Everleap customer story
Q&A with Jim Horne of XWord Info
XWord Info is a comprehensive, online record of the daily crossword puzzles from the New York Times dating back to 1959. It is the most accurate source of puzzle data from the publication, updated as soon as each new puzzle is available on the web. We talked recently with site founder and crossword junkie Jim Horne to learn a little more about his site and his set-up.
Everleap: Thanks for talking with us Jim. How did you get into crossword puzzles and what's the background of the site?
Jim Horne: I used to write about crosswords for the New York Times and I wanted a way to collect and analyze statistical information about the crosswords themselves. That evolved into what XWord Info is today, a comprehensive record of New York Times crosswords. It's more than just solutions to puzzles - the data is cross-analyzed in dozens of different ways. New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz is a regular reader.
What kind of technology powers the site?
What prompted the decision to move to cloud hosting?
The complexity of the site and the large amount of data being analyzed made for a hosting challenge. As careful as I have been to optimize performance along the way, the site is huge and some of the SQL queries can be complex. If screen scrapers or search engines come along and try to index every page, they will hit hundreds of thousands of them, some quite large.
We needed a hosting solution that could scale while still keeping prices under control. When Everleap came along, we decided to give it a try. We are currently running two load balanced web servers.