Kick News Blog

Problems with our iOS app

We submitted an iPhone 5 version of the paid version of our app to Apple which had a bug in it that slipped by us and Apple that caused the app to bomb out when you clicked a story. We quickly fixed it, but Apple rejected the update. We have submitted another version again and that was also rejected. It seems we have to make some big changes to the app to satisfy Apple. We can’t really go into details of what the issues are, due to the developer agreements we have with Apple, but we are working on getting the paid version in a state that Apple are happy with it and then releasing the updated free app to have full iPhone 5 support. Sorry for the delays and inconvenience caused.

.net to .com domain name change

Today, Kick News moved from it’s home at www.kicknews.net to www.kicknews.com. Everything else is currently still the same, however we are almost ready to launch an upgraded backend which should fix some issues with the site not updating. We also will be pushing the new version of our iOS app very soon. 

More downtime and performance issues

We’d like to start by apologising for the downtime we’ve had over the last few days. We’ve been working really hard to sort the issues out and track down the causes. We’ve made about 15 changes to our setup, including adding a new server to our front end application servers (we use HAProxy as a load balancer), a lot of further database optimisations and we’ve now moved almost everything into Redis. Our traffic is about 80% higher than during the same period last month and that’s just on the website. The traffic increase from our mobile apps is even higher, so this has caused a lot of extra load. We really couldn’t be happier that the traffic is coming and it’s presented some interesting challenges. We’re just really sorry that it’s meant the downtime on some of the most interesting days of the transfer season so far this year. We’re going to do everything we can to keep on top of the performance to make sure this doesn’t happen again, as our traffic keeps increasing towards the end of the transfer window. Thanks to everyone for your support and patience. 

Leagues and teams

We’ve updated the leagues and teams on the websites and apps. Relegated clubs that are no longer in our current selection of leagues will appear under the Others heading of the Leagues & Teams menu on the website and we’ll be adding them to the apps as well. We also are aware that Huddersfield is currently loading as Hull in the iOS app. This will be sorted as soon as possible and sorry for any inconvenience caused. In the mean time you can use the following mobile website link: http://m.kicknews.net/championship/huddersfield/latest

Server issues

Just a quick update to apologise for the downtime last week. We had a serious problem with one of our servers, but it caused a cascade and even when we thought we had it fixed it came back again. We’ve removed the problem machine from the pool now and the last few days have been stable. Sorry for any inconvenience caused, we know how important transfer season is. 

New version of the iOS app submitted to Apple for review

We’ve just submitted a new version of the iOS app to Apple, which should take roughly a week for them to review. This version is a service release that fixes some issues and makes some overall improvements to the app. We have almost finished a major new feature as well, but that will be in the next update. One thing we have added in this version is the ability to view all the news from all sources, instead of just a single club or league.

Stability issues

Our traffic has been growing non-stop since we launched the site. In fact, we’re up about 150% for the past month than the same period last year. We’re now servicing around 15 million website and app page views per month. We anticipated a busy transfer season and implemented some changes that have held up quite well (we actually had 100% uptime in May) until last week. One of the changes we made is switching our caching to Redis, which we have rapidly fallen in love with for it’s unbelievable performance. We’ve been making tweaks and changes over the past few days to increase performance and allow us to handle the increase in traffic and think we’ve now got the site stable again. There are still plenty of things we can do if we do continue to have issues though and we’ve got the infrastructure to deal with a lot more requests than we’re dealing with now, it’s just a case of getting our code right. We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused when the site and apps stop working and we wanted to let you know we’re working on it.

kicknews.com

Today, we finally got our mitts on kicknews.com. It was first registered 8 years ago, but doesn’t look like it ever had anything on it. We have wanted it since we first started Kick News, so we’re pretty pleased that we managed to get hold of it. We’ll most likely start to redirect from kicknews.net to kicknews.com after the summer transfer window.

Kick News on iOS 5

There is a problem with the app under iOS 5, which causes it to crash and so we have pulled the app for the time being. An update has been submitted to Apple but we are waiting for them to accept it. It normally takes between 1 and 2 weeks, so we’re hoping it should be sometime this week. The app will be back on the app store as soon as Apple accepts the update. 

We’re really sorry for any inconvenience caused. 

We will also be launching a new version of our mobile website in the next few days, which makes it very similar to the iPhone app.

Changing our domains

We’re in the process of permanently redirecting most of our Kick News club specific domains to our main kicknews.net domain. There are a few reasons for this, but it mostly comes down to Google and consolidating everything into one place. So, for example mancitynews.net will redirect to kicknews.net/premier-league/manchester-city/latest. We know this is a lot longer, but if you type the old domain you will still be redirected and most people find us with Google or a bookmark anyway, so we can’t see this being a problem. 

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