Ah, I remember the good old days when having a website meant coming up with some graphics, text, links, arranging it nicely and letting it do it's thing. Nowadays it's not so simple, and if you're not tech savvy, it can be a nightmare. There's all kinds of crazy things necessary to maintain a website, keeping it running smoothly, protecting it from vile spambots, and promoting it. If you can afford a snazzy tech to do everything for you, awesome. But if you can't, well, it's sink or swim. For those of you who have a wordpress.ord site, you know all about the behind the scenes stuff. For those of you who don't, there's all sorts of plug-ins, plug-in updates, wordpress updates, theme updates and at any point any one of those can go wrong and the website you shed blood, sweat, and tears for is suddenly floating belly up like the goldfish in the plastic baggie you won at the fair when you were a kid. It's enough to drive you barmy. Even so, I stick to wordpress. Aside some of the headaches, it's still--in my opinion, the easiest to use, and the most flexible.
Some of you may have noticed both my sites were offline all of yesterday, this one and the Tea House. I was woken up at 1 a.m. by a phone call from my website host provider Hostgator to notify me by databases had been suspended for hogging up the CPU usage. I didn't even know what that meant. Now I know it was because my site was bugging out and greedily stealing all food from the other kids and refusing to share, so Hostgator put my babies on the naughty step. Fair enough. Of course, I've had the websites since Feb/March, and it's the first time this spike in usage has happened. I was informed it was down to Google Analytics. Of course it was Google. I wasn't surprised. Google is a memory gobbler, but I've had it for months, so why now is beyond me. Seeing as how Hostgator provides detailed traffic reports, I decided to sacrifice Google Analytics and got rid of it from both sites. Problem solved right? You know where this is going.
Hours and another tech later, still nothing. I was given a list of things to do that would help optimize my websites: update to the latest version of wordpress--done, update my theme--done, get rid of deactivated and unnecessary plug-ins--done, use the hHstgator recommended settings for my WP Cache plug-in--done, got rid of a bunch more stuff--done. That should do it.
Some frustrating hours later. Tech number three: Add a Cron job. OMG, WHAT THE HOLY LIVING F@#$! IS A CRON JOB??!! Basically, from what I understood, it makes the pages load faster. Anyway, I followed the instructions and did that. That should do it, right? RIGHT??!! Sam's expression there on the the right pretty much says it all, and he knows a thing or two about hell. Tech number four was very nice. He sounded cute so my ire was tamed long enough for him to walk me through how to optimize my databases through my CPanel. That should do it. 10 p.m. rolls around and now Charlie's exhausted, frustrated, and had enough. Call up, ask for a supervisor, a lovely tech on the other end takes notes on the masses amount I changed, expressing her confusion as to why after all that, my databases were still blocked. That made two of us. Finally, at 11 p.m. (two tickets and 13 emails, four techs, one online chat, and two telephone calls later) I was emailed that my account had been unsuspended, but they'd continue to monitor my server.
Obviously I got nothing done yesterday that didn't involve my blood pressure spiking, stomping around the house, and talking to web techs. I'm not annoyed with Hostgator because they were just doing what's in their Terms of Sales, but I would have preferred to have been notified of what was happening and how to resolve it before they suspended everything. I shall now forever be living in fear of the 'database error' page of doom. At least I learned how to optimize my websites, even if it left me technologically scarred for a good while. Lesson: just because something's supposed to make your life easier, doesn't mean it will. Either that or I'm correct in assuming technology hates me. Just ask my printer.