The mystery of what was hitting CA so hard has been solved (or at least identified). It’s all because of statistics.
Since Steve started this blog, we’ve been interested in trying to measure how much interest the blog receives from out there on the Internet. So I installed a statistics package (WP-Stattraq).
The problem is, that WP-Stattraq stored all of its data, including who linked to the site, who referred us to the site, what are the keywords used to search for the blog etc. This quickly filled up the database and caused the whole shebang to fall over.
So we uninstalled WP-stattraq and Steve bought a lot more space in any case.
In late Feb this year I installed a different statistics plugin called Shortstats. It gave less information and was less intensively hitting the SQL database engine, but after eight months, this too started to fill the 1GB disk space allocated. The first signs were a slowdown in the performance of the blog. The stats package script was getting frustrated too, repeatedly requesting to store information.
Because CA is on a shared host, the web provider decided that CA should be taken off line because CA was monopolizing the processor time (why couldn’t webserve.ca tell Steve that there was a problem before taking it down? That’s another question)
Climate Audit isn’t an ordinary personal weblog. It gets on the order of 10000-15000 hits per day, running at 1,000,000 hits per month for quite some time.
Here is the graphic of monthly hit totals since the weblog was inaugurated in late January 2005:
Be that as it may, the statistics package has been zeroed. I’ll probably have to zero it again every four months or so from now on.
By the way, the "2 million hits per day" claim was caused by me misreading some of the webserver statistics. Fortunately this is a quiet blog and nobody will notice or remember it.
In other news, Climate Audit will soon be upgraded and have a new look. Hopefully we can put all this unpleasantness behind us.
Throw your bouquets for Steve and your brickbats for me in the comments below.