Some Updates to GamersNexus: Content, YouTube Branding, & Servers

By Published June 16, 2015 at 8:18 pm

We've been hard at work with some behind-the-scenes efforts lately. As the site has continued to grow, we've found more room in the budget to make upgrades in necessary areas to allow continued growth; we've also allocated some funding to review hardware, camera / convention equipment, and staffing power.

If we were “on the map” before our GTA V and Witcher coverage, we've become a much more noticeable – but still medium-sized – dot on that map. GTA V's launch saw our day-1 publication of a GPU benchmark, followed rapidly by texture comparisons, a heavily-trafficked graphics optimization guide, and a CPU benchmark. All totaled, these items helped contribute to the site's first time exceeding 1,000,000 pageviews in a one-month period. Huge news for us, as we've traditionally rested in the 300-500k pageviews per month range. Much of that persisted through The Witcher 3, offering the same types of content (GPU benchmark, graphics optimization guide, more) with a slightly smaller inbound traffic metric.

The point of this: The servers struggled. Exceeding 500 concurrent visitors (simultaneous users) at any given second, we were having trouble delivering pages within a reasonable 1-3 second load time window. As such, they were upgraded prior to The Witcher 3 to use 8GB of ECC memory, a higher CPU priority on the rack, and will now offer gigabit datarates for faster distribution of pages. That's number one.

The second big update has been in effect for a few videos already, but is getting fine-tuned shortly. We bought some lights – big ones, studio lights – and have been learning how to properly position and utilize them. There's still a lot of learning going on, but with the help of GN's now-video editor and videographer (Keegan Gallick), it's been made much easier. Giving Keegan near-full control over the editing and video setup has allowed me to focus more heavily on the content and what's being said in the video, which has led to tremendous growth of the YouTube channel. We're at about 16k subscribers now, with a growth rate of +1500 net per month on average.

gta-traffic

We're hoping to build a set in the semi-near future to make for even higher quality videos. The addition of a set has more than just visual enhancements – that blackout curtain is a bit unsightly – in that it will help in reducing our setup time. We currently setup and tear-down before and after each shoot, but a permanent set will allow for the equipment to remain positioned. That means faster production without sacrificing quality.

YouTube branding has been upped a bit as well. The latest CPU cooler video shows a release candidate version of our intro and outro videos, with emphasis placed on brevity of the intro clip (<4 seconds). Andrew Coleman created these graphics and has graciously rendered out a super high-poly version of them, to be found in our video that's uploading right now.

In terms of content, I'm currently working with the GTX 980 Ti Hybrid from EVGA and a few AMD cards, including the now-announced 390 and 380. Reviews will be live when the embargo lifts. We recently invested – somewhat reluctantly, given the age – in an R9 280 out-of-pocket for regression testing, direct comparison to the new series, and ongoing game performance benchmarks. This is something that's been demanded for a while by our readers.

I've definitely left things out, but figured I'd give everyone an update on what's going on – we've always tried to be directly communicative with our readers! Many of you have been vocally extremely supportive of the YouTube and written video content, and some have even expressed this through donations to our Patreon campaign. We're grateful to readers, fans, and industry contacts for continued dedication to the site's objectives.

- Steve.

Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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