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