Rebuilding our technical infrastructure

The Couchsurfing community uses our site and mobile apps to make incredible connections each day. The site and the systems underlying the entire service are old, really old. Soon they’ll be new.

We’ve been rebuilding our entire technical platform (from the ground up) for the past several months in order to bring a modern, streamlined set of systems to our members. Systems that will lay the foundation for the future of Couchsurfing and allow us to build better features more reliably and quickly.

The old system is a little like this – a bunch of different parts built at different times, held together by somewhat dubious connections. We can’t drive it very fast. Or very far.

We know, we’ve said it before, but this time it’s really going to happen. In fact, the entire system (web, iOS and Android) has been in Beta for many weeks.

One way of thinking about the new platform is that it’s a foundation for the future of Couchsurfing. It lays the groundwork for us to truly deliver on what our community needs to continue making powerful connections and creating great travel experiences across the globe. We’re addressing a few key issues with the new release:

  • We’re fixing search. We’ve been using old technology that produces sub-par results. That’s about to change.

  • We’re optimizing the site for limited/low bandwidth situations and smaller devices. Because low bandwidth happens and, increasingly, our traffic comes from more mobile devices and tablets

  • We’re encouraging profile completion. The community functions better on virtually every front when members provide and have access to more information. Our new system restricts access to certain features for profiles that haven’t been completed to a certain level.


  • And finally, we’re upgrading the friends and references systems. They’re a big part of what make Couchsurfing work well.

And that’s really just the beginning. The new Couchsurfing (Android, iOS apps and website) will have updated, cleaner interfaces, among other enhancements designed to make it easier to use.

From there, together, we’ll build the future of Couchsurfing!

As we develop features and applications, we work closely with the community from beginning to the end. Members are currently beta testing every aspect of the new site – if you’d like to get an advance look too, sign up at here. Special thanks to our beta testers! We couldn’t do this without you.

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