Travel Blog back up! The inside story …

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ September 7th, 2009. Updated on September 11th, 2009. Published in: Travel blog » Website updates.

Back online!

It’s been an interesting few days, with new visitors reaching over 50,000 in one day; I had to turn the blog off for a while.

On September 3rd 2009 the mainstream Italian newspaper La Republica published an article about me and my journey to find a place called Home.

Luck was with me that night as I had gone online in reply to a comment when my host emailed me and told of an increased spike in traffic. 22,000 people in a few hours had visited. They thought it was an attack and suspended my website.

Thankfully, I was online, and figured out what was happening. My host brought the site back up again within 30 minutes. And throughout the evening (Asia time) was very supportive.

The inside story of running this website:

Like anyone with a website I pay for a certain hosting package. It has bandwidth limits. In other words the more people that visit the website, the more bandwidth gets consumed and the more it ends up costing me. This is especially true considering the amount of photographs I display here.

Keeping in mind that this website started out as just a place for me to write my travel journals, hang my photographs and write up travel resources as I continued on in my journey to find home – I really never expected that many people to take an interest. I had a hosting package that I thought would do up until then.

As the evening went on the numbers had increased to 50,000 above the normal amount of daily visitors. At this time, I took the preventative action to remove my journal from the site to stop going over my bandwidth limit while keeping the rest of the site up and running. Self preservation as it were.

I did most of this on my gprs enabled phone as the local cafe was charging a lot for WIFI and it was closing down for the night. It was still daytime in Italy. Over the next few days I watched the number of visitors eb and flo while my inbox filled with some great emails from Italy and beyond, I will reply to everyone, but it will take a little time.

Faced with a quota of bandwidth I left the blog offline until things settled down a little. One of my main problems was getting a good enough internet access to try and find some solutions to all this. I have now traveled to a small guesthouse with internet and am sitting in a windowless room trying to get things back to normal.

I’ve had many suggestions emailed to me. And wish to thank very much those people who sent them to me.

What one see’s on the outside is not always an indication of reality.

Hosting costs are not extraordinarily high these days. At least not yet! I do however have to balance my journey and the amount of time and money I spend on the website. Advertising has paid for the hosting up until now without question. The keywords there is ‘up until now’. I don’t like having ads all over the place. But unfortunately it’s the only way I can afford to keep things running here.

If there’s any advertiser who’s interested in advertising on The Longest Way Home for a resonable rate, I’m all ears for you to contact me.

The real issue I have is the cost of accomodation / internet to write the entries, sort, crop, and upload photographs and now fix things like this. My accomodation costs are about $12 per day at the moment to do this. So a single day trying to fix all this is a lot more than a monthly hosting fee! And this is what I mean by how things aren’t always as black & white in regards to maintaining the website.

I am now making an attempt at outsourcing my image hosting to reduce the bandwidth consumption on the websites server. This is again an unexpected expensive that I have to factor into the websites future.

I’ve written about why and how this website got started in my about section so I won’t go over it again here. Nor am I making plea, but these are the facts.

The future

For now things are settling down and I hope to have the travel blog stay up while I sort through things like web hosting, image hosting, and also try to factor in the time costs too. I am very aware that there are many people who enjoy reading my journals, the photography I take and; in following my quest along. I am really trying hard to balance this, and my own journey together.

Hopefully over the next few day’s I can bring some stability to the website, and get things fixed in a way that will alow me to get back to the over all goal in my life – To find a place called home.

For now the journals will resume in a day or so as they always have. A little behind time, but they are on the way!

A note for those who can help –  by signing up to my RSS or email subscriptions!

My RSS and Email subscriptions are free. By signing up, my journal updates get delivered to your email address, or to your RSS reader as soon as they are published. You can then read my updates on your email or your prefered RSS reader which means you don’t have to remember to visit the website every week, which in turn means a reduction in bandwidth and thus you would be helping me out.

So yes, in a round about way for regular readers I am saying if you like reading my journals then please sign up for my email or RSS subscriptions rather than visit the website all the time to see if there’s an update! (then if you read something you’d like to comment on, you’re more than welcome to visit and write back)

Both the RSS and Email subscriptions are all free with lots of extras such as extra entries that only you will hear about there. Also in the near future I hope to be giving away exclusive access to subscribers on new features I am working on.

You can get my email updates by clicking here or for those who prefer RSS here

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23 Great responses to Travel Blog back up! The inside story …

  1. Daniela says:

    Good to see you back. Well done for everything, I thought we Italian end of your blog!

    Ciao from Milan

    • Hi Daniela,

      Yes everything is back up thank you!

      Actually all the Italian visitors have helped me make the blog part of the site a lot more stable for the future.

      So Grazie molto to Italy!

  2. Matt says:

    I saw your story on La Republica. It’s quite incredible what you are doing. I work as a network engineer and have to give you credit for surviving an unexpected spike in traffic like that. It was a smart move to take the blog down and keep the rest of the site up.

    I’ll send you an email with some suggestions for the future that might help you out.

    Meanwhile all the best in your journey, and I hope you find what you are looking for.

