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DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
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August 2011
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Site problems

Sorry that Drug WarRant has been down for the past day. It’s been a very frustrating 30 hours, and I still don’t have an explanation for why it’s been down.

According to support staff at DreamHost, the Private Server which I pay for has been getting massive memory spikes every two minutes or so which have been forcing the server to stop all processes (thereby essentially shutting down the site).

What they don’t seem to be able to do is tell my why. (They simply suggest that I do some optimization stuff with the site that I’ve already done before).

I finally increased the memory capability of the site massively (which will make me broke very soon if I keep it there), to get it up right now.

We’ll see what happens.

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18 comments to Site problems

  • Scott

    I worked with web servers enough to understand the problem, surprised when my expensive virtual private server kept crashing with a minimal collection of low traffic sites.

    Web servers are very memory intensive, and the price for memory in a hosting service is high for reasons I’m uncertain of, considering that such memory is cheap for them to purchase.

    To be blunt, you apparently have a popular site with insufficient revenue to meet the expense required to maintain it.

    You are certainly not alone in that category, as there are popular content providers (bloggers, cartoonists, etc.) who are in the same boat.

    Some have been successful in coming out and stating to their audience that they cannot financially sustain the site, and will need to shut it down. Audience members voluntarily make a small donation (even a couple of bucks), and that translates into a lot of money for a popular site, enough to pay hosting costs for awhile.

    As a longtime reader who is financially challenged, I can only offer very little, but will do so as soon as I can.

    Your readers need to understand that you are paying roughly $100 monthly to maintain this site, and you cannot sustain that without financial help from your audience, a financial reward that is justly due IMHO.

    Another option is to make your site subscription-based at some threshold that does not turn away your audience. Even a $1 monthly subscription would do wonders for you, Pete, and I would pay that.

    Whatever solution you come up with, I wish you the best of luck. We need your continuous efforts.

    • Thanks, Scott. There’s still a lot that I don’t understand about the memory spikes, but I’ve come to realize that, given the number of readers, this site requires more memory than I had been getting. You’re right, and I’m going to bite the bullet and do that.

      I don’t think that means there’s any immediate concern about needing to shut down the site, but I am going to have to ask for more help from readers.

      Thanks again for your input.

  • Ben

    Seriously, your hosting company sucks ass.

    • I’m actively looking at other options right now, Ben. Don’t want to jump without thinking it through thoroughly, but I’m definitely not happy.

  • Matthew Meyer

    Don’t put up a paywall, there are too many who will stumble on your site to do that, that’s how I found it.

    Hell, I’m poor but I’ll give a buck or two a month, geez.

  • darkcycle

    Good to see you’re back up. I wonder what (or who?)is causing the spiking…
    I’ll kick you down a little doe-ray-me, but if this doesn’t straighten itself out soon, maybe DreamHost should get the heave-ho.

  • dt

    It’s working but going very slow right now (on an iPhone).

  • darkcycle

    As if on cue, my notebook computer went *crash*. Now I need to get me another one. Damn thing was cheap and just too handy, great to keep around when you’ve got a three year old. BUT, the upshot of this is that I now have to make a trip to the office (It’s here at home) to read anything. Oh well.

  • Swooper420

    It’s not much, but I pay-pal’ed $10.00 to help cover your costs. Hopefully others will do the same. If I can do it on $250/month after rent, then shame on anyone who doesn’t kick in SOMETHING!

  • vickyvampire

    Yeah,was on vacation could not access for two days on I -PHONE.

  • SHuff

    You should open up advertising space.

    • I do use Google Ads and have advertising for Flex Your Rights (commission on DVD sales), and, while both help, neither generates significant income at this point.

      I don’t really want to get into a lot of selling ads and having to deal with billing and all the details when I need to focus my limited time on blogging.

      I get a lot of requests, usually from rehab places, for text links ads (a system for artificially increasing their google rankings), but I turn them down because I just don’t feel comfortable with the idea.

  • Christy

    Go to network solutions.

  • People here are the greatest! I’ve already gotten a few donations to help with the additional hosting costs. If anyone else wants to jump in, the donation button is on the left side.

  • […] Site problemsDrug WarRantI worked with web servers enough to understand the problem, surprised when my expensive virtual private server kept crashing with a minimal collection of low traffic sites. Web servers are very memory intensive, and the price for memory in a hosting …and more » […]