I Was Not Prepared

WoW.com strikes again

While trying to update the site yesterday, I started getting these horrendously long load times, time-outs and finally error messages when attempting to navigate anywhere within the site. I’m accustomed to short periods of downtime due to high server loads, Apache reboots, and what not, but then this started to get a little too excessive for my liking.

I began firing support tickets over to the server admins to get this whole thing sorted out. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to access the back end to reply to the previous day’s comments. After several minutes I finally managed to get the admin area to load and what’s the first thing I see when I look at my recent comments…

Posted November 19, 2009 at 1:46 pm
Grats on the WoW.com shout out! =D


Traffic JamAt that moment I popped over to WoW.com and saw my article on Hunter Power Auras as a feature at the top of their home page. A-ha..! this explains a lot.

Needless to say, the sudden influx of traffic from wow.com to my humble little Hunter site just brought it to its knees. This traffic spike caused huge resource demands and in turn made my site almost inaccessible for about 12 hours. While I was really happy to see they made mention of my article with such praise, that glee was squelched by the fact that no one could get on my site to read the post. >.<

The last time this happened I was able to handle it, but I had a different hosting situation then. I was in a shared environment at the time when I got the WoW.com nod and HuntsmansLodge ended up devouring like 90% of the server’s resources. Even prior to my last WoW.com mention, my webhost was aware of high server load occurring at times, but what they weren’t aware of was that yours truly was the sole cause. 😀 My last feature on WoW.com made it apparent that this site had outgrown its shared environment.

Eventually I upgraded to a VPS in order to meet the demands of the site. Not long after the upgrade I had to increase my memory limits yet again. Then yesterday… you guessed it… I had to upgrade for the 3rd time since this site’s creation. Although this site doesn’t see WoW.com sort of traffic all the time, it has grown to attract a hefty number of visitors.

WoW.com EffectWhat really blows is that yesterday’s surge would have trumped the last one had the site not been down most the day. I was really excited at the possibility of attracting a group of new visitors and replying to loads of comments. While I did get quite a few of both, I feel as if a large portion of the referred visits saw a blank page with an error message. For those of you who did get through and are visiting for the first time… Welcome! 😀

The previous hosting packages I’d had were being taxed as it were, let alone any kind of traffic spike. I’m happy to announce that as of last night, I should hopefully be able to now accommodate any future wow.com nods or comparable 15 minutes of fame HuntsmansLodge spotlights. The downside is… this is costing me. 🙁

If the site’s gonna grow, it’s gonna grow. That’s not something I want to stifle in order to keep maintenance costs down. I’d rather keep things going as they are and know that I’ll be able to handle future demands and not have to incur the troubles I had yesterday. That totally sucked. I was cussing like a drunken sailor every time I tried to reply to a visitor’s comment, only to receive a Fatal error: Out Of Memory… message.

More on this later…

12 thoughts on “I Was Not Prepared”

  1. Gar, I quit WOW tonight and uninstalled for good. Thank you for your posts. You are a very skilled player, scholar, and writer. You have written many insightful and humorous posts that have kept me coming back daily to the lodge to see how things were going. I hope all goes well with you and the rest of the bunch. Good luck. 🙂

    • Roar!

      I’ve been thinking about you man! I was hoping to see your name in the comments soon.

      I can’t say I’m sad to see you’ve left the game, but I have been missing you around here. I hope all is well with you, and maybe you’ll stop by once in awhile to check in. If not, I understand. A WoW blog maybe isn’t all that interesting if you’re not active in the game. Just know you’re always welcome. 😀

      If you ever do decide to return, and if I’m still around, I’ll be sure to help you get back up to speed.

      Best of luck to you and warmest regards,


  2. @ Euripides

    The added flexibility as well as having my url be: huntsmanslodge.com, are the two main reasons for me wanting to remain with self-hosted services.

    I honestly never thought I’d outgrow a shared server, but I guess people are noticing this place. 😉

    Your site is growing pretty rapidly, so I’d imagine a VPS is in your future if you’re not on one already.

  3. @ Hamlet

    If not for your comment, the wow.com pounding may have not been discovered for another hour or so. Thanks. 😀

    I kept trying to thank you for the heads up, but I kept getting Fatal Errors. 🙁 Oh well, all better now.

    @ francois

    Welcome! Thank you for your suggestion as well.

    The reason I use a self hosted service is because I’m a web developer. The site started out on my own provisioned hosting services, so it didn’t cost me any additional. Also, I created HuntsmansLodge to experiment with WordPress and blogging in general. I wanted to have complete and absolute control over my blog, plus I didn’t want to have a subdomain for my dot com.

    I’m not sure how much flexibility one is allowed with some of the major services. My guess is you’re probably limited in some way. I can’t have that. 😉

    Everything is a trade-off I suppose.

  4. I agree with Francois. Self hosted does give you flexibility, but hosted blogs offer iron clad traffic spikes. I kinda wish I had started off on blogger because wordpress is so restrictive (no javascript, for example), but either of them can withstand any amount of wow.com server slaggage.

  5. I discovered your site through wow.com and immediately subscribed to it (RSS). I wonder why you don’t use a major hosted blog engine like blogger to avoid this kind of problem? (like Tobold, greedy goblin, etc.)

    Anyway thanks for the blog and greetings from France ^^

  6. @ Uchikoma

    Yeah, I remember you mentioning that last time this happened. The last time I was surprised, but not at all like this time. Sometimes I’ll post things that I suspect may get some added attention, but I didn’t see it coming this go around.

    Who knows… maybe after a year + I’m finally getting decent at this blogging thing. 😉

    @ Altheaus

    No worries. Good to meet you. 😀

    @ Axefall

    Fav status? Alright!!

    I’m over it now. I was freaking out yesterday, but now that the smoke’s cleared, it’s all good.

    If this is your first time here, then welcome!

  7. Price of success sadly mate, I remember when my site got /.’d it took a pounding. Luckily it blew over within a few hours, so I sympathize that it is a repeated occurence!


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