As you probably have noticed, our site has been a bit sluggish lately.
We are aware of the issue and are developing plans for dealing with it. The primary issue lies in the database structure and contents. On-the-fly joins across multiple tables cause a performance hit which is exacerbated by the number of stories we have posted over the years (yes, it HAS been that long... YAY!). Further, stories which have been "archived" — allowing no further comments or moderation — are still sitting in the DB and could be offloaded to disk for long-term access.
A complicating factor is that adding new indexes (indices?) on a live, replicated database is, well, much more challenging, problematic, error-prone (generally: not good) than taking the site down and doing everything offline. That would likely entail on the order of the better part of a day. Obviously, shorter is better. On the other hand "The longest between two points is a short cut." We're aiming to do it right, the first time, and be done with it, rather than doing it quick-and-dirty, which usually ends up being not quick and quite dirty.
So, we ARE aware of the performance issues, are working towards a solution, and don't want to cause any more disruption than absolutely necessary.
We will give notice well in advance of taking any actions.