Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Technical Difficulties Solved…With a New Blog Host!

If you visited this blog — or tried to — on Saturday, you saw a problem. Thanks to a new blog host, that problem seems, at least temporarily, to be solved. Thanks for your patience.

Over the weekend, I switched to a new blog host and, in doing so, have hopefully corrected a sudden problem that I still don’t fully understand.

When I tried to log in to my blog Saturday morning, instead of being directed to my trusty old blog dashboard, I was met with a 509 error. Error 509, if you’ve never heard of it or don’t immediately recognize it, is a bandwidth exceeded error.

It means, in layman’s terms (which, when it comes to technology, I much prefer), that a website has had too much traffic over a certain period of time. In doing so, it has exceeded a bandwidth limit imposed on it.

The most likely result of such a problem is that your blog host takes down your site and replaces it with Error 509.

You can’t see the front end. I can’t see the back end.

It’s not a fun day.

At first, I was concerned but not panicked. I reached out to my blog host, who I’d been with for close to five years without any problems. I filed a ticket. They sent the uniform, “Hey, we’re working on it” response.

I waited.

And waited.


I had hired this blog host years ago after meeting the company’s owner at a WordCamp event. He’s a great guy and he truly gets customer service.

Unfortunately, last year, he sold his company to a larger blog hosting company. That was his choice and I respect that. He made it clear he selected the buyer after discussions that assured him the customer service he’d gotten us used to wouldn’t change.

Prior to this past weekend, there hadn’t been a problem.

They were always quick to respond to tickets the rare occasions I had to file one. When a blogging question came up that I couldn’t answer, they could.

Day or night, they answered my questions and took care of whatever issues came up, doing their best to explain to me what had gone wrong and what they’d done about it.

But something changed along the way.

This past weekend, I didn’t get that attention. In fact, other than the automated acknowledgment of my having filed the ticket, I was ignored.

At some point, the 24/7 support I’d gotten used to had been reduced to an extended Monday-Friday schedule. That meant, as far as I could tell, that I wasn’t going to get a response of any kind until Monday morning.

It also meant, as far as I could tell, my site was going to be dead all weekend.

I started doing a bit of digging. I discovered that at approximately 1:00pm on Wednesday, I did receive an email about excessive bandwidth usage. But it went into my spam folder and I didn’t see it. By the time the second email came in Saturday morning — it also went into my Gmail spam filter — my site was down.

Yes, I should have checked my spam filter more often. That’s on me.

But it’s 2018. The internet doesn’t work on banker’s hours. It’s 24/7.

Obviously, I realize that my site isn’t Google, or YouTube or Facebook. There’s no product here, so it’s nowhere near Amazon.

In the grand scheme of things, if you miss a couple of days of visiting this site, you can always catch up and your life probably isn’t the worse for wear.

But it’s still my site. And I expect a certain level of responsiveness when there’s a problem. I didn’t get it this weekend.

I can’t even imagine how it would have been if I had an eCommerce website that relied on sales day and night.

Clearly, no business-oriented site could possibly tolerate something like this.

So after reading several web host review sites and having chats with the two biggest hosting companies, I made my choice.

I’m giving Fast Comet a try. I found them to have the most reasonable rates — including no big increases upon renewal. And what I’m seeing (and I hope you are, too) is faster speed. And they do have

So far, so good.

Again, thanks for your patience with the weekend’s problems. It’s definitely good to be back.


    1. Hi, Mohammad, I mentioned it in the post: Fast Comet. So far, so good! One of the best things is that they have 24/7 support. That’s a good thing to know is there when you need it!

      Thanks for visiting!

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.