Them Bloggin’ Problems Though

Moving RG onto a private server today, so it’ll be down for a couple of hours. Not especially happy about it, but at least I have this little widget to keep me company. #blogginproblems #tinyassistant


OK, so any of you who aren’t bloggers or especially interested in the technical side of this whole Internets thing should probably skip this post, because I’m about to get a little lingo-y, but I wanted to write about it because the past 72 hours have made me completely nuts, and if I can provide information that can keep one of you from going similarly nuts, that would make me happy.

Short story: ever since my website redo back in 2013, I’ve had problems with the site. It goes down for an hour here or an hour there, or loads too slowly for some people, or gets hung up on some random URL (this one, for some reason) instead of showing new posts. In August, those of you who read on RSS apparently stopped getting updates. (And just so you know, I update multiple times a day every single weekday, so if you ever stop seeing updates either I have been kidnapped or there is a tech issue at work.)

I have something like zero knowledge when it comes to this stuff, so I’ve consulted various people who know far more than me, and they’ve been able to sort of band-aid the site, but not fix it for good. And then on Saturday the site went fully down. And then on Sunday it went down again. And then on Monday I paid extra money to do all this fancy stuff to my site…and then on Tuesday? Down.

And then I went a little postal, and called my hosting service (HostMonster) all DO SOMETHING NOWWWWW.

And then the most wonderful thing happened: I finally – finally! – got transferred to a guy didn’t say “hmm, that sucks; not sure what I can do” but actually took the time to go into my site on the back end, poke around, and figure out the problem.

He figured it out! I mean, I hope he did, anyway.

His name was Tyrell, and he is now one of the great loves of my life.

So. For those of you who are bloggers yourselves, here are a few fixes that we put into place that (in theory) will help RG – and your site – run a whole lot smoother.

Some Quick Website Fixes To Up Efficiency:

– Upgrade to a private server. I’ve been on a shared server for years, and the problem with this is that if anyone who I’m sharing the server with does something screwy and brings the server down, I go down too. So I moved RG over to a VPS (a virtual private server): it’s more expensive and means that you have to handle some of your IT stuff yourself, but if you have a fairly big site (either in terms of content or traffic, or both), apparently this is the way to go.

– Go to Ok, for real: this site is AMAZING and I can’t believe I’m only just learning about it. It’s a free service that analyzes the performance of your site and tells you how to do stuff better. Amazing amazing amazing.

– Install the Smushit plugin. If you’re uploading a lot of big images, this plugin will effectively shrink them down without compromising resolution, and make everything run more efficiently.

– Delete those spam comments. I had FORTY-THREE THOUSAND just sitting there, hanging out in my spam folder. I did not know this, and now I do. Oops. (I also found a whole bunch of “NICE NOSE JOB JORDAN YOU LIARRRR” comments in my “pending” folder that I didn’t delete, but maybe got flagged? I have no idea, but regardless: thank you for the concern, angry nose job accusers, but nope, no nose job lately. Or ever. I do appreciate the wit of the username “Just The Tip” though.)

Some more links you may find useful:

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