Published on 03/11/11.
Net-at-hand and all the sites that are running on it were down for two hours last night from 8:25 pm (CST) until about 10:15 pm. I am really sorry for the downtime. There is no excuse for being unprepared and taking so long to solve this problem. I know many of you rely on your websites for your livelihood and more than that, use your websites as a tool for greater good. I take the responsibility of keeping your websites running smoothly very seriously and view it as a big part of my calling in this life. I let you down and I could never communicate my regret adequately.
Apologies are good and necessary, but I am sure you want to know what is being done to fix it. Keep reading for an explanation of what happened and what I am doing to keep it from happening again.
One of the websites on Net-at-hand was linked to from http://fark.com which has enough visitors on it to put it in the top 100 English-speaking websites in the world. Net-at-hand was overwhelmed by all the traffic trying to view that page and was unable to keep up. I knew this type of traffic scenario would happen at some point, and I tried to prepare against it; obviously, I failed to do so adequately.
So I am putting some changes into effect to minimize or eliminate the dissruption. They are:
- emergency plan update—There are specific strategies that I have in place to deal with situations that might come up and cause disruptions. The strategy used last night didn’t get things turned around quickly enough, so I had to come up with something new on the fly. I learned much dealing with this last night so I am changing my plan to get everything back up very quickly if this happens again.
- updating the blog comments plugin—the blog comments plugin is used extensively on the website that was getting all the traffic and it’s performance is turning out to be very sub-par on a website with this kind of traffic. I will be making some changes to it to make it more efficient and less likely to be the cause of bogging the system down.
- improvements for page-not-found—the page that received all the traffic referenced a website image that did not exist and this caused Net-at-hand to keep trying to look for the resource. This alone more than tripled the load on Net-at-hand and played a big part in taking it down. I’ll be working on a fix for this.
- improved plugin performance—I am in the middle of updating the Net-at-hand plugin system to make it more efficient. When these updates get done it should help speed things up overall.
- accelerated time-table for server upgrade—I have been working on a plan to upgrade the server that runs Net-at-hand, and will work to get that in place as soon as possible. This upgrade will be moving the server to a completely different provider which will give me even more flexibility in how the Net-at-hand infrastructure is built.
So that is what I will be working on over the days and weeks ahead. Again, I sincerely apologize for the downtime. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
If you are not a techie (nerd, geek, etc.) you can stop here. If you are (or want to try to be) and you want more information then keep reading.
Published on 01/10/11.
If you’ve been to the stats section of the site tab in the last several months you know that the function has not been performing well. I haven’t been able to put together anything that is going to perform satisfactorily, so I have made it easier to install third-party statistics solutions such as Google Analytics
So, to keep the system running well, I have taken down the basic stats feature until I find something that will work, and replaced it with a field to install a third-party solution on your site.
Note that Net-at-hand is still collecting the statistics just as it always has so when I do find a solution, you will have full access to past information.
Published on 10/22/10.
Tonight, when the changes are pushed onto the Net-at-hand server, there are going to be some changes in the way that Net-at-hand handles URLs.
One big improvement from these changes are that URLs will no longer have the colon and number at the end of them. Old URLs will not be changed (they will still include the number), but new content items will not.
Another improvement, even more important, is that you can take complete control of the URLs for any given content item. You can read all about the new system in the URL section of the help site.
Published on 02/15/10.
Users can now specify that a blog will show anywhere from 1-10 posts. Previously the number was 3-7. Not a big change, I know, but some of you might find it helpful.
Published on 01/02/10.
The Net-at-hand system is now only available to web design businesses for resale to their clients. We decided on making this change to promote the growth of what Net-at-hand was built for—an easy-to-use content management system for small to medium size businesses.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know how we can help you.
Published on 08/16/09.
We are gearing up for a major new feature here on Net-at-hand that we will talk more about in the coming days and weeks, but one new feature that we threw in with the mix is a new audio player that is built using Adobe Flash.
The new audio player will remove some of the inconsistencies that were coming up when trying to play audio files in different browsers.
Published on 07/15/09.
Until now, we have used this blog to tell you about issues that net-at-hand may be experiencing. The blog can work well for that, unless something catastrophic happens and net-at-hand is down completely (this site is published with net-at-hand).
For this reason we have created a twitter account that we will post updates to whenever something goes wrong. You can follow it at twitter.com/net_at_hand. We will probably post about the issues after the fact on this blog, but for real-time information you should go to the twitter page to see what’s going on.
Published on 06/25/09.
Over the last several weeks, contact form submissions have not been working properly on any Net-at-hand websites. We fixed the problem as soon as we became aware of the situation. Contact form submissions are now functioning as intended.
The problem arose because of some coding changes we made in the system which kept the form submissions from being processed.
We sincerely apologize for this problem and any inconvenience it may have caused you.