I was wondering if any of you knew of any optimization techniques? Or any other sly tricks to help lay off constantly using the database....

A friend wants me to help design a high-traffic forum site (for her organization) and the only thing I can come up with is precaching key pages...
Basically any time the content changes on the root index page, high traffic pages, and mostly static pages change then I have a new copy of it generated and saved to the server to help cut down on constantly trying to connect to the database. Is this a bad/good idea?

I just know that since my site is so heavily database driven, that if the database went down, then so would the whole site. I think this trick would keep 60-80% of the site up in the rare case of a database outage.

Anyways let me know what you think!

I'm not convinced that hitting the database is such a bad thing. Other factors come into play.

From my IT background I was schooled into making as few database hits as possible. I've learnt from experience that it's just not necessary.