Patterico's Pontifications

2/28/2007

Down Time Today

Filed under: Blogging Matters,General — Patterico @ 9:51 pm

As many of you probably noticed, my site was down today for almost 2 1/2 hours. Here’s what that looks like graphically:

hole.JPG

Hint: that slash of white in the middle of the graph does not signify that readers suddenly lost interest for a couple of hours.

I figure that down time cost me well over 3000 visits to the site. I’m sorry if you were one of the people wasting your time trying to access the site.

My soon-to-be-former hosting service, Hosting Matters, explained to me that the problem was caused by unexpectedly high traffic. As you can see, visits never surpassed 3000 per hour — a figure which, while staggeringly high for me, is hardly unheard of in the world of blogging. Naturally, my concern was: is every Instalink going to knock my site unconscious? This prospect obviously bothered me, since high-traffic periods are precisely when you want your site to stay up — and fewer than 3000 visits per hour really doesn’t seem like a ridiculously high load. My misgivings were heightened by the fact that today’s incident was not an isolated occurrence — though the downtime today was especially pronounced and painful.

Even worse, the problem caused comments to be dead virtually all day long. Meaning that you folks didn’t get your say today.

I asked the folks at Hosting Matters what I could do to avoid having my site crash the next time I get a couple of good links from high-traffic blogs. The bottom line appeared to be this: unless I’m willing to spring $130 per month for a dedicated server — something I am unwilling to do — then I am going to run the risk of such outages whenever the traffic spikes.

And I should feel — what was the precise word they used? Ah, yes — “fortunate” that the downtime was only 2 1/2 hours or so.

Weird. I don’t feel “fortunate.”

Anyway, I am actively seeking out a new hosting service. I’m sure this one works out great if you’re Instapundit or Captain’s Quarters. But I’m not. And that seems to matter to them.

That’s all I’ll say about that.

I’m not going to discuss the tone of the responses I got today. I’m sorely tempted to, but it’s not worth it. I told one friend that I almost wanted to go all Bill Ardolino on these folks, but it would just drag me down too. All I can say, is: Bill? I feel your pain, man.

Any suggestions? My main criteria are simple: I don’t want to spend a fortune, but I don’t want the site to come crashing down just because I get a couple of good links. The folks at my soon-to-be-former hosting service may not care about this. But I do. Maybe you do too.

17 Comments

  1. Pat – I am probably very close to 180 degrees separated from you politically and I work the other side in a courtroom. But I’m impressed with the intelligence of your posts [even when I disagree] and the level of discourse among your commenters here. Put up some Google ads and use the revenue to hit the big time. 3000 visits a day is just the beginning for you, I think.

    Comment by Tracy (4b4242) — 2/28/2007 @ 10:13 pm

  2. Tracy,

    I am touched by your comment. You should know that I have great respect for most attorneys who work the other side of the courtroom from me. I have said this many times on this blog.

    Comment by Patterico (04465c) — 2/28/2007 @ 10:24 pm

  3. I agree. You have made a substantial, sustained impact and you really could be a big-time blogger. The question is, do you want to? It’s a big commitment.

    Comment by DRJ (605076) — 2/28/2007 @ 11:22 pm

  4. It really sucked today without your blog. Anyway, you’ve got a great blog… I dunno if it’d be the same if you were full time on it though…

    Comment by G (130827) — 2/28/2007 @ 11:27 pm

  5. You might try asking Beldar about TypePad. As I recall, his traffic was pretty up-and-down during the Swiftboat and Miers periods. Maybe he’ll have some good ideas or, if not, at least he can sympathize.

    Comment by DRJ (605076) — 2/28/2007 @ 11:33 pm

  6. And I should feel — what was the precise word they used? Ah, yes — “fortunate” that the downtime was only 2 1/2 hours or so.

    Ah, you have to love people that think like that. Though I’m sure we have to give similar speeches here and there for the man or whatever. But still… fortunate?

