Hard Drive Failure
Yesterday at around midday it became apparent that my web host was experiencing difficulties.
I reported the issue which seemed to be affecting all my sites, and others in this shared hosted platform. After a while support responded that the storage node had failed, and after a further request they updated their service status to reflect this issue.
Although this site doesn’t serve thousands of visitors on a daily basis, my stats show it trickles along nicely. Â It is the centre of my digital output, however I was more concerned about my short url service. IrTe.EuÂ unlike many, is not hosted by Bit.ly or Hoot Suite, it is hosted by me. Â It’s 800 short links have generated over 43,000 clicks, so on average about 53 clicks each. Â I’ve tried to build a twitter account based on sharing great resources on the web, which totallyÂ relies on this service.
I was able to get my site back online before my host was fixed for three reasons…
The Cloud Concept
The storage node was down, which meant I couldn’t get to my web files, however because the host I have been using for a number of years is a clustered based service, thankfully their MySQL servers were still running. Â I quickly backed up some important DBs.
I use their free product which gives me access to ‘two’ name servers, which use dynamic DNS, and are actually numerous DNS servers around the world. Â The advantages are, the name servers are closer to the visitors, they propogate very quickly in my tests and in addition to standard DNS, cloudflare cache some of my data. Â As long as my host was delivering a 503 error, cloudflare would show visitors a static version of IrritableTech.Co.Uk. Unfortunately, this didn’t help IrTe.Eu.
This free plugin for wordpress was my saviour yesterday. Â I can not speak highly enough of it – if you run WP – just get it. Â Like any other plugin, you install it into wordpress and configure the plugin. Â You can set up tasks to back up any of the folders within your wordpress folder (not just the standard wp ones) and you can set it repeat at a frequency you require. Â It also backs up the MySQL database. Â You can set the backups to be saved within your website directory, an FTP server, Dropbox, SugarSyncÂ (Affiliate links :-)), and others. Â So although my hosts hard drives had failed, I had a backup completed only hours earlier on my dropbox account.
I’d had a hostÂ recommendedÂ a couple of months back. Â A UK based, ‘cloud’ shared hosting platform with the right amount of services, space and databases for my numerous websites. Â With an offer of Â£1 for the first three months, and a 60 day money backÂ guarantee.Â This new host also runs frequent backups throughout the day.
So thanks to not putting all my eggs in one basket (like many shared hosting platforms do), a fast content delivery network with quickly propergating DNS servers, and a fantastic free wordpress plugin the world of IrritableTech was saved within a few hours, two hours before my old host managed to fix their issue.
In addition, I find the site much quicker to navigate, and my short URLs resolve in a far quicker time. Â Hopefully you do too?Photo byÂ walknbostonÂ and licenced under creative commons