Each time a user updated the RSS feed, it had to execute several SQL queries to generate the file, and it would always return the entire feed. With a static file, if it didn’t change since the last time a user requested it, they’ll get a 304 and no data will be sent, which further reduces the bandwidth.