Growing Pains

The Thinker by Rodin

It may not seem like it, but this blog is growing.

My web host is still complaining, like it did last December, that I am using too many resources. It doesn’t appear that I can run this blog on a $16.95 a month virtual private server any longer. While my visits and page counts are relatively static (200 to 300 page views a day, as documented by SiteMeter), my blog seems to get a lot of search engine traffic. This is likely due to its breadth (five and a half years, 850+ posts, 954,000 words) and my half-hearted attempts at clever marketing (all those links running down the side of my web pages). I suspect that search engines are the culprits driving up my resource usage. As a result, I get stern warnings from my web host.

Call it vanity but I want this blog to be visitor friendly and search engine welcoming. This blog has become something resembling my raison d’etre: my reason for living. The Buddha might suggest that my enlightenment recedes the more vain I get about my blog. Yet, like most humans, I want to feel that after my body turns into dust that I will have left the world a little better than I found it. This is getting increasingly hard to imagine when I consider my personal carbon footprint. This blog may sometimes amuse readers. It may occasionally instill anger. It may annoy, bore or simply make most you zoom on to the next site of interest. But perhaps all this effort is worth my time and increasing expense for the opportunity to communicate an interesting thought, articulate a well-turned phrase or spawn an insightful idea or two. A century ago, creative people like me had to hope we could write something worthy of publishing and then hope someone would read it. In the Internet age, the playing field is more level. We blog and hope for the best.

In any event, when SiteUpTime (which monitors my site hourly to make sure the server is responding) tells me it frequently cannot access the site, I have to assume you are having the same problem also. Timeouts are not acceptable to me, so I am digging a bit deeper into my pocket and rehosting again. My new web host is Media Temple. What is new this time is not my virtual private server, but that I have dedicated server memory that is all mine. No one else can have it. It is not much but I am hoping that 256MB of dedicated RAM will be enough to give readers the fast response time they deserve and search engines the ability to easily plumb my site for its content.

I spent the last couple of days, among many other tasks, buying this new hosting account and moving my content across the Internet. It went from some hosting facility in Providence, Utah to this newest one in Culver City, California. If $42 a month will not suffice (the effective rate if you pay for a year of hosting at a time, otherwise it is $50 a month for their lowest end Virtual Dedicated plan), I may have to dig into my pocket a little deeper still. Fortunately, I can pay for my hobby easily enough by selling my own Internet skills and picking up some occasional money from hosting ads here. I no longer have to pull from the family till to pay for my hobby.

So I hope you notice things run a little faster around here. I also hope that this is my last web host. Lord knows I have been through enough of them. Only time will tell.

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