Comment rating system

Some of you may miss the comment rating system. But I have decided to not reactivate it yet, because it definitely costs some performance and I don’t want to gamble with the webserver resources again. Sandra and Woo and Gaia together had over 150,000 page views per day during the last two weeks, and Monday even saw a new all-time record with 166,960 page views for the English version of Sandra and Woo alone. Unfortunately, I have almost no chance to measure the resource consumption since I’m using a managed hosting service without access to the server itself.

Cause for webserver problems found

After two weeks without problems, I’m now confident that I have found and fixed the cause for the webserver problems on 25 and 26 September.

Two security plugins for WordPress were the offenders, “Acunetix WP Security” and “Ultimate Security Checker”. After the last update, the first one began to carelessly make many long-running database queries. Meanwhile, the second one had inflated WordPress’ crucial wp_options table over the course of time. I guess a webserver which is no longer online after a database crash is kind of secure…

This shows that some functionality that might be beneficial for a website with 1000 page views per day can be disastrous for a website with 100,000. Apart from deleting the two plugins, I worked on the website backend during the last two weeks to further increase its performance.

The life of a comic author

Katie Tiedrich of Awkward Zombie nails one of the worst parts of being a comic artist/writer apart from having to deal with webserver failures:

Let's draw a comic

But I think even worse than the pictured example or a just plain wrong “correction”, is a correction which might be 5% more accurate, but which would also completely ruin the joke. Fortunately, only a tiny fraction of our readers are as rude as StrawGuy2009 when they complain about something in the comment section.

PS: Tom Nook & Co. are raccoon dogs, not raccoons! So Katie should have called them “raccoon dog guys”! I wish the author of these comics actually knew what she was talking about or cared about zoology!

Ongoing webserver problems

Unfortunately, the webserver issues are more severe than I thought. There might be a problem that some script running on the website requires too many resources. Therefore I have deactivated all WordPress plugins and the comment section. It will take a while until all features will be activated again since increasing the stability of the webserver is now the most important goal.

Comments from yesterday gone

The webserver running had a serious storage malfunction and was offline for a couple of hours because of it. All your comments made after Tuesday, 24 September 2013, 01:30 CET, are gone. My latest database backup is exactly two hours older so there is nothing I can do to bring them back. I think my webhost Hosteurope handled the issue well. A technician had a look at the defect server although it’s 1 o’clock after midnight here in Germany.