I just came across a story that makes me quite angry but also has an important lesson in it for bloggers on shared servers. It concerns the story of idolbloglive.com – a blog about Amercian Idol.
As you’d expect with a blog on the topic of American Idol it’s a blog that has had a bit of traffic in the last week or so (the grand final is tomorrow).
Unfortunately for it’s owner (djslim) his hosting provider suspended his account saying that he had crashed their server and is virtually holding his content ransom. He writes, “The only way to come back online or to retrieve the files is to upgrade my account which costs $110.00 a month.”
From what I can discern having spoken with one of djslim’s associates – the server apparently ‘crashed’ when it peaked at about 3500 page views in an hour from about 500 visitors (see graph below). I’m not sure what server from a professional hosting company crashes with a load of 500 visitors but thats what the host reported.
At that point the host (Surpass Hosting) of the site switched the hosting off without any warning and is refusing to allow access even to retrieve files. Obviously this blog had ‘surpassed’ what it’s host would allow (sorry – couldn’t resist).
I get angry when I hear of hosts switching off account without warning and holding content ransom in this way.
Having said that this is a good warning for bloggers to check into their hosts before signing up both to read their contract see what the limits are in terms of bandwidth but also what the host does when those limits are reached. It’s also a pretty good argument for dedicated hosting instead of shared hosting and for backing up your files along the way.