An update on recent downtime

As I’m sure some of you have noticed, over the past few days, Global Geek News (as well as my other sites) have been experiencing some downtime with errors mentioning server resource limits have been reached.  I want to provide you guys with a bit of an update.

So I think it was Friday evening I started to get a number of e-mails about GGN being down from my site monitoring service.  I didn’t think too much of it at the time since it does happen every now and then.  But I kept getting more emails as it would go up and down.  So Sunday night when I finally had time to mess with it, I started doing some digging.  As far as I could tell, none of the WordPress plugins I use were causing it (which is where my webhost always wants to point the finger) and as best as I could narrow it down, the problem was from a misbehaving Amazon bot that was pounding my server.  After I banned that IP address, things seemed to be better so I brought all the plugins back online and everything seemed ok.  Until Tuesday.

Tuesday night I once again started getting e-mails notifying me that GGN and my other sites were suffering downtime due to maxed server resources and indeed the CPU was back to being maxed out.  So back to digging into settings and logs I went.  I noticed there were some IPs that were misbehaving but nothing quite like I expected to cause the problem (only one got banned).  However I did notice that somehow (probably in my attempts to see if any plugins were the problem and I was disabling and re-enabling plugins) my caching plugins weren’t doing their job.  I fixed that across all my sites and it seemed to help but not completely.  So I decided to tackle the problem of misbehaving bots and hacking attempts to see if that would help.

To address those issues, I downloaded the Wordfence plugin.  I used to run this plugin previously but I found it to be a bit of a resource hog in itself so I got rid of it some time ago across all my sites even though it seemed to be providing amazing value from a security standpoint.  However, this time it seems to be much better about using resources and after customizing it to tighten down security and send the misbehaving bots packing, things now seem to be back to normal across all my sites and I haven’t had any e-mails letting me know my monitoring service spotted any downtime.

So hopefully things are now fixed and back to normal plus security has had a nice upgrade in the process as well as I managed to clean out some old plugins and stuff that weren’t really useful anymore.  I will continue to monitor the server for more issues but I’m hoping this bit of frustration is over, especially since my webhost, Midphase, who once had AMAZING support which is why I have been with them for 10 1/2 years has apparently let their support go to crap and is just sending canned responses rather than actually looking into issues.  But that is a rant for another day.  Any suggestions on a new host?

While I am giving an update on things, I will finish with a brief update on regular content here on GGN.  Lately my focus has been on finding a new software developer job and taking care of my disabled mother so I haven’t had much time for blogging.  I will be making more time for it here in the very near future.  I have a couple of new astrophotos I need to process and then I will be ready to share them with you all and a few other things you guys will find cool.  Hopefully that can happen over the next week or so as I get some time.  So stay tuned!