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Toast

Posted on Thursday, April 21st, 2005

Dave!Bandwidth. Just exceeded my bandwidth limit (again). All my attempts in finding a reasonable solution to this problem with my hosting company (LunarPages.com) have failed. My regular account costs $7.95 a month and I get 40 gigs of bandwidth. To buy another 40 gigs of bandwidth costs an additional $158 a month ($3.95 per gig). Yes, you read that right: $165.95 EACH MONTH to host a blog (and no, you can't buy two and combine them). My other option is to switch from a $7.95 plan to a $22.95 plan to get the additional bandwidth I need. Double the bandwidth should be double the cost, not triple, but it's not like they're giving me much choice (at least I get a couple of additional SQL databases out of the deal). I haven't felt this screwed since I signed my mobile phone contract. The monkey spankers. Anybody know of a support group for people who have been violated by their web hosting company?

Domestic. As I was driving home this evening, a lawn chair suddenly appeared in the middle of the road. I slammed on the brakes to avoid it, then attempted to come to my senses as the adrenaline rush died down. Trying to figure out what just happened, I look over to see a man and a woman screaming and fighting and throwing things at each other. That was amusing, but not the reason I am writing this. That would be because their two horrified young kids were across the yard watching the entire ordeal. Somebody please tell me what I am supposed to make of this, because I am completely lost on this one.

Eyes. Watched yet another amazing episode of Eyes last night. The show is flawless.

Tool. Ya know, usually nobody is a bigger asshole than me. I'll readily admit to that. But every once in a while you run across somebody who is such a complete and total tool that you have to step back and realize that you are not #1 anymore. Yesterday a "business journalist" named Dana Blankenhorn wrote a stunningly bitchy article slamming Google for not better implementing RSS throughout its services. Even better, he lays the blame 100% on Evan Williams, saying that Ev needs to "move on, and Google needs to bring in someone with a Clue." Talk about "needing a Clue" - Evan Williams already left Google last October (as anybody who reads his blog already knows). Blankenhorn has been a "journalist" for 25 years... yet he can't seem to do even the most basic research before tearing into somebody? Perhaps it's time for HIM to "move on."

Toast. Right now I could go for a nice piece of toast with butter and jam. And also a fifth of Jack Daniels to help me forget the ravaging I just took in excess bandwidth charges.


Categories: Blogging 2005, DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. girlonaglide says:

    Might I suggest the marionberry? The winner would understand your renig. :)

  2. Dave2 says:

    Hah. No… we won’t be doing that! All the prizes have been paid for already. Including TOMORROW’S ASTOUNDING FINALE TO BLOGOGRAPHY’S TWO-YEAR BLOGIVERSARY KICK-ASS CELEBRATION!!

    Yee-hah!

  3. James Bow says:

    I recommend going with 1and1 software. I’ve been with them for over a year. $19.95 gives me 100 Gb of transfer, plus 4 Gb of web space. Check them out at http://www.1and1.com.

  4. jenny says:

    I’ll host you, we get 100gigs a month.

  5. Ben says:

    Eyes is excellent! :D

    The mystery, the drama, the story, the humour, it’s got it all.

    Except an aging evil guy. I wonder what Ron Rifkin is doing?

    ;)

  6. ssp says:

    Strategies I’ve used in the past to deal with potential extra bandwidth costs:

    . Streamline everything… Fewer posts on start page, no ‘badges’ (well I never had them because I think they’re ugly but you still have potential there). That’s the least nice option, of course, as bandwidth should be less important than the look of your site.

    . Look at referrer logs and see whether there is undesired traffic like people including your images in their message board messages or irrelevant Google results (I was getting quite a bit of traffic from having photos on the first pages of Google Image’s search results for popular words). Then stop those things which just cost you money.

    . Get some other server with cheap bandwidth. Put your images folder (or parts of it) on there. Redirect the traffic. It’ll be a bit of extra traffic for the redirects but that’s not a big deal. You’ll also have everything back in the convenience of a single server once you switch to a more powerful main contract.

  7. MRKisThatKid says:

    It’s time to lose that zero and get yourself a hero.. Or something along those lines appears to be the theme of this post.

    Strange comment.

