Growing Pains

A problem that made the site mostly inaccessible for two or three days, and intermittently last weekend, has been solved (I hope). The proximate culprit was Cory Doctorow, whose newly posted column on Wednesday attracted so many viewers that it overwhelmed our server. But the ultimate culprit was our Word Press installation of our various blogs, including the ‘Perspectives’ blog where Cory’s essays are posted, and, to some extent, the limitation of our current server. The difference between Blogger, which served the blogs until a couple weeks ago, and WordPress, which serves them now, is that the former was set up to post static pages via FTP on our server, while WP’s default function is to dynamically serve pages from its database (sitting directly on our server) when a URL request is received. Each request causes WP to launch an instance of its PHP program, and the net effect of many hits to Cory’s link was to overload the server, to the extent that for some periods this past week, no one at Locus could download e-mail for hours at a time…

Our friendly hosting service suggested installing a plug-in option to Word Press called Super-cache, which in effect makes WP work like we had Blogger work — it generates static pages that sit on our server and are served to most viewers, rather than launching instances of its PHP engine. Between their rebooting our server this morning, and my installing the plug-in, the overload situation seems to be solved. At least, the site is coming up, and email is downloading. We will still likely pursue an upgrade to our server as well.

Hope this explanation has been helpful for the six of you who read this blog…

3 Responses to Growing Pains

  1. Pingback: Growing Pains |

  2. From our experience at and from many others W3 Total Cache does an even better job. You may want to check it out as well. =)

  3. Pingback: Growing Pains – free technology from freedom of mind