Interruption and Restoration

December 3, 2011 | 30 comments
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Regular T&S readers will have noticed that our site has not been available for much of the past couple of days. Its not our fault.

On Thursday morning, Bluehost.com, our now former host, shut down our site without warning and without providing any specific information that might allow us to solve whatever problem had arisen.We are not pleased and, frankly, we expected more of a company based in a heavily Mormon area.

So we have taken the opportunity to switch hosts, and we are upgrading our software in the process. All of our content has been recovered and all of our old posts are still here, and over the next few days we expect to get the details of our appearance and functionality back to normal. We thank you for your patience and loyalty, and we hope you will help us spread the word that this down time was unavoidable (on our part) and temporary.

 

30 Responses to Interruption and Restoration

  1. JB on December 3, 2011 at 2:35 am

    Glad to hear everything’s been preserved and that full functionality should be restored over the next few days! I figured it had to be something like that. Shame on Bluehost….

  2. Tatiana on December 3, 2011 at 7:21 am

    So glad you’re back!

  3. Jeff on December 3, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Can you give some more information on what happened? Also, what host did you switch to? Presumably you exceeded a bandwidth limit or something.

    Bluehost has a really bad reputation in web dev circles, so I’m glad you got away from them. AFAIK, they are apparently run by LDS BYU grads, but as we all know, that doesn’t count for much.

  4. Jeff on December 3, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Oh, P.S., let me know if you need any technical help.

  5. Kent Larsen on December 3, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Jeff, Bluehost has given us almost no information. Their email only said there were “performance problems.” That is my biggest complaint about the whole situation. Had they said “your site was taking 90% of the processor time for more than 10 minutes” and offered a realistic way to access and solve the problem, I think we would have tried to figure out the issue and stayed.

    Like many, many hosts these days, Bluehost advertised its accounts as “unlimited” bandwidth. That is, of course, something of a fiction, but without some kind of statistics about how much of a resource hog T&S had become (if it really had become one), its really hard to understand their rationale.

  6. Steve Evans on December 3, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Bluehost sucks. Glad to see you’re back.

  7. Alison Moore Smith on December 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    It’s Kathryn’s fault.

  8. Kaimi Wenger on December 3, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Our blogroll and links are all out of whack. It’s been listing a bunch of categories that have been inactive for years. I’m currently tinkering with that to see if we can get it back to normal.

  9. Tatiana on December 3, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Bluehost is my host, too, so now I’m worried and wonder if I should change. What host will you be using now?

  10. Ken on December 3, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I like Dialogue’s assessment of the problem and suggestions for fixing it when I clicked on their out-of-date link:

    You 404’d it. Gnarly, dude.

    Surfin’ ain’t easy, and right now, you’re lost at sea. But don’t worry; simply pick an option from the list below, and you’ll be back out riding the waves of the Internet in no time.

    ? Hit the “back” button on your browser. It’s perfect for
    situations like this!

    ? Head on over to the home page.

    ? Punt.

    Reminds me of my days as a missionary in that far-away, foreign country known as Southern California.

  11. Dan Handy on December 3, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    This is Dan Handy. I am the CEO of Bluehost. I read your entry and it disturbs me that you had a bad experience with us. We host millions of websites and we pride ourselves on our excellent service. I apologize for the problems that you had. If you email me I will send you my cell phone number so I can hear what happened to you and make sure we fix it for the future.

  12. manaen on December 3, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    #10
    Born and raised in SoCal, I remind you that SoCal is a state of mind — in so many ways.

    It was here that when a local radio station began freeway reporting from the sky in the 1960s that the reporter aloft would have the cars below run formations (“On three: right lane change left, left lane change right. 1,2,3 – Go!”).

    The fundatmental difference is that folks in most other places ask how they could *use* something new; we ask how something new could *am-use* us.

  13. Ardis E. Parshall on December 3, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Kent, if you contact Dan Handy, please report what you can. I’ve been asked twice this week about how to start a blog (one for a stake, one for the family of an editor) and would like to use this as an example of what can happen, good or bad, when picking a host. (Keepa uses GoDaddy.com)

  14. WVS on December 3, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Good to see you back.

  15. Michael on December 3, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Ardis,

    You use a hosting company that uses pure pornography to attract new customers??? Wow, I never thought you would have compromised your values so easily. My balloon of Ardis admiration had burst. : )

  16. Alison Moore Smith on December 4, 2011 at 7:01 am

    Kent, FTR that’s not Dialogue’s 404. It’s the Thesis theme default. (I use Thesis on MormonMomma.com and almost all of my sites and my client sites.)

    see gnarly dude

  17. Kent Larsen on December 4, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Dan (11), one of our bloggers will contact you.

