Account suspended – for the final time?

Our alert readers will have noticed we had another outage this morning when our site was unavailable for a number of hours.

The reason for this was a traffic spike – and despite the jokes, it could well have been because the van-maker LDV was in the news, and we’re a top-ten search result for the term LDV.

Our current hosting arrangements mean we share a computer with several other websites. When we get a big traffic spike, our performance affects the other users of the computer, and our host sometimes turns us off to make sure the other websites are not unfairly affected. Although this is frustrating for us, it’s generally a Good Thing that web hosts make sure all their users get what they pay for.

We have been looking at our financial position for the past few months, and we think we can just about afford to move onto a different hosting plan – called a Virtual Private Server – where we don’t share facilities with other websites. This will mean that when the site is under heavy load, it will slow down, but hopefully never again fall over permanently. It does, of course, cost more, and there will be a learning curve for our technical staff (aka Ryan) as the new hosting arrangement will work in a slightly different way.

There will also be planned outage, with a warning beforehand, whilst the changes are made.

One further point – the end of Lib Dem Voice’s financial year comes at the end of February, and once this is passed and I’ve knocked our accounts into a bit of shape, I’ll publish the income and expenditure summaries in the members’ forum.