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Update on my technical difficulties

Posted by on February 12th, 2008 at 9:43 am

As many of you know, the site was completely down yesterday.

My server crashed due to too much traffic. The culprit was my coverage of the Handmade Bicycle Show.

I worked with my host to fix the problem, and they tweaked the server as much as they could, but they said the traffic was simply more than the server could handle.

I should have foreseen this potential issue and taken better precautionary measures to prevent it, but I guess I learned this lesson the hard way (again).

This is the third time I’ve crashed my server (here’s the first and the second). After each time it’s happened, I’ve changed hosts and upgraded my server plan. I was most recently on a dedicated server that seemed to be performing fine…until the Handmade Show.

As you can imagine, having worked so hard on my coverage of the Show, it was a bitter pill to swallow knowing that thousands of people were not able to visit BikePortland.org on the day that would have certainly been my busiest ever.

With over 20,000 pages viewed on Sunday, which is typically my slowest day of the week, I expected over twice that many pages would have been viewed yesterday.

The site seems to be doing OK for now. But I’m not going to let this happen again. I’m in the process of switching to yet another new host. They haven’t even given me a price quote yet, but at this point, price is a secondary concern to making sure this never happens again.

Thanks for being patient while I get this handled.

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Comments
  • c February 12, 2008 at 10:15 am

    No idea what scale you\’re looking for, but if price is truly of secondary concern, WordPress.com VIP hosting is a fairly bulletproof niche solution not to overlook. It\’d certainly give you room to grow, and would probably drive a fair number of pageviews in itself.

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  • destin February 12, 2008 at 10:15 am

    Whatever you use make sure the dedicated server or solution is scalable to meet higher demand.

    I use these cats often enough:

    http://www.mediatemple.net/webhosting/dv/

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  • Bikelawya February 12, 2008 at 10:15 am

    I am thankful for all that you do. I live in SF but check in with you all the time. This stuff happens.

    I liked your coverage of the show.

    Regards,

    Bikelawya

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  • Adam February 12, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Having the site down yesterday was a bummer but if you look at the reason why it\’s a good thing, to much usage. It just goes to show that you put up a great site that people enjoy using. Thanks Jonathan!

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  • Todd Boulanger February 12, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Jonathan – we all understand what was going on Sunday/Monday – so do not beat yourself up too much.

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  • Ted Diamond February 12, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Problem I\’d love to have!

    I was part of the problem, I guess, cause I think your coverage of the show was spectacular, and I kept checking in.

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  • Chris February 12, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    No worries man, your site was the place to-be if you couldn\’t be in PDX this past weekend. Great coverage!!

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  • Val February 12, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    What Todd said! I figured that was the problem, and had total faith that it would be taken care of in as timely a fashion as possible (nice to be right!). We can be patient, not to worry. We\’ll always be back.

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  • mike_khad1 February 12, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    It may be acting up today (Tuesday) too. I struggled a few times today to access you. Means you\’re doing a great job.

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  • SH February 12, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    I too had some trouble today. It must be exciting to be getting too much traffic!?

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  • Opus the Poet February 12, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Several bike sites and blogs were knocked out this morning, including mine. I have a blog that posts accumulated bike wrecks from the web, and i couldn\’t get into my own site to update it until after 2PM today. Glad to see BikePortland is back up.

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  • WAW-042 February 12, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    This is the best news I\’ve had today. First you reported that there was a bike parking shortage. Now you\’re reporting that there was a server shortage for those of us who tried to park ourselves in front of bikeportland.org

    Congratulations! The show and website are both a success. You\’re doing a fantastic job. Don\’t come down on yourself too hard.

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  • Kronda February 12, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    You know Jonathan, Mercury is in retrograde right now so communication is all &$^*%ed up. According to my link, you should be out of the woods by March 10th…

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) February 12, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    \”you should be out of the woods by March 10th…\”

    thanks Kronda… but if I\’m not out of the woods by then, I\’ll be out of business ;-).

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  • Mmann February 12, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    I understand your disappointment, but I agree with the others – thank you for the wonderful coverage, and thank you to your family for giving you up for the weekend so you could bring it.
    And good call on the naked bike!

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  • Joe February 12, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    this site is just hip.

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  • Scott February 12, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    What Todd said… I did suffer through some withdrawals, but I made it through ok.

    Keep up the fantastic work!

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  • annefi February 12, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Here\’s one measure of the effectiveness of your reporting, Jonathan: You mentioned the 1979 film \”Breaking Away\” in one of your reports and now there are 21 holds on the two copies in the entire Multnomah County Library system.

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  • Matt M February 12, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    My guess is that the increased pageviews means increased cost to Jonathan. Everyone that visits this site daily or weekly probably needs to kick down some some $ for the excellent content/coverage provided! Kudos to you Jonathan, especailly on the show coverage.

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  • Phillip Ross February 12, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    Hey folks,

    I propose that we support the site by providing a monthly RECURRING donation. Although it isn\’t much, I\’m willing to chip in $10 a month. So Jonathan – my question is – how can I do this without using Paypal? I as because I assume that the $500 withdrawal limit per month and the 2.9% fee (?) might cramp your style.

    Suggestions?

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  • Mmann February 13, 2008 at 8:44 am

    I\’m up for anything but Bikeportland pledge breaks.

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  • Wilsonville9 February 13, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Jonathan,

    This is my first post.

    I have been a fan of yours (yes, yours) for almost a year, but I really understood how much I rely on you when the site went down.

    I would also be willing to pledge, as suggested by Phillip Ross.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) February 13, 2008 at 11:48 am

    RE: recurring support through paypal.

    I have had a system in place to handle this but have yet to launch it. stay tuned. My hope is to have a \”subscriber\” base that, for 5-10$ a month will get the peace of mind of supporting my work along with various premiums and goodies. thanks.

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