In feature news we've added a new S2 style called "Variable Flow", which is available to all accounts. This style has been designed with customization in mind, according to its author mart. Normal users can change just about anything in the customization wizard, such as page margins, fonts, colors, background images, etc. Paid accounts that write custom layers can change even more options, override certain strategic functions to add things like heading images, or even override the stylesheet completely making use of the fact that the markup is meaningful and styleable. It's a good style to choose if you want to get comfortable using S2. Feel free to check out s2variableflow to learn more.
For our paid accounts we've enhanced our "express lane", and today we can really see the results: page requests for paid users are loading a lot quicker, while non/free users are seeing a slight amount of lag (moreso with packet loss from Internap). Please note that we're continually optimizing the site because to us, even a slight lag is totally unacceptable.
As for new hardware, we ordered a set of new database servers with 64 bit processors and a ton of RAM, which are still being assembled, configured, and tested. Once they're ready to be put in production we should see a lot of performance gains, but until then we're shifting resources around to help balance server load.
Most important news of all, we've given all paid members beta testing access to our photo hosting site! There might be a little lag getting your account ready, but once you're set up you should be able to upload your pictures. We strongly encourage any paid member who is using our photo hosting service to join the fotobilder_user community and give us feedback & suggestions.
We're not completely launching the photo hosting service just yet because we're still in a major testing phase: we're still making improvements, still adding enhancements, and fixing all the bugs that pop up. There's a hard disk space limit of 50MB (you'll be able to upgrade to more space when it goes "live") and we're only running the FotoBilder code on two servers (storage servers are separate, so we won't run out of room), so we can't make any guarantee as to the quality of service you might receive. Please test at your own risk.
Have a splendid September!