Today we have released a new version of our support portal with speed improvements and new functionality.
The main change is that it will no longer go straight to the support dashboard, instead of it will go to a landing page where it will describe each area of the support portal, e.g. Feature Requests, Issues, Support Tickets.
It also shows the most popular/most recent knowledge base articles that we've created. The knowledge base articles are a little different to the knowledge base. The knowledge base contains user manuals and information on how to use our apps or services, the knowledge base articles explain specific tasks, for example, if there is an area where there is a long term problem that we are resolving, but there's a workaround we'll create a knowledge base article to explain it. For example, we've created a knowledge base article about why you can't use a MySQL database or SSH server on your local network with Boardies MySQL Manager.
On each page you will be able to perform search to look for specific items within the support portal. From the support home page, if you perform a search, you'll search the entire support portal, each result will be grouped together so you can see which area of the portal the search result will take you to.
If you are in a particular area of the portal and you perform a search then only that area will be searched, e.g. if you are in the issue tracker and perform a search, only issues will be searched.
Another big improvement is the portal response time. If you've been following our twitter then you may be aware we've been experiencing intermittent timeout issues.
We're going to provide more information on the connection issues, but the gist of it was, our hosting provider had an issue and we were seeing other apps and services also receiving timeouts as well as our monitoring service, we managed to stabilise it slightly, but we were still seeing the odd timeout every couple of days.
We moved to a new hosting provider but we still continued to see the same timeout from the monitoring service, but our apps and services no longer seemed to be having issues. During a hell of a lot of testing and head scratching we pinpointed that these recent timeouts are kind of false positive. Although mostly the website loaded fairly quickly, other times it would take over 5 seconds to respond (5 seconds being the timeout limit for our monitoring service).
We found that this was caused by some slight coding issues that weren't optimised and some resources being loaded from external sources.
We've gone through the code and optimised how things get loaded and we've seen a massive improvement in the speed. This is also shown in our service monitoring as shown below.
It might not look like a huge amount in the graph but from what we can see in our testing this has made things much quicker so we hope that this will stop seeing the timeout issues we've been seeing and we can close our incident report on this for good. We will also be making these improvements to our main website as well very soon.
We'd like to hear what you think of our new support portal, and if you have any ideas or suggestions, then please get in touch with us.