Blog Update: Goodbye, Miserable May; Hello, Jolly June! – 99 Problems.


Hello I'm Back Clipart

Blog Update: Why My Server Failed Me & Who Saved My Day… 

I’m going through blogging withdrawals and although this is the last thing I should be doing right now (I can’t even tell you what my backlogged work looks like), I feel obligated to share what has been going on around here and give all of you some sort of a blog update, too. I am going to try and turn a miserable, long, depressing, and terribly frustrating novel into a short novel… let’s see how I do! 

You may or may not have noticed, but MamaNYC was up and down more times than I can count between May 20th and today, June 2nd. My old database was apparently corrupt and broken. I wouldn’t find this out until much later (yesterday), but I was in a panic over downtime and it was happening at the worst possible time … ever.

I Miss You Note

WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS. 

If I had to tattoo my forehead with a motto that described my life, I would surely choose the ole’ "When it rains.." saying. The week prior to my server issues was FANTASTIC. Good luck was coming into my life from all directions. Short-lived it was! 

Personal life emergencies, dilemmas, and happenings suddenly came barging in and my ‘real life’ was sent into a whirlspin of craziness. Simultaneously, of course, MamaNYC began to crash – constantly. The server would go down for HOURS (1-4 hours at a time). It would come back up, but only to crash again after 20 minutes. I wasn’t home at the time, so I was limited to what I could do while on the road. The only way that I actually knew about all of the UP and DOWN on MamaNYC was thanks to server alerts from Pingdom.

pingdom email alerts

[2 hours was NOTHING. MamaNYC was down sometimes for 6-8+ hours!]

PINGDOM —-> Use their service to monitor website status and receive email alerts telling you when your site goes down. They will followup once the server is up and running again, which will detail the up time and let you know how long it was down for. AWESOME alert and a MUST for anyone operating a .COM! We can’t be on our computers or mobile devices 24-hours a day, so this is a great method to know if your host is or isn’t as reliable as you THINK it is! 

Normally I would have been right on top of a server issue, but my ‘real life’ needed some attention and I had to surpress my anger over the downtime and take care of things around here. It killed me. Anyone that knows me well is aware of how seriously I take my work as a blogger. It’s an outlet for stress relief. It’s my time to be and socialize as an adult. It’s MINE (I have two kids, so there are few things I can claim 110% ownership of in my life). 

Downtime for 5-minutes drives me nuts. . . 

so imagine that frustration x 15 days! 

I couldn’t figure it out on my own. My blog traffic did peak and I am thankful that it has consistently increased, but it didn’t seem like that would be enough to cause a MAJOR crash. I decided to ask my host for help, but they were useless. They blamed the issue solely on my traffic increase and suggested moving up a level on my VPS (virtual private server) to include a greater bandwidth package.  

Later that day, I decided to upgrade my package by one level. I was on their Level 3 VPS hosting package, but moved up to Level 4. MamaNYC continued to crash, consistenty and constantly. That was a waste of time.

I went back to the drawing board and continued to investigate on my own. Ta-dah! I discovered a plugin that was bogging down my server BIG TIME. I would say that the traffic peaking on MamaNYC was 35% of problem, but my ex-host neglecting to see a plugin continually looping around and around (think of an endless reload or refresh button that never stops) — that scared me.

Whether my ex-host neglected to see the plugin error, or lied to me thinking that I didn’t know better (and didn’t understand how to read bandwidth reports), I wanted out. Either one of these reasons was good enough for me to switch hosts.

Bring in RFE Hosting…

I had decided that enough was enough after 5-6 days of continual Pingdom SERVER DOWN email alerts. I was receiving an average of 25 Pingdom alerts EVERY HOUR. You do the math. I had to go and it had to happen NOW.

pingdom email alerts down  

[Just a TASTE of what my inbox looked like...for 2+ weeks]

Since my personal life was upsided down, I wasn’t able to do the transfer on my own as I normally would. I kept telling myself I would do it ‘tomorrow’, but tomorrow never came. After a FULL week of tomorrows, I finally contacted Aaron at RFE Hosting, explained my situaton, and his rapid response over Memorial Day Weekend spoke volumes. 

