Tuesday, December 05, 2006

More Down Time

My photo web site was down for half the day yesterday. Something on my shared server hogs the connections ... then causes total failure. I've thrown hours scouring my site to see if there is an errant query that hogs connections. It is probably an errant query on a site that shares my database.

I've gradually come to the conclusion that the dynamically generated web model does not work on shared servers. On shared hosts, one is dependent on all of the other sites sharing the host. I need to redesign my web sites so that I don't need to connect to a database for each page.

The super frustrating thing, of course, is the need to harrass technical support to reset the database connections.

My strategy had been to concentrate a large number of domains with one host with the idea that I might get better service doing so. That idea hasn't panned through.

Anyway, I figured I would break up my web site structure and use different hosts. It would be a good opportunity to play with different control panels and figure out how different companies work.

I am currently trying to move a couple sites to BlueHost.com out of Provo. The selling point for BlueHost was that they offered both PHP4 and PHP5 hosting. I wanted to try my hands at the new PHP5 language.

Sadly, their sign up process never gave me a chance to select my preference. They threw me on a PHP4 server by default. After wasting a couple hours finding out that there was no way to upgrade the account myself, I find myself, once again, at the mercy of the help desk of a discount web host. ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

The main problem with all discount hosts is the thumb twiddling for customer support. Of course, I haven't a clue how any discount host can survive at the low rates that they charge. It seems to me that all web sites will have technical issues here and there. I suspect that this one PHP4-PHP5 technical issue that occurred during sign up will wipe out the company's profit margin on the account.

I admit, I would be much happier with a dedicated hosting solution. That way I could be my own tech support. Unfortunately, all the dedicated hosting places I've found cost $75plus a month ... plus the cost of the server.

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