November 12th, 2007
Categories: Uncategorized

The Big Server Update – I Need Your Help


Last Wednesday, in the midst of the Big Computer Screwup, there was The Big Sever Screwup. There were three people by and large responsible for this screwup.

1. Me

Yes, the point of blame falls solidly on me. For two reasons. Firstly because I’m such an awesome blogger, that men want to be me and women want to be with me, that my blog has over a million people subscribing to my RSS feed, I’m bound to attract – as my mum says – “The Wrong Sort of Attention”. The second reason I am rubbish at keeping WordPress updated, so I have been running what was in effect an unsecure version of WordPress for about two weeks. I’ve really only got myself to blame.
2. Spammers

Spammers are cocks. There, I said it. On Tuesday and Wednesday, this blog got a huge amount of hits from spammers, who were managing to buypass Akismet and leave spammy comments, each one of those increased the server load by a little bit – making it slow for the rest of you. How many did I get?


The thing was, that the 29,000 on the 2nd was because I got Stumbled to buggery, but it was still stable as there was less MySQL Database requests. Imagine about 35000 of those 38000 left comments. My server grinded to a halt, hence the database errors and what have you.

3. WordPress

Out of the three, I blame WordPress the most. I’m actually losing faith in the big boy, just for the amount of resources it takes up (Jem would agree with me), I think Matt Minakarnasoesnasgegg is a bit of a wanker, and the forums are as useful as a small child in the Falklands War. Maybe they don’t like my username as they guessed I was part of the Paid Link Dark Side Evil Child Molesters, but I was seemingly ignored for three solid days. So, at the moment, WordPress is a Evertonian co-worker: I have to co-operate, but I don’t have to like the self righteous sods.

Thankfully, I had three knights in shining armour who helped me out.

1. My Host

Resellerzoom have been fantastic. Instead of saying “You strayed over the limit, we’re going to block your site, as you are probably distributing pornography” (like my old host), they said “You’ve strayed over the limit, but it’s nothing personal, you have 24 hours for us to sort this out, then I’m afraid we’ll have to suspend your account.”. They’ve been lovely, and their forum helped me loads too.

2. Digital Point

I have a love/hate relationship with the Digital Point forums. At times, they are wonderful – and I’ve picked up some cool stuff from there (including my header graphic, and another little surprise that’s coming soon), at times I want to scream at them for the pure and simple reason that some of the people there are crooks, and others are after something for nothing. Nevertheless, it’s a bit like New York, and as long as you keep your wits about you, you’ll find some nice people. One such is the Site & Server Administration Forum, who managed to decipher my referall stats log and told me exactly what I needed to know. So for them, thank you!

3. Ardamis

But the most thanks must go to this article: Defeating WordPress Comment Spam. Most methods put forward deleted comment spam after it had crippled the server, this one – by assuming that spambots cannot access Javascript – actually locks the barn door before the horse has even thought of bolting. It is – so far – pretty watertight.

However, since implementing that solution, my comment count has dropped, and I’m worried. Is it because – like most weekends – I’m naturally quieter, or are people having problems to comment on my blog? I know there’s now a security question, and you do now need Javascript enabled to comment, so if anybody is having problems, please e-mail me at, so I can sort it out.

If you’re not, say so below, thanks! :)

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