As a web designer, Internet marketing consultant, and e-commerce venturist and business manager, I have dealt with my share of hosts. I purchased my first domain at the age of 11 back in 1995. Things have changed and certain package inclusions have increased and varied. One requirement has remained the same: I need reliability, swift customer support, and consistency. I don’t care about your unlimited email accounts or Fantastico (maybe I do, but that’s besides the point) — all I want is to know you will be there and actually read my complaints. I am not a robot and you shouldn’t respond like one either. Sheesh…

RFE Hosting saved the day. Aaron swooped in and took over my transfer, which would have NEVER happened if I left it up to fitting somewhere in my schedule last week. I am forever thankful… because he went to hell and back with my database. 

My domain (mamanyc.net) FINALLY propagated (moved, transferred, updated) late Friday night. Great, right? No. MamaNYC was a big and blank NOTHING.  

To sum this all up (I have to put my son to bed and this is turning into a novel, clearly) - my database at my old server was corrupt and broken. No one saw this or informed me, which solidifies my feelings and reasoning for moving hosts in the first place. Due to the large volume of files resting on my server, transferring took many hours. Many – meaning nearly ALL day. 

This huge undertaking meant a lot to me and that is why I felt compelled to publicly thank Aaron at RFE Hosting. I wouldn’t have a place to let out my blogging cravings if it wasn’t for RFE Hosting. I am thrilled to have them as my new host and glad to see the Pingdom emails have STOPPED! 

I wasn’t able to do anything for days. No emails coming or going. Blog posts couldn’t be published, drafted, or deleted in anger. I was feeling useless and ashamed that I couldn’t fulfill my responsibilities and meet deadlines. It’s as if your car broke down for 2-weeks and there was no such thing as carpooling, taxi rides, trains, or bus fares. Having to tell your boss(es) that you just CAN’T work is tough, but in my position — I couldn’t even call in sick. I had zero access to emails and my entire blog was nonexistent. 

With that being said, I am BACK. I am thrilled and cannot wait to let all of my blog cravings out and get started on the huge backlog of work that I have sitting in my office. 

So… what should I do first?  

(I’ll start by running around the house like a chicken without a head).

 

Love Always, Nicole

 

I Miss You So Much Cartoon

 

 

  • http://www.mummyknowsreviews.com/ katie smith

    I am so glad it is fixed! I hope you have no more problems with it!

  • http://www.practicallyperfectprincess.com/ QueenMomJen

    Frustrating. Glad to have you back online.

  • Leslie Galloway

    It’s raining at my house today… we have been invaded by raccoons and our babysitter canceled at the last minute. SIGH.. Glad you’re back and doing better!

    • http://www.mamanyc.net Nicole

      Oh no, Leslie!!! That’s HORRIBLE. :*(

      It seemed like… the last 2-3 weeks of May were horrible for everyone. Think we all had enough of the winter and bad weather — horrible storms and tragedies… just a bad time for all. But….

      * THIS TOO SHALL PASS!!!!!! (RIGHT???) *

      :O)

  • https://www.facebook.com/CarterFamilyof9?ref=tn_tnmn Heather McKenzie Carter

    Glad to see you are back up. I can relate sort of… the past three weeks have been hell here. I had a baby on May 14th which was great but the labor was long and hard, we were in out of NICU- my husband was back and forth to work, our homeschool work was on and off on and off… some days you just want everything to just WORK like it should. Nothing exciting… just boring old life.
    I’m still playing catch up with laundry for my now family of 11 and get the house clean which is like. OMG.EVER.GONNA.HAPPEN!?
    Don’t worry you’ll get caught up eventually… and so will I. (and whether you realize it or not, we’ll be doing it together!)
    So… what to do first?
    Welp. The first thing on your list. Thats a good a place as any to start? Right?

