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.
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.
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