Sorry, that's my fault again. The thread URI somehow got mangled and became /getting-worse-1/, so I changed it back to /getting-worse/. Any email notifications for new posts may thereforehave been incorrect. If you're seeing -1 in a broken link try removing it in your address bar.
I'm not having any trouble clicking on Getting Better then Getting Worse via the front page though. I wonder if it's a caching issue.
On the plus side, the server fails seem to have been sorted (touch wood). I think I isolated a rogue plugin which was scheduling unwanted stuff to happen at certain intervals, causing CPU overload.
As ever, if none of that makes sense, don't worry about it. And thanks again for all your patience. You're wonderful people.
12 November 2009
OK, if you tried to visit in the last day or so there's a good chance that the site was offline. As far as I can tell there was a rogue script running which was eating up memory and causing the server to crash.
I can't promise it won't come back, though I am trying to get to the bottom of things. Thanks for bearing with me - I hate downtime more than anyone.
4 December 2010
1 May 2011
I'm really sorry, especially if it lost your posts. I know there's a problem, though I'm still not entirely sure what it is. We're still trying to find out what's eating up the memory on my server, causing it to crash. Trust me, I'm doing all I can at the moment.
1 May 2011
Thats ok Joe. These things happen with websites. Here's just hoping you find the source. Sounds scarey something eating up memory on the server and no-one being able to find what it is and where its coming from.
The site's now on a different server, in Dallas, TX. I'm clearing out things that I don't need, which may have been causing the recent connectivity problems. For now, at least, it's good to be back.
1 May 2010
It's still quite hit-and-miss. It's late here now so I'm off to bed, but I've been replacing some files and folders to make sure there's not an old script that shouldn't be there. However, sad to say the server switch hasn't been the big cure I was hoping for. Very strange.
Thanks, everyone, for your patience. I know it's frustrating waiting for a page which doesn't want to load. If you haven't given up I doff my cap to you.
19 September 2010
9 August 2011
I'm sure it's more of a headache for you than anyone else!
But it's OK, we're not going anywhere.
1 May 2011
22 October 2011
1 May 2010
1 May 2011
Yep, that was human error (mine). Here's what happened (quite detailed, sorry if it's boring).
I'm still getting server downtime, so I'm doing a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff to make the site leaner. Much of this involves replacing WordPress plugins that are memory hogs and can be bypassed. Unfortunately in the four years this site has been running there's a lot of legacy stuff to deal with. For example, I've been using an image gallery plugin which isn't actually needed - WordPress handles this stuff fine on its own. Unfortunately I've got just under 2,000 images that need to be reuploaded, pages that need editing to point to them, and new titles/descriptions added for all, before I can remove the old image plugin. Yep, it's boring, but necessary in the longer term (you can see the new image galleries here - you may also have noticed that the random images in the sidebars no longer exist - that's because it was part of the old plugin).
It's an ongoing process, but the eventual aim is to make the site leaner and work faster. I'm also preparing for the redesign which will allow the site to work on mobile devices a lot better than it currently does, so it's all part of a big site overhaul.
Last night I was editing some pages and the server crashed. When it came back online I tried to run an optimise code on the database, in case there were things that didn't need to be there. Well, wouldn't you know it? The server crashed again midway through. So I rebooted the server, but of course the database was only partially repaired and wouldn't work. I didn't have the necessary information to complete the repair, so had to get my systems admin guy to take a look. He lives in India and there's a timezone difference. I think it was offline for about four hours in the end.
I'm still searching for the memory hog that's causing things to crash. Sometimes I make a change and think I've finally cracked it, but then the server falls over again. The danger is that I'll take away a lot of genuinely useful things but miss what's really causing the problem. There are a lot of WordPress plugins out there and they do genuinely useful things - for example, they're behind the Beatles map, or this forum. Sometimes, however, they don't like one another and something that ought to work stops doing so. That's why I'm in this long troubleshooting phase.
TL;DR: I'm not very good with databases and servers, and should learn to leave well alone. This site would work a lot better if it was on Blogger or something.
1 May 2011
Mr brother runs his own website and the trouble he has had with servers, updates, plug-ins, and just basic changes is scarey. Its like if you move/change 1 relatively minute part it can have an effect elsewhere which is not noticable until everything stops working, or someone else reports it, and it can take an age to find what the fault is, where it is in the code, and why its not working. It can get very frustrating and time-consuming with many a late night.
Therefore im just delighted that the site is here and greatful that im not doing the behind the scenes stuff.
So thank you Joe for everything, it doesnt go unnoticed, well it does and i think thats the point (what i mean is that its like a car, the only time you ever think of the makings of a car is when its not working and then you realise how much effort and care goes into it working properly, for instance when you have to get it MOT'd and the bills come - im waffling on).
Thanks for your understanding. It's very kind.
I don't mind tinkering with servers, but really I'd rather be writing new content. Also, when the site's offline it's obviously an inconvenience to the people who want to visit, but also if Google happens to crawl by during downtime they may decide to drop my ranking. Google takes uptime and page speed into consideration so it's worth working on. Equally someone might find a dead page and remove a link to here from Wikipedia. Traffic=money, so I want to keep things running as much as I can.
People are very good about the downtime, but I'm aware it looks quite unprofessional (not that this is my job, but y'know). A lot of this stuff rests on reputation and reliability, and it's a shame to spend so long building up one and losing the other.
On the subject of cars, I took mine in for an annual service last week, and was hit by repairs costing £700. It never rains but it pours...
1 May 2010
I'm very sorry to hear all the problems.
Edit : I know the lyrics don't talk about problems with servers and databases, but I wanted to dedicate this to you Joe for your efforts
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