  • Tammy S

    I hope everything is better now. I kept thinking it was something with my computer blocking you the first few times. we are glad to have you back up and running at full speed.

  • Kristine R.

    That sounds like a total nightmare and beyond frustrating. Someone hacked/defaced my personal photography site last year and I am completely tech-tarded and I felt so defeated. I hope everything gets back on track. You’ll be back in the swing of things in no time.

  • Tiffany Drew

    And I thought having to reconnect to my wifi every few hours was a horrific thing! So glad you got it all figured out, I can’t imagine having to go through that. I wouldn’t even know where to begin!

  • http://thereadingaddict-elf.blogspot.com/ ELF

    I wondered what had happened and thought that maybe I had missed a notice that you were going on hiatus. Sorry to hear about your troubles and glad to see that things have improved!

  • Georgia Beckman

    Thanks so much for this post. I do not yet have a blog but have been debating for more than a year whether I should blog or not. Within the past 6 months I have decided to go ahead (not there yet) so I am still doing some research & getting my ducks lined up. What you experienced is one of the “what if” situations I have played with in my head. I pinned the info on my board called BLOG HELP so that when/if the need arises, I have some insight on my side as to who/what/where/when I might go for help.

  • Eileen

    I dont know anything about being shut down for a blog, but I used to do a home business with order deadlines and had been shut down completely for days. That or often our direct internet connection was out. It is so stressful. Hope all the other “ick” of life has cleared and now you will have smooth sailing into summer!

  • Kristina L.

    Wow!! Sounds like you went through a crazy time! And like Tiffany Drew said in her comment above me I thought having to reconnect with my wifi two three times a day was a nightmare. and I really love it when I am in the middle of something and my boys yell.. “reset the wifi”! I am so glad you got it figured out and Welcome Back!! I would be lost without my internet.

  • Sylvia Ortiz

    The Pingdom server notification is a great service to help you manage your time wisely, instead of wasting it as you run diagnosis programs on your system with the assumption that the connection problem is on your end.

  • Amanda Alvarado

    And here I thought it was my computer! LOL Glad you have everything back up and running! I had to completely reformat my computer a few weeks ago and lost everything! I just bought this computer in November and I still hadn’t transferred everything onto my external drive At least we hadn’t deleted the pics from the memory card so I still have those! I think I would be much more depressed if I had lost all our Christmas Pics!

  • Tara Gauthier

    So glad everything is getting sorted out. And so glad you are back online, if only so that I can stay updated on all the craziness in your life..

  • Betsy Barnes

    Glad your back! It sounds like it was very frustrating, but it’s fixed. It does seem “when it rains, it pours”, we just have to keep at it :)

  • Renata S

    I just can’t imagine all this terrible things going on at the same time. I also depend on technology to do my everyday job, and believe it or not, the last time I had a problem (I think at the same you did) I had no internet for 26 hours!!! Of course that happened on a deadline for a project, and I only had a 3G internet that is useless where I live (it barely works). I know how you feel. Good luck in June, glad that everything is solved now! :-)

  • Catherine

    I’m not a blogger but as an avid emailer, I would hate to be “unplugged” for a few hours, never mind days or weeks. You might start to become paranoid the next time you have good luck coming your way…it might be a precursor to another trying time.

  • Sarah L

    Glad you and your site are back. I noticed when I entered the sweet contest that your site was not bogging my system down like it used to. I haven’t even been visiting because it was bad for my computer. You do have great contests so I’ve been missing them.

  • Nicole Sender

    I’m not an IT person and can’t imagine how to navigate through the process of fixing the problem you experienced. Glad it’s resolved.

  • Sarah L

    I’m glad you have a new server. It really is better than the old one – much faster (at least for me)