    Comment by David N. Scott (71e316) — 3/1/2007 @ 12:12 am

  7. Pat,
    While I feel your pain here, since you don’t have a dedicated server the traffic that Hosting Matters is referring to is for all sites on your server. That is why, while you only had 3000 PV/H, it’s still a risk for outage. (not defending them, just speaking as a server farm admin) It may be better for you to invest in your own server, get a static IP from your ISP, and host your blog yourself. At 130.00 a month for a dedicated server you would probably hit breakeven between 14 and 20 months. (that depends on what kind of machine you could get / who you know / and how much your isp would charge.)

    R/
    Pol

    Comment by Pol Mordreth (e154a8) — 3/1/2007 @ 4:54 am

  8. FYI, I personally have had very good customer service & rates using ehostpros as my provider.

    Comment by RW (8f8726) — 3/1/2007 @ 5:54 am

  9. P.,

    You should investivate a VIRTUAL dedicated server – all the benefits of regular dedicatd server for half the price. You can check with GoDaddy, for starters. I switched when I ran ito similar issues with myegular shared hosting, and now have several under my control. All I can say is that everything has been completely stable ever since. The only caveat is that it does require a bit more know how and exercising more contol over the admin, although it is completely doable.

    Comment by kjl291 (bf9062) — 3/1/2007 @ 6:30 am

  10. Pol Mordreth has it exactly right. And being a selfish little whinger about it just makes you look like a moron. I’m sure hostmatters won’t miss you in the least.

    Comment by Anonymous (42ac36) — 3/1/2007 @ 9:20 am

  11. the traffic that Hosting Matters is referring to is for all sites on your server.

    Wouldn’t all sites on the server be affected if this were the case?

    I ‘spect gubmint shenanigans.

    Comment by J Curtis (d21251) — 3/1/2007 @ 9:35 am

  12. Don’t try to go *too* mainstream, Patterico. Expanding the pool of commenters has a tendency to substantially lower the overall quality of threads (based on the principle that large segments of the population are… how shall I say it… stupid).

    Just look at Kos or Hot Air.

    Comment by Leviticus (43095b) — 3/1/2007 @ 9:45 am

  13. David E. wondered if you had locked him out, something that seemed unlikely to me. My sympathies in your Diogenes-like search for a reliable, affordable hosting company.

    Comment by Bradley J. Fikes (1c6fc4) — 3/1/2007 @ 10:05 am

  14. I abandoned Hosting Matters very quickly when I relaunched PostWatch for similar reasons. I was having problems with a technical issue and was eventually asked “why do you think this is our problem.” I soon sent a message back informing Hosting Matters I had solved the problem. When I finally got a query from someone asking how I solved it, I told them: by switching to Typepad.

    Typepad is an integrated solution (as you know–they host as well as providing the Movable Type-style blogging platform) but for the record, when I got an Instalanche a couple weeks ago I had no problems even when I peaked at over 3,000 hits an hour. I just have the standard one-year pro rate of something like $140 a year, and I can have unlimited blogs with that. The service hit a very rough stretch last year but at least they were abjectly apologetic and it’s been stable since then.

    Comment by Christopher Fotos (f9677b) — 3/2/2007 @ 4:29 pm

  15. Blog Hosting Services…

    Dale Franks can’t fathom why so many bloggers host their sites with HostingMatters, despite constant service outages, when there are more robust services out there for less money.
    Inertia, methinks, is the answer.
    InstaPundit and several of the…

    Trackback by Outside The Beltway | OTB (30d6b6) — 8/6/2007 @ 5:52 am

  16. Blog Hosting Services…

    Dale Franks can’t fathom why so many bloggers host their sites with HostingMatters, despite constant service outages, when there are more robust services out there for less money.
    Inertia, methinks, is the answer.
    InstaPundit and several of the…

    Trackback by Outside The Beltway | OTB (30d6b6) — 8/6/2007 @ 5:52 am

  17. fax free loan payday…

    Trackback by advance loan payday quick (151fcd) — 4/2/2008 @ 7:25 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.1939 secs.