It might be time to pack up SEB and call it a day.

popequitSo the site’s been running very slow the past day and a half and today I put in a ticket with EngineHosting.com’s support to ask them to look at it. They said that my site (I host several blogs for family members, but SEB is the most trafficked of them all) was using a lot of RAM and CPU time and was impacting the shared server it was on. They restarted Apache on that server and it appears to have solved the problem for the moment, but they suggested I consider upgrading to one of their virtual server offerings. I’m sure the increased utilization is from the recent influx of visitors we had from Reddit the last week or so since I wrote the “miracles” rebuttal. It also appears to have attracted even more attempts at comment spam and WP hacking.

I already pay around $120 a quarter ($480 a year) for the hosting account I have. Moving up to the virtual server they recommended at EngineHosting would run $270 a quarter ($1080 a year), though they did say I might be able to get away with the smaller option that would only raise my costs by $15 a month ($135 a quarter) to begin with. If I were still blogging as regularly as I used to I would be very inclined to try at least the lowest level of virtual server, but I often go a week or more between posts. The majority of my traffic these days is from spammers and hackers trying to spam or brute-force their way into SEB. Most of the regulars have drifted off because I simply don’t update as much as I used to. Spending $480 a year is already hard enough to justify especially when I could be putting that towards a down payment on a house, or paying off a college loan, or having a second vehicle. I’ve been at this since December of 2001. It’ll officially be 12 years this coming December. The only things I’ve done longer than blogging are playing video games and watching Doctor Who.

I still enjoy getting the occasional entry up, but it’s very hard to justify the cost anymore. Perhaps I’ve dragged this out for as long as I can. Perhaps it’s time for a change.

24 comments

  1. Maybe it is. I’ll just say that this blog has been a place for me to go when I felt I had nowhere else.

    Whatever you decided I’ve got a lot out of this blog and its community and I am grateful.

  2. A lot of people, myself included really love SEB, but as you say. A couple possibilities: 1) Archive SEB as a static site? Doesn’t cost much for hosting. 2) Continue blogging at a slower pace on WordPress, Blogger, SquareSpace, etc. No time for more but know that you ARE appreciated!

  3. Les, check out the new offering at DreamHost for a virtual Private server. It is called “DreamPress” and has an introductory price of $19.95 per site, per month for life.

    It is a supercharged managed VPS account optimized specifically for WordPress, and is automatically scaled depending on your resource needs at any given time. You could put this site there, and put the other sites you host for family on a regular shared account for $8.95 a month. That sure beats the $120/month you are paying now AND you end up with a server that can handle a lot of traffic.

    Here is the information:

    http://dreamhost.com/dreampress/

  4. I agree, I subscribe to the posts here, so I come when there is something new to read. I have been following SEB for a LONG time now. Just because a lot of us don’t come every day, we DO come when you post.

    Look up DreamHost”s new VPS service, DreamPress. It is $19.95 and specifically optimized for WordPress.

    I run a music site that has a self-hosted jukebox that plays almost a thousand mp3. Each post also has mp4 videos, so you can just imagine the resources I use. I was on a VPS account at Dreamhost paying $150+ a MONTH, and it always seemed like I needed to have just a little more sometimes. Then, a couple of weeks ago, DreamHost came out with “DreamPress” which is a VPS that will host one optimized WordPress site with whatever theme or plugins you want for just $19.95 a month.

    I have been on the DreamPress package for a couple of weeks now and my site is a LOT faster in loading.

  5. I’m with some of the others here, if you can find something cheaper that suits your lower posting speed, go for it. I’m not sure what all you get for your money, and I’m sure you enjoy playing around with options, but it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg just to get your words out there.

    Been reading for most of those 12 years, and it would be sad to see you go. But if it’s time for a change of life, you gotta do what feels right. I will say that after your last slump, the posts have been pretty damn good lately.

    Damn…I’ve been writing slightly more lately myself, it would be sad if the first blog to slide off my blogroll was by chance the first one I started reading regularly.

    I try to comment more where I read, to make it more of a conversation, but it seems that most of your readers agree with you most of the time!

  6. I just recently discovered this, and it id a refreshing change from the mostly Leftist crap that I have previously found. I would hate to see it go, but you have to do what is right by yourself, first. A wise person once told me that if you do not take care of your self, then you can be no good to other people.

    Whichever way you go, good luck and have fun.

  7. Thanks for all the comments everyone.

    DJ, I am checking into the DreamPress package. I was hoping to be able to use it for a multiuser WP installation and they say that I could, but that the package doesn’t offer subdomains so I’d have to address any additional blogs by directory. They suggested I go the route of using a smaller shared hosting for the smaller blogs, but then I’m only saving $11 over what I’m spending now. Granted, I’ll have a much better situation for SEB so it may be worth doing, but still not as appealing as cutting my bill in half would be. I plan to write back and ask if I could use full domains for the additional blogs (which many of them already have anyway) and if that would work then I could get away with just one DreamPress account and still support family members. It just means registering a couple of extra domain names.

    DOF, I was thinking that if I close up shop I would probably go the route of opening up a Tumblr or something to hold the occasional thought that enters my head. The archives of SEB would be gone, but so would the associated hack/spam traffic that went with it. I already post more to G+ than I do SEB because so much of what I share I don’t have enough to say about to make for a full blog post anyway.