  8. Patrick says:

    $166 a month to host some web pages. That’s almost ridiculous…for that reason I’d be glad to click like crazy on some Google AdSense ads if you get them.
    I think the hosting companies needs to get in touch with reality. As the computers get faster and bandwidth with ISP’s get larger the hosting companies must add bandwidth to accounts they’re offering – it can’t be that expensive…

  9. Rob says:

    Hey Dave! You should check out Dreamhost.com. That is who hosts me and I love them. I don’t mean love in a weird cousin love kinda way either. Also, if you sign up before the 24th they are going to tripple your storage and bandwidth. thats, 2400mb of storage and 120gb of bandwidth. All that for a low low price of 7.95 a month!

    p.s. if you do happen to change to them hook a brotha up with a referal :D

  10. Neil T. says:

    Holy smoke! Even I only use about 9GB of bandwidth per month! But then I suppose I don’t have all the cool drawings that you have on your site.

  11. Dave2 says:

    It’s all been quite odd. Up until now, LunarPages has been hands-down the best hosting company I’ve ever used (and let me tell you, I’ve been through a LOT of them).

    For some reason, they just have this shockingly annoying cost structure for purchasing additional bandwidth, and very little flexibility once you’re needing it. They wouldn’t let me use the money I had already spent UNLESS I prorated it and upgraded to their bigger plan. They wouldn’t let me buy a second account and consolidate. They wouldn’t let me go month-by-month unless I paid a whopping $3.95 PER GIG!! It’s just mind-boggling that they want your business and offer affordable hosting… UNLESS your site become popular, in which case they screw you on bandwidth… hard.

    So, unless my visitor count doubles again, I should be set until my contract is up at the end of the year (I’m locked in, and lose all the money I’ve paid if I try to bail now). Thanks to everybody for the suggestions. I’ll probably be asking for advice again this December. :-)

  12. Dave2 says:

    Thanks for the tips SSP… I am going to take a hard look at my site this weekend to see if there is anything I can do to cut back on bandwidth killers. Lowering the number of entries on the front page seems wise (and easy!) so I can start there first if I notice my numbers skyrocketing again.

    The hard thing to do would be to cut back on images, because I am a visual-type person, and use them to communicate my ideas (especially given my poor writing skills!). I do have hotlink protection enabled, so at least my bandwidth isn’t being stolen that way. Google image searches are high… though not obscenely so… but that’s another thing I should look at.

    Redirects for images is probably my best bet. I need to look at my FlickrPro account again and see about leveraging it to offload some photo bandwidth.

    Other ideas… convert my graphic tabs to CSS text tabs. Squeeze redundant elements (like badges) down to smaller sizes, reduce the size of my header graphics, and convert my navigation from image buttons to text buttons. Every little bit helps!

    OR, of course, I could always just switch to a more reasonable hosting company… somebody who offers 100gigs for $7.95 instead of $165.95! :-)

    In any event, you can bet I’ll be watching my bandwidth-meter much more closely from here on out!

  13. theMike says:

    I’m in a grandfathered plan with Bluedomino.com. For $20 a months, which I pay quarterly, I get unlimited space and unlimited bandwith. They don’t offer that anymore, but I got it. I wonder if I could throw some bandwith your way?

  14. I guess my renegade, “screw the man” comment was invalidated… *pouts momentarily*

    Aww. I would hate to see your design change. Its so.. perfect the way it is. I guess you “gotta do what you gotta do” but … I ‘spose I’m a neophobe at heart. But I really do think that you have the design / content balancing issue all worked out. In thinking about what my new site is going to look like, Blogography is one of the sites I’m looking to for ideas.

    I I guess my renegade, “screw the man” comment was invalidated… *pouts momentarily*

    Aww. I would hate to see your design change. Its so.. perfect the way it is. I guess you “gotta do what you gotta do” but … I ‘spose I’m a neophobe at heart. But I really do think that you have the design / content balancing issue all worked out. In thinking about what my new site is going to look like, Blogography is one of the sites I’m looking to for ideas.

    I I guess my renegade, “screw the man” comment was invalidated… *pouts momentarily*

    Aww. I would hate to see your design change. Its so.. perfect the way it is. I guess you “gotta do what you gotta do” but … I ‘spose I’m a neophobe at heart. But I really do think that you have the design / content balancing issue all worked out. In thinking about what my new site is going to look like, Blogography is one of the sites I’m looking to for ideas.

    I I guess my renegade, “screw the man” comment was invalidated… *pouts momentarily*

    Aww. I would hate to see your design change. Its so.. perfect the way it is. I guess you “gotta do what you gotta do” but … I ‘spose I’m a neophobe at heart. But I really do think that you have the design / content balancing issue all worked out. In thinking about what my new site is going to look like, Blogography is one of the sites I’m looking to for ideas.