    However, from the above and your internal resources, don’t you alreadly have enough information? I’d think your first contact would be your own staff to ask what happened, not us! After all, much of the reason for moving was that your staff didn’t give us enough of an explanation for shutting us down!!

  18. Nom de Cypher on December 4, 2011 at 10:19 am

    In the interest of balance, let me tell you a little story. My site is also hosted by BlueHost, and was also down last week for ‘Performance Problems’. I couldn’t see any obvious problems, but I noticed that they have 24 hour tech. support, so I called the number that they provided in the email that said that that site was disabled. They explained that one of the tables in one of my databases had over a million rows, and that exceeded some limit of the database software that I had chosen, and was causing the host to devote some unspecified, but large, percentage of it’s resources servicing that problem.

    The database was for a test instance of a Wiki, so the easy solution for me was to delete the database and software for it. I asked them to restore my account, so I could fix that. They did. I fixed it, and I was back online in minutes. According to the microblogging that I was doing at the time, it took me 47 minutes to restore service. About 20 minutes of that was on the phone.

    I wasn’t even late for work.

    Dan, if you are still listening, here are two things that I didn’t like about the interaction. First, I understand that you disabled the websites to protect your servers and your other customers. But I think it is counter-productive to disable the control panel as well. I couldn’t fix the problem, because I couldn’t get into my account. Secondly, I’m not wild about having to go begging the Terms of Service office for permission to go back online. It seems to me that if the violation wasn’t intentional, which should be obvious in most situations, that tech support should be able to make the decision to restore service.

    Dan, I’d be happy to discuss this with you. My email is attached.

  19. Nom de Cypher on December 4, 2011 at 10:20 am

    OK, so my email ISN’T attached.

    Contact me at nom.d.cypher@gmail.com

  20. Jeff on December 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    You should considered moving to a VPS. Linode offers them for reasonable prices. Something like T&S should not be on a generic shared host for a variety of good reasons. Hammering your VPS will just get you a slow VPS instead of a disabled site since the hypervisor places hard limits on the process.

    Email me if you want to talk about this further, cookiecaper@gmail.com

  21. Kent Larsen on December 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Nom de Cypher, had Bluehost given us in the email the kind of detail you had to call about, we might still be on Bluehost. From our perspective, we have a site with a significant audience, and we expect the site to stay up. Bluehost apparently doesn’t care enough about our site staying up if they are going to take it down without bothering to tell us anything except that there were “performance problems.”

    We still don’t know why the site went down.

  22. Kent Larsen on December 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Jeff (20), thanks for the tip. I’ll pass it on and when it comes time we will consider that option.

  23. Alison Moore Smith on December 4, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    I’m with Kent. That’s what Dave Ramsey calls customer no-service.

  24. Kaimi on December 4, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Test Comment.

  25. Dan on December 5, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    what’s with the password thing?

  26. Dan on December 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    and what’s with that gray box that shines red when you hover over it?

  27. Jax on December 5, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Hate the password thing!!! I keep getting errors to click back and type in password.

  28. Kent Larsen on December 5, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Dan, we were getting over 1,000 spam comments a day (all caught by Akismet, but they were hitting the server). The volume was up 1,400% over last year at this time!! I now think that this may have been the cause of the “performance problem” that our previous host complained about.

    So, Kaimi installed the password “captcha” to reduce the load on the server.

    I’m sorry if it is annoying, but we don’t know any other way to handle the problem at the moment. We’re open to suggestions.

    One option for regular commentors like Dan and Jax is to register an account here:

    http://timesandseasons.org/wp-login.php (click on the register link just below the link).

    Once you are logged in, you won’t have to face the password requirement for each post.

  29. Daniel on December 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    one problem solved, though everyone is gonna have to remember me now as Daniel because someone else took Dan. :/

    so what’s with the gray box at the end of every comment?

  30. Dan on December 6, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    maybe now…

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