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Posted on Monday, April 3rd, 2006

Dave!Sometimes having a blog sucks ass.

Sunday morning I received an email from my hosting company telling me that my site was "in quarantine" because it was using an excessive amount of CPU resources. This strikes me as funny, because I've done a lot of work to optimize everything, and am not dynamically generating any pages, but whatever.

Of course, there's no way for me to verify this myself... I just have to take their word for it.

Anyway, the quarantine site kept losing data, so I eventually decided it was safest to just find a new hosting company. Movable Type (my blog software) recommends Yahoo!, so here I am.

So, for the next day or so...

  • Email sent to my Blogography address may bounce back. Please keep trying.
  • You may see freaky URLs in your address bar for a while.
  • The web feeds aren't updating properly for a while yet.
  • I'm going to be really pissed off until all this is settled.

And to find out why I am pisssed off at just about everybody involved, you can read the whole story in an extended entry. Otherwise, just ignore me for a day or two, and everything should be back to normal by then.

UPDATE: Thanks to Göran over at 6ft5, I found out that MacZot is releasing a new version of "AppZapper" (a drag-and-drop uninstaller for Macs that track down pesky related files you might miss). The cool part is that the price drops 5¢ for every site that links to their page. If 259 people link by midnight (when the offer expires) you can get a copy for free! I don't even care about the program... I just want that cool ray-gun icon in my applications folder! This is a brilliant marketing idea, and the price has already dropped to $7.15 as of this writing.

UPDATE: More good news... an exclusive internet trailer for Clerks2 is up! Sweet!

Clerks2 Teaser

I am pissed at my original hosting company, LunarPages, because...

  • They are hostile towards Movable Type users. They offer no help at all when they have a problem with your Movable Type install... they just toss a bunch of numbers and esoteric server messages at you and tell you to fix it. Fix WHAT? I have no idea.
  • I have no way of monitoring the CPU problem myself. As far as I know, they've overloaded the server I'm on, and that's the reason my usage seems high. How do I know? I don't.
  • Don't get me wrong, if my site is causing major problems, they should have every right to quarantine me, but it's a load of crap that I get no warning leading up to the move. Again, if I were allowed to monitor this mythical "CPU number" and find out WHY it's so bad, I might have been able to fix it before things went bad.
  • I just signed a new annual contract with them last month, and probably can't get a refund if I can't figure stuff out and have to leave.

I am pissed at Yahoo! hosting because...

  • They really don't have a good way of transitioning from a different server. My site and email are going to be hosed until they decide my domain has propagated enough.
  • Everything is SLOW SLOW SLOW.

I am really, REALLY pissed at Movable Type because...

  • Their BEST RECOMMENDATION for hosting is Yahoo!, but you don't find out until AFTER you sign up that MT blogs are in BETA at Yahoo!. Why in the f#@% "spotlight" a hosting company that's in BETA?!?
  • And sure enough, there's all kinds of bugs... particularly with archive builds. WHY THE F#@% RECOMMEND SOMETHING THAT'S IN BETA AND HAS BUGS??!!! Do they WANT to piss of their customers??
  • So I email for support for their bugs, which they kindly provide, but it comes along with a warning that Yahoo! installs are separate from my MT license, and so I have to pay $50 a year if I want to get support for my Yahoo! blog again. WELL F#@% YOU VERY MUCH!! First THEY tell me to host at a company with known bugs, THEN they tell me that I have to pay $50 to get help with bugs that THEIR RECOMMENDATION is responsible for AFTER I've signed up! F#@% that!
  • Even better? The help system isn't hooked up yet at Yahoo!, so I don't even have any documentation unless I want to look through the manual I pay for on my existing MT account! Brilliant! WHAT KIND OF DUMBASS COMPANY RECOMMENDS A HOSTING COMPANY THAT DOESN'T EVEN HAVE A HELP SYSTEM HOOKED UP?!? Oh no... if you want help, you can just eat crap and go pay $50 for help.
  • Seriously, Six Apart should stop recommending Yahoo! for hosting until they get their shit together. They should also warn people that support is going to cost $50, even if you already paid for a license. This sucks ass.

Overall, NOT a good day to be Dave and have a blog.

Categories: Blogging 2006Click To It: Permalink


  1. Peggy Archer says:


    sorry to hear about the hosting problems, and here’s to it all being resolved quickly.

  2. Good luck getting everything together and moved!
    Moving (anything) is never any fun.

  3. amamgets says:

    So what is UP with these people? Instead of snarkling at you, they should be offering a discount if you would just post their name on your blog. Then everyone would win.

