RandomAnime.org started out as a fun side project to help myself learn more about the world of SEO, and get some hands on experience with a real website. I had just graduated college, and didn't have any real world experience. After reading countless articles, I thought to myself, what better way to learn, than to do it myself? Since its launch, I have continually updated the site's code as my knowledge of web design increased, as well as added new content. As a result, the site has turned into a reliable resource for anime lovers across the world. Visit RandomAnime.org
The primary goal of the website is to help users find a new show to watch. So what is the best way to accomplish that? The site used to navigate the user to a single anime page based off the genre criteria given, but this proved ineffecient, as a page refresh was required each time. I created a new system to counteract this problem called "lists". These lists are basically stored orders of shows that the page interprets and then creates a sort of slide show of shows in that order. The result of this allows the user to only navigate to one page, and also quickly cycle through shows.
The concept is simple: generate a list of shows, randomly ordered. It was easy when there were a couple hundred shows and a few visitors a day, but now that's not the case. I had multiple instances where my server was overloaded with sheer amount of requests, resulting in 500 errors and loss of views. I knew that I had to find a way to make my server side code, the code that generates the lists and grabs show information, more effecient. I spent many a night testing and reformatted lines of code, making it as effecient as possible. Now, the site handles its viewers easily, and after a brief page load, the user can cycle through as many shows as they like without overloading the server.
When the site gained traffic, it was a great feeling. However, with more and more people visiting, came more and more scrutiny. The number one complaint I received was the lack of content. There is a ton of anime out there, and my visitors didn't like the fact that I didn't have a lot of shows to choose from (or choose for them, rather). After I was sure the site's functionality was stable, I focused sorely on creating new content. I add shows whenever, and as often, as I can. The more shows I have stored in my database, the greater selection the site will have for its users, and the happier they'll be.
There are a lot of anime shows on the website, which means a lot of content that needs to remain current. Though it should remain stagnant upon created, anime show listings actually change quite a bit. Streaming sites constantly rotate their content, new versions of shows come out, etc. To help with the upkeep of all of the shows, I have a daily script that runs a check on a certain number of shows a day, and reports back to me via email, as well as an error reporting system that my users can use to inform me of any problems.