|Dealing with website issues|
October 8, 2022
It took a while but I finally noticed that the website was down a couple days ago. I have no idea how long it was down. In the future, if you notice it is down, please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to alert me to the problem.
I'm not exactly sure what the problem was, but the hosting service restarted the database backend and it became available again.
But then I checked the logs and discovered we have been under attack (denial-of-service attack or DOS, in case you know what that is) by some unknown hacker. We also have been crawled excessively by a number of search engines. I reported the attacker and maybe that will help, I dunno. Let's hope so. As for the search engines, I have dealt with them a couple of ways and I'll keep checking for others. We don't need umpteen different search engines bringing up every one of the hundreds of thousands of pages to create their indexes.
I also increased our database platform from the $30 per month to the $60 per month option at DigitalOcean. This may have not been necessary in hindsight, but I'll leave it there for a while.
Finally, I also noticed the homepage is always extremely slow loading. It hasn't always been like that, has it? Anyway, I decided to remove some of the boxes reporting statics (number of journals and entries, and also people with the most entries). That seemed to help but it is still the slowest page. I didn't want to remove the "Premier Journalers" box, but that may also be contributing to the slowness of that page.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Don't forget to download backups of your journal periodically. One of these days, a hacker could bring the website down and I simply don't have the resources to make sure that can't happen or that it could be brought back. Also, if that happens you can go to our Facebook group page to find out what to expect: https://www.facebook.com/groups/198718887696550