    If only they would all ask my advice. (sigh).

  4. 6ft5 says:

    Sorry about the suckiness going on.
    I use Dreamhost and are happy with them. Check them out if you like.

  5. Chaz says:

    Dave, I would recommend to you DreamHost. A friend of mine told me about them, and I decided to make the switch. Ever since then I’ll have to say that I’ve been incredibly happy with them. They have a great custom-written administration page, give you tons of features, increase your bandwidth every month, increase your storage every month, and support a plethora of “one-click installs” of different web programs. Sadly, they don’t have a one-click install of Moveable Type–just WordPress. Not only that, the price is really hard to beat.

    If you’re interested, you might want to check them out here.

  6. Anthony says:

    Hey Dave. I was with LunarPages myself for a couple of years. Have you signed up with Yahoo! for a year?

  7. MRKisThatKid says:

    Yikes that is one sucky situation. Still, makes a change from excessive bandwidth. Come to think of it, I had also thought, or presumed, I dunno, that cpu cycles were shared equally between the domains sharing the server. I’m a bit worried myself now, I’m always playing with scripts on my hosting service, lord knows how much cpu of theirs they’re eating up when they malfunction.

    I’ve never managed to get documentation on my own MT installation, always when I click on a little question mark on the interface i’m greeted with a 404. I had come to the conclusion that they had never written any, you saying they have? Where the heck do they keep it? I’ve looked everywhere on six apart. It’s a conspiracy.

  8. ssp says:

    In a ‘been there done that’ way, sorry to hear about the hosting troubles. MT really it a pain in the gut and seems to make hosting as painful as possible. Good luck!

    The Clerks stuff looks a bit colourful for my taste… but that’s probably not as bad as still having to wait half a year to see it.

  9. It’s kind of interesting to to see the characters of Clerks ten years later…it almost takes you a few seconds to recognize who they are. Jay looks kind of weird now.

    And why color? Seriously?

  10. Mia says:

    That is a general suck situation. I have my own thoughts on MT which I won’t get into right now…because of the gag order.

    As in MT makes me gag. 😉

    But WOO at the Clerks 2! It’s about friggin time!

  11. Neil T. says:

    From what I read about Yahoo hosting, it should use FastCGI which means that Movable Type should fly.

    I know it may not help but if you are having problems with MT drop me a line. I’m out and about quite a bit this week but you can drop me an email or an IM if I’m online – my details are on my site. I’ll see what I can do.

  12. Patrick says:

    Web hosting companies are by far the weirdest line of business – they want to sell server space and often throw bandwidth and databases after you just so you’ll sign up. But once you do and that bandwidth is consumed to a various degree, they call it excess usage and that the CPUs are overworked.

    Running a simple web page such as a blog cannot get close to choking a server – I’d understand that if you served interactive content or downloads of music or other heavy stuff. But just serving simple html with a couple of images and a few database calls cannot even get close to what Lunarpages is saying causes the problems.

  13. Bec says:

    Ouch. Yahoo!. Bleurgh. I can’t understand why LunarPages aren’t kissing your arse to stay on their service. CPU resources? If using too much is going to be a thing which messes with your site they should tell you about it when you sign up AND give you a way of monitoring it. Damn hosting service… grrrrrrr… mumble… grrrrr…. Mondays… Rubbish.
    (But yes Clerks2 is looking sweeter and sweeter by the day)

  14. Yahoo is the suckiest of hosting companies. Costs 4 times as much and most other good hosts. They are well known for not releasing domain names if you bought it from them and then want to transfer…say like to godaddy.

    I would never recommend yahoo for hosting.

  15. Kevin says:

    I’m just waiting for Chase to chime in with her Yahoo Hosting/MT problems. I know she’s had her fair share as well.

    Yeah, I think I’m sticking with my hosted blog. Here’s hoping they never go out of business and I lose all my stuff.

    I host my static HTML stuff on Yahoo and have never had a problem. But, like I said, it’s static. Your stuff is far more dynamic than mine, hence why you have the problems.

  16. Eve says:

    I’m currently unhappy with my host too and I’m probably going to change it real soon. Several of my friends recommended 2M Host, which I’m sure I will switch to once I finish my site redesign. Check it out, maybe it’s something that will suit you better. I see right on their front page that they deal with Moveable Type.

    Good luck!!!!!

  17. sandra says:

    Wait…if you’re being quarantined, is this like an ebola thing? Like, will my blog start foaming at the mouth soon because I visited yours?

  18. nicole says:

    I highly recommend Dreamhost.

