Server Update!on October 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm
The last week hasn’t been much fun, to be honest. The combination of not being skilled at server management, and continuing to have decent enough traffic to make it an issue, spiraled into a complete meltdown without a contingency plan. It was only through the efforts of our resident web assistant, Holden, and our new friend Damien from Icy Veins that we were able to fix the problem on our current server enough to allow us to continue operating here, while we set up shop on a more stable host and take the opportunity to fix a few things while we have the time.
If you’ve been following our Facebook or Twitter accounts, you might guess that I’ve been a bit stressed about this. We’re moving to a new server in order to keep up with our traffic *and* keep things simple enough to manage any future problems. Like everything else, it always comes down to compromising on solutions in order to not die of exhaustion. There are so many things that I would like to do over the next few months and have actual plans for, but I have yet to find someone who can fulfill my need for a cloning machine. It’s a catch-22: If I could do A, B, and C, I could build this into a project capable of supporting a serious operation. However, in order to do A, B, and C, it needs to already be a 40 hour job. It’s a gap that can be scary, and it’s the question that I always ask when I get to meet other content creators: How did you make that leap?
The Donation Question
When our web issues first started, people quickly offered to donate money to support a more expensive server. At the time, I held off so that I could first investigate whether the problem was genuinely solvable if we were willing to upgrade, or just me not being an idiot anymore. It wouldn’t sit right with me to blast out calls for Paypal donations when we weren’t actually raising the hosting budget. While this whole experience has taught me a few things (and exposed my need to learn more) about server management, our bill *is* going up a non-trivial amount, and I’m looking at adding a CDN to the mix to make for an even faster page load. We’ve already had some *really* generous people come out of the woodwork in the last few days, so if you wish to join their ranks, please feel free… the link is on the front page of our site.
Also: I’m looking more and more at how I can reward people that contribute, or at least give a public nod without turning Twitter into a constant stream of “THANK YOU FOR DONATIONS” style panhandling. I love what Scott Johnson’s done with allowing people or guilds to sponsor episodes of his podcast in exchange for a shoutout. Would something along those lines interest people? Give donors wallpaper-sized versions of our strip? If you have any thoughts, PLEASE leave a comment and share!