This is more curiosity than anything else: Web performance and scalable applications in an SOA are two areas I currently specialise in, and every bit of insight gleaned from how people have tackled the common challenges is very useful. Plus maybe even I can offer feedback! Firstly and most openly, how does GBAtemp deal with serving vast quantities of user dynamic content to both anonymous and registered users? Is nginx the only layer of HTTP cache between XenForo and the outside world, and if so, is the bulk of the caching logic implemented within that (Vary on x-whatever, assign x-whatever based on arbitrary session values, reset request and then strip out x-whatever) - Or is application level caching on XenForo's side more important here? PHP-wise, what version or distribution do you currently use in production and do you use any opcode caching or other extensions such as Phalcon? Do you employ the use of queues or otherwise defer tasks such as database writes? If so, how is this governed, and what software do you use? Is MySQL used for persistence on its own, and if so what engine and optimisations are you using? If not, how do you serve content so fast? How many servers currently power the site? Are they separated into different roles? (Cache, application, datastore etc..) Are there plans to start optimising the front-end for delivery to browsers, through methods like critical path CSS and progressive enhancement? Is it web scaaaaaaaaaaaale?