  19. SJ says:

    Dave2, may I recommend Globat? ( Chronic Listaholic is hosted there, and now that they’ve massively upgraded their servers, I’m loving them!!! Absolutely no complaints. Of course I don’t get anywhere near the traffic you do, but even their smallest package gives you 3.5 TERABYTES bandwidth and 25 GB hosting space for only $60 a year. Plus free domain registration forever, no transfer fees, instant activation, the best site stats I’ve ever seen, and their support section includes a step-by-step walk-through on installing MT on your Globat website. They’ll even buy-out your current contract for up to six months. My husband and bro-in-law also have websites there, and recommend them.

    I have another website hosted on godaddy, and I tear my hair out over it all the time. I recently decided to move it to Globat because they’re so user-friendly.

  20. jodi says:

    When I got upset with my old hosting company, and their inability to get along with MT, I searched to see which hosting company MT suggested and one of them was LivingDot. This was a while ago, so maybe they’ve changed their minds. Anyway, I went with LivingDot and they are AWESOME! They totally support MT, and are super quick to respond to any help tickets I submit.

  21. Rob says:

    Lord Master Dave, if I may agree with some of the above comments. Dreamhost is a awesome choice for a host. I have used MT on there servers and had no problems.

  22. Jeff says:

    Dave, even though I don’t know what it is and can’t use it, I’ll put a link in my post tonight, just for you “AppZapper types.”

    Hope it brings you everything you dreamed of!

  23. Dave2 says:

    Well Jeff, time to buy a Mac to go with your free copy of AppZapper then! 🙂

    As for my hosting woes… lot of people are pushing for Dreamhost (Globat, 2M, and LivingDot look sweet as well), so it’s nice to have options… especially if Yahoo! doesn’t pan out. They all certainly LOOK like good solutions, but so does LunarPages until this “CPU limit” thing hit. I wouldn’t mind that, but it seriously came out of nowhere. I had no idea what the limits were when I sign up, nor how to monitor them.

    Fortunately, Yahoo! is a month-to-month deal, so I can cut out without any damage if things get too bad. The benefit is that I can then go back to my MT license for free support! Bizarre!

    But hosting is the least of my troubles. I am so pissed at Movable Type and Six Apart for the whole fiasco in the first place, that I might just take it as an opportunity to switch blogging software. If I had free time available, I most certainly would.

  24. Bre says:

    Days like this, I’m actually sortof glad that I’m computer-impaired.

    I wish I had some nifty advice or some great technical insight… but I’m clueless when it comes to this stuff! Hopefully things will work out for yoU!

  25. Dave2 says:

    The only time that MT is invoked is when I build an entry, or when somebody leaves a comment. All pages are static, so just viewing them doesn’t use any CPU time above what any other site would use.

    Where the problem comes along is when comment spammers hammer away at your blog. But I’ve added stuff to combat this, which uses a fraction of the overhead as before, and really should be sufficient.

    So, technically, I don’t see how my CPU usage is being excessive at all. And since LunarPages does nothing to help me find out WHY it’s happening… well, what can I do? At the very least, I should be able to monitor the CPU usage so I can reconcile it against my logs to figure out what is happening. No such luck.

    For all I know, it’s a problem with LunarPages servers not being adequately protected from attacks, and I’m getting blamed for it. I find it impossible to believe that a product as popular as Movable Type, which is used for thousands upon thousands of blogs, is 100% to blame here.

    In any case, I’ll never know. And that’s not right considering I paid for a year of hosting that I won’t be getting.

  26. Karen Rani says:

    WOO HOO! Clerks 2!!!! YAY! Thanks for the heads up!

  27. Charred says:



    This is exactly why I plan on having my own server and backbone someday.

  28. Jesus Christ… I am so — I can entirely imagine how angry you are, and I’m stunned that Six Apart is being so irresponsible with their customers and influence.

    Whole thing sounds awful.

    And for the record, if the Yahoo! thing doesn’t pan out – Dreamhost. They’re good people.

  29. Chanakin says:

    Good luck even getting a hold of somebody at Yahoo! tech support. They force you to email your issue.

    For 2 months I’ve sent them the information they asked for to fix a simple issue. I’d wait a few days and email them for an update.

    A new tech will respond with the: “in order to resolve your issue, we need the following information” email. The same email I’ve responded to three times.

    Still not fixed.

  30. Art says:

    You just need to initiate the one deal and then move that other script to the thing. This will enhance your “flow” and allow you to get the desired effect. If that doesnt work then I would suggest hunting them down……..

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