Van SEO Design News: Hosting Issues And Moving Again

A few weeks ago I published a post here on WordPress dropdown menus and began a small bit of promotion. I tweeted the new post, submitted it to a few design sites that ask for community news, and passed the word to a few friends. I went to bed proud of myself eager to check my stats the next day and see if I noticed an uptick in subscribers.

I awoke to find my site down, disabled by my web host. Oh joy.

Control Panel
photo credit: Tim Dorr

Hosting Issues

According to my host wp-cron.php was a bit too active and using too much server resources. Hard to believe considering this sites only receives so much traffic on an ordinary day and the previous night’s promotion was somewhat limited. We’re not talking Digg of Slashdot effect here. Traffic maybe doubled for the day.

After getting in touch with my host they turned the site back on and I began to implement some of their suggestions such as the obvious installation of WP Super Cache plugin, which I had neglected to install.

I also did some of my own research into the problem with very limited success. The web was split between this being the fault of a poorly configured server and WordPress using resources it didn’t need to use. Unfortunately what seemed in small supply were definitive solutions.

The minor fixes I did implement worked well enough and within a few days my host let me know things were all good with the site. Seemed like everything was ok again, especially after similar promoting efforts on a couple of subsequent posts were problem free. Fine, that is until last week.

Once again I published and promoted and awoke to my host turning off part of the site. This time it was wp-comments-post.php causing the problem. Apparently it had spawned 50 processes of itself in a short amount of time.

The post in question on the GPL and DRM and the issues with WordPress developers and type foundries was chosen since it’s something of a push button topic for some. I usually don’t write posts specifically designed for comments (though I always appreciate them) and I thought I would give it a try and see how successful I could be.

Alas we’ll never know as the comments were down shortly after the post went live. Boo hoo for me.

Over the weekend I replaced the comments here with a brief message, and as I’m writing this post the comments are still off. My host has let me know they’ve turned things back on, but I see no reason not to expect a re-ocurrence of the same problem. I thought the message about comments being temporarily off was better than getting an error message after trying to leave a comment. I may turn them back on, but if I do understand it’s possible they may not work.

More Inconclusive Research

As with the wp-cron issue, I spent some time researching the wp-comments-post problem with similarly limited results. Again no hard answers and more people passing the blame from one side to the other. What most seem to agree on in regards to both files is that once you start having these problems with your web host the problems aren’t going away.

I’m sure I can implement the latest fixes suggested by my host and try a few others I find to fix things temporarily. However, I’m also sure in a couple of weeks I’ll wake up to another part of the site being down for using up too much of the processor on the server.

Methinks the ultimate solution requires an upgrade in servers. Fortunately I have a VPS (virtual private server) for another site and have started the process of moving this and another site to it. Comments may be on or off or back and forth (I do not like green eggs and ham) until the move is complete.

rodin penseur2
photo credit: jnkypt

What to do? What to do?

The question is when will the move be complete and I don’t have a good answer at the moment. When I developed the current version of this site I knew less about WordPress than I do now. WordPress has also undergone some big changes during that time. If I’m remembering right I started developing on WP 2.3 with 2.5 out sometime before I finished.

Given my lesser knowledge at the time and the changes in WordPress during the last year and a half, some of the ways I developed this site aren’t the best way to have developed a site on WordPress. As I’m moving the site anyway…

I thought I might as well do things right. Or as right as I know how at the moment.

Naturally that will add some time to the process of moving. In addition I’ve been thinking of redesigning the site and now wondering if that time should be now. If I’m going to be redeveloping the code anyway…

Why not do a redesign prior to redevelopment?

That’s where I am at the moment in my thoughts. I’ve already moved much of the site. WP is set up and the database has been imported. There are still some things that need to be done at a minimum, though nothing that can’t be fixed by the end of this weekend.

Between now and then I may decide the new design makes sense. I’m leaning toward the lesser redevelopment of the code or at least the minimum amount of code needed to prepare for a redesign, but I’ll probably try some design sketches first and if I get excited about anything I come up with, I may go for the full redesign.

I wanted to let you all know in case you visit over the next few days or weeks and things here don’t look quite right. It’s probably me working behind the scenes. I should be able to get everything done without anyone noticing, but like I said above comments may be on, off, or in between and a few visits in a short amount of time could also lead to another file being blocked by my host.

I’ll try to get everything done as quickly as I can. I’d like to ask if you have any suggestions or if you know of a possible solution to WordPress using too much server resources is, but I can’t guarantee you’ll be able to leave me a comment. If you see a comment box below, by all means offer a suggestion. If not then accept my apologies and thanks for your patience until I have everything sorted out.

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