Technical problems with the Harrogate-News website

19 February 2012

Over the last week many readers will have noticed that we have been off-line or the website has only been available in a very skeleton form of what it normally is.

On Friday, 11 February the data centre where the website was hosted took the decision that the website was too busy for their servers and simply switched it off line. No warning was given and no notification was given at the time that it had happened.

The details of why they took the action are not completely clear although it was indicated that we were using 6% of a processor where they only allowed 5%

We are truly appalled at the  unprofessional behaviour of the data centre.

Initially, access was limited to the website and after some discussion, access was then given to the website for the purposes of taking a back.

On 12 February a new host was established and work started to restore the backup. The technology used  is proprietary WordPress but the backup restore proved a problem. Due to the limited access given to the website the final backup was bulky and had not been data cleansed.

An initial restore took place on the Sunday 13 February but this proved unstable and was later taken down. After a number of further attempts work was then undertaken on the  backup itself to make the data far cleaner to restore. This restore was complete by Thursday  with the website being put in a bare-bones form only while it was proven to be stable.

A series of stability issues were then tackled and solved with optimization of the server performance. The website is a tricky website to optimize as it receives a flood of traffic when a high profile news item breaks. You may of noticed when the news was posted about the recent sonic boom that the website locked up. This was due to the sheer volume of concurrent hits to the site.

As of today (19 February) the website is stable and news stories are being posted. It is being carefully monitored however.

We would like to apologise for the break in the service over the week and are looking forward in putting the focus back into posting news items and away from having to worry about the reliability of technology.


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