sly : marketing

What Did I learn From Blogging Hell?

I’m happy to be back online, everything is going quite well. I’m using Drupal instead of WordPress, I’ve lost all my comments, and I’m currently using a default theme – but to be honest with you, I’m happy.

The important part, what really matters to me, is that I’m writing again.

I’ve received a few comments about the move to Drupal and about what happened with my host. I’m still a little confused, but let me tell you about the conversation.

Some people said that it might be a set up from my host, in order to keep me as a paying customer. Well, it might be a set up, a misunderstanding or entirely my fault. I am still unsure to why I had to switch from WordPress to Drupal, hence my post about blogging hell a few days ago.

What happened, and why should I have to blame myself?

I was sick, my blog was suspended, I panicked.

You should never panick, but that’s easier said than done.

I’ve been asking myself, why did I panick?

I think there are three reasons.

First of all. I have quite a bit of traffic. People rely on my blog. They read my content, and they subscribe to it. I want to give them what they want.

Second. I love to write. I want to continue writing on a steady basis.

Third. I am earning money. I had just signed up a new advertiser, to the banners on the right sidebar. He had been an advertiser for two days, and then my blog got suspended.

As soon as I saw that my blog was suspended, all I could think about was “what is the fastest way to get it unsuspended?”

I sent a message to support, asked them what happened, and this was the answer I received.

For the past two nights we have recorded extreme CPU overloads to the server due to activity within your hosting account. We have noted a growing issue in this regard over the past several months. However, today the load was severe enough that nearly all services on this server were shut down for a considerable period of time. The only way we were able to regain control of the server was to suspend your account.

Now, several messages later, the company told me the following.

I don’t know. From what we have seen here today and yesterday, even a dedicated server would have rapidly gone down under the load. So if you want to stick with the same methods, I would recommend at least small server array of four to six servers. This would probably require a budget of something like $1,200 per month, plus the IT and Internet security personnel to maintain it.

That was not an option. I can’t afford paying $1,200 per month. So, I had to let them know that I might cancel my account – but I wanted options.

P.S. Of course, if you really are getting a wealth of traffic it may be time for your site to go to a dedicated server, or more likely a small server-farm (e.g. four or six servers in a round-robin configuration). But I have a gut feeling that it is simply that your site has become open territory for SE and other bots (spam bots, hacker bots), and every “read” to your site is making multiple database queries simply because it is a dynamic WordPress site. Makes for the “perfect storm” to crash any single server and therefore be totally inappropriate to host within a low cost, commercial shared hosting environment. Personally, If I were you, I would rework the site using something like DreamWeaver, i.e. regular HTML, and then install a blog package (using something like Joomla or Drupal) as a linkable addendum to the site. Then if your blog starts taking the server, all you need to do is temporarily pull your blog section off line, and make adjustments, rather than have your entire enterprise go off line like this.

I thought, why not? If Drupal is an option, and WordPress is not, this coming from a guy at support, I’ll give it a try. Just then, I received another message:

We can certainly remove your contents and put your account back on line in a very short period of time. But as for how long it will take you to rebuild, this is of course strictly up to you. And yes, it is your WordPress package that is likely causing the load, so if this is your principal concern, then we are stuck because the moment we put your WordPress blog back up, the server becomes vulnerable to further disruptions stemming from your account.

So, drupal it is.

I also asked if I could or should transfer my account to another host.

I would certainly invite you to try another host, but if the same thing occurs they will certainly and very quickly give you the boot.

I also received a lot of emails with logs and words I didn’t understand. That was it for me, I figured Drupal was the easy and fast way back to blogging heaven. And I figured that my host did a decent job. But what do I know?

Now, from this experience, I have two things I should have done in a completely different way, if I knew then what I know now.


I should have used a different system for affiliate links and not a plugin for WordPress. Now, most of my affiliate links are not working.


I have used two different methods for adding images to my posts. Now, many of my images are gone. I should used one method.

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