  3. Hello Dave!

    I suppose I should be congratulating you!

    I got 2,000 and thought it was good and you got 50,000!


    Good on you, man!


  4. E says:

    I made a comment last week when the blog was down, but I don’t see it now?

  5. Enzo says:

    You might know that one of the most famous italian website has published news about you and your blog: I may be disappointed for you not travelling to Italy (place where i come from) but you’re largely excused considered our lousy political situation. Anyway I updated my website with your blog cause it’s really worthing the while. Good luck and thanks for making true our big dream. Enzo

  6. Diego says:

    Hi, I’m from Italy and I really like your blog! =) I’ve just a question for you: I noticed that in your trip you passed near my state,without visiting it. I know that political issues now made Italy not much pleasant, anyway..what about a trip here? =) (if so, please DO NOT go to milan: you’ll encounter the most unpleasant and crabby people in italy) p.s.:I noticed your blog beacuse off appeared today on a main page of “”, the online website of one of the main italian journal:maybe your website got down because of this? thousands of people increasing the traffic..) bye!

  7. Diego says:

    incredibile! abbiamo scritto senza conoscerci e abbiamo scritto cose simili! :D it’s funny that I don’t know Enzo and I didn’t read his post until now, but we wrote similar things! :-D

  8. elena_brazil says:

    Hi! With compliments, great blog! Do you think to spend a while to check Brasil? I’m living in São Paulo 1995, I like Brasil, but I’m thinking to move. Estou lendo o seu blog e buscando ideias… Beijos

  9. Max says:

    unpleasant and crabby people in Milan? Diego, do us all a great favour: don’t waste bandwidth with so much nonsense and racism! Great adventure Dave! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Mauro says:

    Come to Visit Sardinia I have a room waiting for you!!! :))) Never Surrend, keep on searching!!!

  11. cla_ao says:

    hi!today I’m 33.. and..I’m at work.. dreaming on new travel! I heard about a person, 33 years old..arond the world! Enjoy! :-) Cla

  12. lazazie says:

    Hey, this aint so true! Im from Milan and not only am I not crabby at all.. but a traveller like you.. I have also been making my way through life lately; either flying, either travelling by train, car, bike.. or simply on foot.. and I also did collect bangles and bands from the places I visited.. which are all now safely in a box, because these days I may have found myself a real “home” and I hope you will find it aswell any soon. Weird that I stumbled on your site right now, that I think travelling with your heart set on a specific place make the whole roaming thing completely different, and this is also something one has to try! Happy travels and take care: whenever you are any close to milan I’ll smoke out all the numerous kind people I know for you!!!

  13. joaozinho says:

    From Sintra With Love! Segue o teu caminho, respira por Nos!

  14. Anna says:

    Hi, I really am enthralled with your quest! I look before when your blog was up an enjoy so much every week. Better than the TV! Good luck with getting things back up, I look forward to reading more Anna

  15. Gino says:

    Hi, try to see for your site and the bandwitch problem. I did stay in Malesya years ago and I would suggest you to visit it. Best regards Gino

  16. Nanù says:

    Hi!! Your idea is fantastic and your photos are beautifull! Good luck for your search, I hope you find wath you want, but you remember that the most important thing is the journey, not the goal!

  17. ekg says:

    eres increible

  18. @Enzo – Thanks for adding me. Italy wasn’t on my overland route.Who knows what the future will bring,

    @Diego – Thanks for the comment. Italy was not one my original route. Mainly due to cost, and living expenses etc. It would be a great place to visit though. Never been to Milan, so I don’t know ;)

    @elena_brazi – No idea about Brasil yet, but I’m glad I’m giving you some ideas!

    @Max – Thanks Max.

    @Mauro – A very kind offer, I ‘ll certainly keep it mind should I go there.

    @cla_ao – Happy Birthday! Best wishes to you!

    @lazazie – ” I think travelling with your heart set on a specific place make the whole roaming thing completely different” very very true. You have indeed traveled!

    @joaozinho – Thank you! A beautiful place you live in!

    @Anna – Thats a nice thing for you to say. Thank you! Hope you continue to follow along!

    @Gino – Thanks for that tip Gino, I have things back online now. And, thanks for the suggestion.

    @Nanù – Thank you for such a nice complement, and for the well wishes. Through the journey I am learning, but the goal is still to find home :)

    @ekg – Thanks!

    @All Thank you to all who’ve left comments when the blog was down for a few days. Things are now 100% again and I hope to be moving from this little guest house in a day or so.

    Your comments, emails, and well wishes all mean a lot.

  19. Linda says:

    I just stumbled across your blog. I’m at work, so this is not really something I should be spending my time on, but reading your blog gave a tug on my soul.

    I’ve travelled a bit in my twenties and pretty much lived 2 years in Uganda. Presently I live in a country where I didn’t grow up. Many of your thoughts resonates with my own experiences.

    So far I haven’t read very much, but I do like your writing style and I will come back and read more on my time off. It’s food for thoughts. I sometimes feel such yerning for places and people left behind that there can never truly be one home.

    well…I wish you the best of luck.