    Matt, I’m pretty Lefty myself. Look through the archives and you’ll see for yourself. I’m definitely not a Conservative. I fly my Liberal Freak Flag fairly often. :-)

  8. You might want to consider using CloudFlare to reduce the server load (it’s got anti-spam/abuse options and also acts as a CDN system). They’ve got a free package for you to give it a try on.

    If you want to drop me a line with your current requirements (space, bandwidth usage, CPU/RAM), I’ll see if I can recommend anything more for you: although I suspect a VPS with Varnish “in front” may be the best solution

  9. I was referring to the Lunatic Left. Don’t have a lot of use for ‘em. Or the Rabidly Right, either, for that matter. I fall between the two, myself.

  10. I pay less than $100 a year for as many subdomains as I want and unlimited bandwidth and storage space. I’m sure if I was running some huge commercial site, they’d complain, but I have no limits on what I do or how many visitors I get and I’ve never gotten less than excellent service with zero downtime.

  11. That’s kinda the point, Moloch. It’s not a job. I don’t make any money doing this. It costs me a fair amount to do it. Either I find a way to do it cheaper or I stop doing it.

  12. Les,

    Yeah, I am not sure DreamHost is going to jump into the multi-site DreamPress right away. I know it is on their agenda, but probably not for at least 90 days.

    The way I understood it from your post above, you had this site which, like mine, is a resource hog, and then you were hosting friends and family domains on the same shared server account. I didn’t know they were using sub-domains.

    I thought DreamPress would work out perfectly for you since you first have to have a base account (which entitles you to have as many domains as you want on it) and then you pay extra for the separate DreamPress account. All-in-all, I can’t see a person paying more than $31.00 a month for unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk space.

    Ah well, I hope you figure it out and are able to stay up and running.

  13. Do whatever you need to do to take care of YOU. As far as the rest of us whiny, needy nerds go, we can find other ways to amuse ourselves. I can, anyways.

  14. Hi Les,

    I do hope you find a platform that will cut costs or a way to stop the spammers. I have been visiting your site for many years now and I have always enjoyed your witty, intelligent and often informative posts. I would really hate to see you leaving the blogo-sphere! Would it be an idea to see if your regular readers would help you cut the costs with donations? Put up a big SEB-HOST-O-Meter so we can see when we would need to ‘subscribe’ or help you with the costs?

    Myself I would be more then happy to donate!

    Cheers from the Netherlands,
    Niels

  15. I’ve got a couple of months to figure what to do as we just paid for the next quarter just prior to this event. At the very least I’m going to use what time I have left on this host before making any big changes.

  16. I hope you keep at it, even if you don’t keep at it here. THE WORLD NEEDS BEARD UPDATES AND CAT PICTURES.

    Also, shit might get crazy again and require much outrage in the political realm.

  17. Just an idea, regardless of the hosting: why don’t you put some (non-intrusive) Google Ads here? I don’t know how many visitors this blog has, but if there are enough to overgrow a shared hosting plan, I guess they can, at least, help you pay the hosting a little bit.

  18. Iostream, I used to carry both Google and Amazon ads on the site, but I don’t generate quite enough traffic for anyone to bother clicking on them. Since I started them in April of 2007 I only generated around $200 (it pays out only after you accumulate $100). The first payout was in April 2008 and the last payout was in July of 2010. I stopped carrying the ads in August of 2012 and had only managed a balance of $74 (which is my current balance) in that time. So in five years I managed two payouts total and it took a year to get the first one and another two years to get the second one.

    In short, it doesn’t generate enough money quickly to really help with the cost of hosting. It was a nice bonus every so often, but didn’t really impact anything.

  19. Resource-wise, probably your largest site is this one. Put it on the DreamPress, and carry everything else on the standard DreamHost account that you are required to have to maintain the DreamPress account.

    Total cost to you: Around Thirty-one bucks.

    The shared account will cost you month-to-month, $11. The DreamPress add-on for this site will cost you another $20.

    If there is a reason to put your friends and family on another DreamPress account, make THEM pay for it.

    If you are trying to keep them on the SEB domain, I suggest picking up the .net domain and creating your subs out of that to be hosted on the required “shared” account.

    Heck, if it wasn’t for YOU having the .com domain, I would have picked up both the .net and .org domains a long time ago. ;)

  20. You could look into switching to your own VPS. Not sure what your traffic levels are like but I’ve recently started using RamNode (http://www.ramnode.com/) and they’re very cheap and fast. There are coupons (http://serverbear.com/9756/ramnode#view-coupons) and benchmarks etc… at ServerBear (http://serverbear.com/compare/vps).

    I’m currently running my little site off of a RamNode VPS – and it’s hardly feeling it. With coupon this worked out at ~$50 PER YEAR.

    You get a blank linux server, so you need to know how to use SSH install Apache or whatever, but it does mean you can do ANYTHING you like – host as many domains/sub-domains as you like, as many installs of whatever you like, etc…

    I think they do CPanel as an added extra, if that floats your boat. Anyway – worth thinking about – there are lots of options that are dramatically cheaper than what you’re currently paying; checkout serverbear to see what I mean.

Leave a Reply

Connect with:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>