Stumble and fall – Website problems

As I am writing this, my new webpage has been down for three days. It will continue to be down for yet another day, because my web hosting provider who shut it down “temporarily” is not open for service until after Easter. They do not have any customer service during the holidays. So in the meantime, everyone gets to enjoy this page in Finnish, which I am certain people will find interesting :p

stumble and fall

So what happened? Why did they pull the plug on me once I started to get a fair share of visitors? Well, I can’t know for sure yet, but I suspect that it got blocked because of a sudden spike in traffic. Did I get hacked? Using a standard WordPress template it is certainly possible, but I doubt it.

A couple of days ago I registered my page with StumbleUpon and I was getting a lot of page views from that. I had already seen some traffic increase from sharing my comics on Reddit, but this was different. Unique user visits went from less than 100 to more than 1000 a day and the page views went from less than 1000 to nearly 10.000. I did check my bandwidth a few hours before the site closed, and it was at about 50%, so I had that concern already. But I figured it would hold until next week, or that I could at the very least upgrade my hosting plan from my control panel before then. Now I can’t access my control panel. I can’t even access my email, which in turn is causing a lot of other problems right now.

I don’t know the algorithm from where StumbleUpon draw pages to present content to its users, but pure logic assumes that a random text page in Finnish will get down-voted pretty fast. How this affects the traffic from StumbleUpon after four days remains to see. Also my (second) application for Google Adsense went down the drain with this as well. So, I have to reapply for that one once again, once the problems get fixed.

Well, sitting around here on my butt looking at that logo grew boring pretty fast. As a famous lady from Oklahoma City once said: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”, and so I decided to sign up with a second host provider. I have now registered this new domain with InMotion hosting, and got my page back up pretty fast. What remains now is to see what I should do with both of these domains, but I think pointing the old domain to this one would be the easiest solution.


Update 29.3.2016

I called my Finnish host provider and they told me that it was indeed because of exceeding the monthly bandwidth that the domain was shut down. I have decided to keep the new domain as the main site and redirect the old domain to this new one. I chose to do this mainly because the new domain name is shorter than the old one and because I do not want to pay for two separate web-hotels.

Hopefully, as the site is quite fresh it should not cause any problems with broken links or SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that I had already worked on. Both domains should be working again by now.

Bottom-line, I learned a few things:

  • Submitting your site to StumbleUpon can give a really good increase in traffic, at least for some days!
  • Sharing your comics to Reddit also seem to provide a good share of visitors.
  • Check your host provider’s bandwidth usage and restrictions, if any, and upgrade accordingly!