    I I guess my renegade, “screw the man” comment was invalidated… *pouts momentarily*

    Aww. I would hate to see your design change. Its so.. perfect the way it is. I guess you “gotta do what you gotta do” but … I ‘spose I’m a neophobe at heart. But I really do think that you have the design / content balancing issue all worked out. In thinking about what my new site is going to look like, Blogography is one of the sites I’m looking to for ideas.

    I I guess my renegade, “screw the man” comment was invalidated… *pouts momentarily*

    Aww. I would hate to see your design change. Its so.. perfect the way it is. I guess you “gotta do what you gotta do” but … I ‘spose I’m a neophobe at heart. But I really do think that you have the design / content balancing issue all worked out. In thinking about what my new site is going to look like, Blogography is one of the sites I’m looking to for ideas.

    I I guess my renegade, “screw the man” comment was invalidated… *pouts momentarily*

    Aww. I would hate to see your design change. Its so.. perfect the way it is. I guess you “gotta do what you gotta do” but … I ‘spose I’m a neophobe at heart. But I really do think that you have the design / content balancing issue all worked out. In thinking about what my new site is going to look like, Blogography is one of the sites I’m looking to for ideas.

    I I guess my renegade, “screw the man” comment was invalidated… *pouts momentarily*

    Aww. I would hate to see your design change. Its so.. perfect the way it is. I guess you “gotta do what you gotta do” but … I ‘spose I’m a neophobe at heart. But I really do think that you have the design / content balancing issue all worked out. In thinking about what my new site is going to look like, Blogography is one of the sites I’m looking to for ideas.

    I

  15. A few thoughts on the bandwidth:
    1) Be sure your compressing your immages (especially your commonly used ones) that stuff adds up. Any one of your images on a page probably takes more space than all the text on one page.
    2) Buy some cheap server space somewhere else and store all your images there.
    3) Make sure people aren’t hotlinking to your images. Either with some odd rules (always tricky) or just change the name of your images folder every so often.
    4) Make sure you’ve got some robots.txt files to divert the search engines. Do they really need to be searching the monthly archives, the category archives AND the individual archives?
    5) Some web servers allow you to turn on compression on web pages where if the client supports it, the page gets compressed (zipped) before it’s sent.
    6) There really were only going to be two points when I started this!

    Congratulations on your anniversary again!

  16. Dave2 says:

    Ooooh… Kachina… what kind of language were you using? I never saw the comment to invalidate it! (I have software in place that automatically rejects certain words and phrases). Sorry. :-(

    And Blogography loves you. :-)

    Hotlink protection was added to my site after Google started referring a lot of hotlinkers my way. Unfortunately, it sometimes messes up legitimate visitors, and I have yet to figure that part out.

    I am really torn on images. On one hand, I understand that they are the real reason my bandwidth is so over the top but, on the other, adding all those big images is what I enjoy about my blog. To lose them, or compress them so much that they lose impact… I just don’t know. My writing is so poor, that I think the images “save” many of my entries. Don’t know how to say it? Show a photo. Don’t know how to explain it? Draw a cartoon.

    In any event, I sure appreciate everybody taking their valuable time to help out! I definitely plan on trying some recommendations… I have to.

  17. theMike says:

    I’d be willing to help with some image hosting if you need it.

  18. I was wrong. I screwed up. Call me all the names you want. I deserve it.

    I’ve apologized to Hylton, to Evan, and I apologize to you as well.

    If given the opportunity to serve you again, I hope to do better.

    I have learned many lessons from this and would like a chance to apply them.

  19. ssp says:

    Don’t cut back the number of images. I enjoy them a lot. (Unfortunately I can’t draw all that well myself…).

    Perhaps you can save a bit of bandwidth by using PNG instead of GIF, but I don’t think that’ll be a lot. (… just checked one of the drawings which ended up at 13KB as PNG instead of 18 as GIF).

    After your post I checked our webstats again and saw that we are pretty close to our bandwidth limit as well. So I tried my own advice and moved my images over to another server. It was really easy. Just a bit of .htaccess magic…

    Personally I wouldn’t consider using Flicker or other services as that makes you dependant on their services (a) staying around (b) in the shape they are today and (c) cheap. Too many unkowns there.

  20. Brad says:

    Don’t know if you managed to fix your hosting problem, but I went with DreamHost for my online mag(subter.com), I paid under $10 a month for 120gb of bandwidth and 6gb of server space.

    And they take transfered domains.

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