Heh heh. We were down for a little while last night cause of bandwidth issues, but not because our host was pissed at us. In fact, it was because our host was trying to help us out that we went down. Christine from Blogomania had contacted me to update her customer record for our account and I mentioned to her that we were looking at moving elsewhere because we were eating up so much bandwidth and I felt bad about abusing her generosity as they hadn’t been charging me for the overages. She told me not to worry about it because I was one of the few heavy bandwidth users among her customers and with all the folks she hosts that never come close to using their monthly allotment the fact that I was going over worked itself out in the wash. Turns out Blogomania doesn’t sweat overages too much unless they’re so extreme they threaten to take the server down. In the three years she’s been running Blogomania they’ve had one client that ended up being that extreme and he was running an Atom Films type of site.
This was a relief as it takes some of the pressure off of trying to find a new host right away, but I told her I was still considering it due to space issues. We haven’t been close to filling up our allotted space since we switched from MovableType to EE (mainly cause we don’t have 2,000+ literal HTML files all over the account anymore), but there was some stuff I wanted to try that would require some more elbow room. Christine was kind enough to bump our account up a bit to give some extra disk space because she feels we’ve been a great client for the past three years. This gave us a little more bandwidth too, but it also caused the limit enforcement to kick in. We’ve already consumed some 45,578.88 Megabytes this month which is more than the new limit and that’s what took us down. I didn’t notice right away because I was busy playing WoW, but DeadScot sent me an email which I saw once I logged out around 11:30PM and a quick email to Christine had us back up and running 12:10AM. We didn’t lose anything except possibly any comments folks were working on at the time the site went down and we should be fine for the immediate future.
So our downtime was accidental as Blogomania is aware of our bandwidth consumption, but doesn’t consider it a problem for the moment. Christine has promised me that if it ever does become a problem I will be given plenty of warning ahead of time to find a new solution without having to fear my sites will be off-line until I do. I have hosted with Blogomania since within four months of starting this blog and overall I’ve been more than happy with the service and they’ve definitely gone above and beyond the call to keep us happy as well. It hasn’t been without its rough patches here and there, but that’s going to be the case no matter where you host and the leeway we’ve been granted on stuff like bandwidth has been more than generous on Blogomania’s part.
Where does that leave the decision to switch hosts? Well, for the moment there’s no big rush to make a move, but I’m still considering it. I must admit that the donations I’ve received so far via the Amazon and PayPal links I put up have really surprised me. If I used them to just pay for our current account at Blogomania it’d cover us for the next 16 and a half months or so—well into 2006—assuming bandwidth doesn’t grow to become an issue. Another option would be to bump the Blogomania account up to a bigger option to help offset the bandwidth and disk space issues (and so I don’t feel like such a moocher). The donations so far also mean I could definitely afford the dedicated server or virtual dedicated server routes I’d been considering previously which is very attractive because it would allow for a lot of bandwidth, disk space, and the possibility to do some things I’ve wanted to do for a long time like run my own game server. Anyone for a little Stupid Evil Bastard Half-Life 2 Deathmatch? It wouldn’t take a whole lot in the way of donations from folks to make that option fit within my budget and a lot of you have written me expressing a very big desire to continue helping out via the donations. I’m a little nervous about making any plans that would be dependent on donations because I don’t want to turn into Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson and resort to putting up nag entries asking for handouts, but it is something to consider.
Meanwhile, DeadScot took the time to point out what a total HTML hack I am (Duuude, your header graphic is, like, almost 30K. No wonder you’re bogartin’ all the bandwidth. Shah!) and he’s right so I’ll be working on a redesign for SEB and the other sites here that should slim them down a bit and help cut back on the bandwidth we’re consuming (and render a bit faster) until I can work out what our next step should be. As always, I’m open to hearing your thoughts on the issue.