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Frequently Asked Question #74. What is the "Express Lane"? What benefit does it offer?

This FAQ applies only to Paid and Permanent accounts. To check your account type, please see your profile page.
More information on account levels    → Paid Account benefits

The Express Lane is a priority request queue that makes LiveJournal faster for Paid and Permanent users. When logged into your Paid or Permanent Account during times of heavy site load, your requests for LiveJournal pages are sent to the web servers before other users' requests.

LiveJournal's main priority as a service is to offer all users, Basic and Paid alike, fast and uninterrupted access to the site at all times. LiveJournal's fast and numerous web servers ensure speedy access most of the time; however, like any service, LiveJournal does encounter unavoidable periods of heavy site load. The Express Lane is designed to speed access for our paying users during peak times.

Load Balancing & Queues

Even with more than two million active members, it can be hard to imagine that LiveJournal.com displays tens of millions of dynamically-generated pages each day. For these pages, a LiveJournal technique called "load balancing" sends your request to the web server with the fewest requests.

During times of heavy site load, all of LiveJournal's web servers are too busy to accept new requests; then the load balancers begin a queue of requests. Requests at the beginning of the queue are sent to the next available web server, but new requests are added to the end of the queue, where they wait in line.

Viewing Express Lane Speed

If you have access to the Express Lane and are not using the Lynx site scheme, each LiveJournal page will show how much time you saved in the HTML source code, near the top. (Consult your web browser's documentation for information on viewing source code.) S1 journal styles show the comment within the %%head%% variable and S2 journal styles generate the comment with the default Page::print_head() function.

<!-- LiveJournal ExpressLane: You received this page before 1234 free users, saving approximately 3 seconds! -->

Last Updated: September 12th, 2009

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