Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ancestry Slow Today!

If you thought Ancestry.com was slow today (Thursday), you're not alone. Starting some time after 11:00AM Ancestry become, at times, slow to the point of uselessness. As of the time of this posting, the site seems to have returned to normal. If you have further problems tonight, check back here for updates.

Also today mysterious ribbons appeared on three of the Ancestry navigation buttons. Someone expressed concern that clicking the buttons didn't seem to do anything different than before. Be assured, nothing is wrong with your computer. The ribbons illuminate areas of the website where purchases can be made. You may find, as I did, that meaningful gifts can be created or purchased in these areas. (Shhh! Don't tell anyone. I'll tell you more after Christmas, but I don't want to ruin any surprises right now.)

Updated 10:30PM

I spoke too soon. When I started trying to use Ancestry Member Trees, I found they were still suffering from problems. The Family Tree view doesn't work. If you add or change information about a person, the Ancestry Hints "Searching..." never completes. If you try to attach an OWT match, the browser suddenly jumps to the home page. Anyone with an HTTP sniffer can see that this is Ancestry's current response to a 500 error. That means a fatal exception prevented the page from being composed for display. Ancestry Member Trees used to handle 500 errors with a special page. I think it said something like, "something went wrong. Would you like to use RootsWeb or one of our other sites instead."

I wonder if part of the problem this morning was that the home page itself was causing 500 errors. The website handled the exception by sending the user back to the home page, which quickly blew up again. Thus, the behavior caused an endless cascade of errors until the user gave up and closed their browser or went to some other website. Granted, the old 500 error handling page shouldn't have been sending users off to RootsWeb for a once-in-a-blue-moon error. But unceremoniously dumping the user back to the home page is not only a confusing user experience, technically, it can cause an endless escalation of errors. Take my example above. I tried to attach an Ancestry Hint matching record. I would rather I get a message explaining that the operation had failed. Give me a chance to try it again or to go to the home page. The page used to and still should explain that the error had been logged and reported (which actually happens).

Stay tuned...

8 comments:

  1. It's a month later...Ancestry.com is slow slow slow and once and awhile just won't load at all. Then it speeds on by for about 15 minutes. I'm about to cancel my subscription. I thought they were just upgrading something but I can't handle it anymore. I'd rather go dig through books than this.

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  2. Agreed - same thing here today, if I was not on a trial, I'd think about giving up my account also.

    For a paid service not to have enough bandwidth or servers to handle holiday traffic, is ridiculous.

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  3. It has been slow since I joined.I stopped my subscription from renewing. It is impossible to do anything on that site.

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  4. It is impossibly slow. I spend more time waiting for responce time that I di searching. not a good this. NEED MORE BEEF ,,, SOON

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  5. Now 6th January 2009, no change with Ancestry. It takes me so long to look up records, I often give up. I have Worldwide membership so nearly £200 per year. No problems with other sites - findmypast, familysearch, UK BMDs etc. These sites are also very busy, but still fast. Ancestry say they are trying to address problem, but surely after 6 weeks they should have solved it.

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  6. I wish I did not have so much information and photos on ancestry.com. Its impossibly slow. I would rather cancel my over-priced membership, if I could put my tree somewhere else, relatively easy.

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  7. Well, here it is Feb 21, 2009 and the very same problems with Ancestry slow searches and screen refreshes persist. Like others, I have an (relatively expensive) worldwide account. One more week of this frustration and I cancel.

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  8. Too bad Family Search isn't Ancestry.com...but then it wouldn't be free. I can't live without Ancestry.com but am very angry with the folks over there right now. I thought it was my computer or internet connection until I found this website. Thanks.

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