Why My Website Disappeared Today

In a perfect world (one where no one sends spam and windshield wipers never streak) I would own the server this website is on. It’s really not a big deal. You take a computer – not even a powerful computer – hook it to a fixed IP address, run some free software and voila, you’ve got a website.

It’s that easy. It’s just not that cheap!

A fixed IP address and permission to run a server don’t come with a cable modem. And putting a high speed line in my house would be fun but impractically pricey. I contract with a company in Chicago, Hostforweb.com.

I pay $100 per year to rent the space and the computing power on which this site runs. For $100, the hosting package comes with restrictions. I share the computer I use with others. I don’t know how many others but at least dozens, maybe hundreds.

I have to be a good neighbor to the other websites that live with me. So, I can take some resources, but not enough to slow the others down. It’s only fair. Of course, I never have an exact feel for what I’m using or what they’re allowing.

Earlier today Hostforweb.com took a look at what this website was doing and realized the process I was running to post weather bulletins (on a day with two active hurricanes and other severe/strong weather) was a resource hog. I didn’t think it would be, but this week in general and today specifically are not the norm.

Here’s one thing Hostforweb.com does that really upsets me. When they found my server was using too many resources, they just shut me down!

Where my website once lived there was now a note telling anyone who came that there were problems. My mail was shut down too, as was my shell access (the ability to command the server computer from my home computer – or anywhere).

I contact Hostforweb.com via computer. The tech support person who answered my chat said I needed to send an email. Of course, they had shut down my email!

I called their 800 number. After a few minutes of holding I was told no one could take my call but I should send an email. On my second try I reached someone by phone.

To make a long story short, the process that was causing the problem wasn’t important enough to fight about. I like my hosting, I’m comfortable here. So, I removed one tiny part of the website and they let me back on.

Actually, they had to let me back on first. Without access to the website, I couldn’t do anything to fix it.

Case closed – I hope.

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