And We’re Back

Kind of. A few days ago, my web host informed me that DDoE was using too many resources. I’m on a shared hosting plan at HostGator. Shared hosting means that my website shares a server with other websites and when one site hogs all the CPU, RAM, or disk space, the other sites suffer. So they shut me down.

We went through a series of steps to fix the problem, each taking about 3/4 of a day. They told me to uninstall a bunch of plugins that I don’t have. They told me to install the WP Super Cache plugin. They told me that too many search engines were crawling my site. They told me that too many people were reading my rss feed. And finally, they told me to uninstall all the other plugins I have. I could only make those changes from home because my IP had to be on a whitelist. After I made a change the would respond eight hours later, or so, that the change didn’t work. It’s a little disingenuous to call them “fixes” because all we did was shut stuff off until the resource usage went down. It’s akin to having an electrical device that’s pulling too much power and fixing it my throwing the main breaker. Here’s what you won’t be seeing on DDoE for the next couple days:

  • Comments. I used Akismet to filter out spam comments and it does a fabulous job. The number of spam comments I get every 15 minutes is mind-boggling, so until I get things sorted out, I’ve simply shut off comments.
  • A list of recent comments. I deleted the Recent Comments plugin so no list in the sidebar.
  • Search results. I added a robots.txt file that tells web crawlers not to come in
  • Properly formatted code. I deleted the CodeColorer.
  • Author list. I deleted the List Authors

All of these beloved features will be returning in a few days. Thanks to Bastien at ASAP Utilities and Chandoo for their support over the last couple of days. And also thanks to all the people who emailed and tweeted their concern and suggestions.

The next step is to move DDoE to a Virtual Private Server. With a VPS, I get a fixed amount of resources and if I use too many, only my site suffers. Researching hosts is pretty much impossible. There are a billion sites on “best web host”, but they’re all bullshit. Separating the wheat from the chaff is difficult. I’ve received many suggestions but, with all respect to those making the suggestions, I would have recommended HostGator a few days ago. If there’s a host you think I should look at, email me at dick@kusleika.com or @dkusleika on the Twitters.

I’ll have more to say once things are stabilized. I really don’t know if it was a bad plugin or if my site is just too big for shared hosting. I find it hard to believe that it’s too big. I get about 65k visitors a month and use 40GB of bandwidth. Alexa says my global rank is 300,000. As much as we like to hang out here and talk about Excel, we’re not exactly taxing the internet over here.

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