Dedicated $erver

My new meds are still working much better than the last ones. It is still hard to concentrate, work, play, and read, but for the most part, I am feeling about a million times better than I was just a short time ago 🙂

It is easier to be with people. I had a really good weekend that turned out to be very social and I didn’t even hate it at all. On Friday, I met D at the White Horse for a little while. It was very nice to see her. She is one of the very few people that I can ‘talk geek’ with. It is a rare and beautiful thing. We have other things in common too that make it easier for me to hang with her than it sometimes is to hang other people. She came over and had dinner with me and K.

After dinner, we all went to Velvet to meet Lorena and Tess. It was a good night. We played pool even though we were all sucking pretty bad, even D who is actually good at pool. There were a few obstacles like a giant pole and huge speaker in the way of making certain shots. Still it was fun, even though my knuckle is still a little swollen from smacking it into the giant pole while trying to shoot around it. Eventually, I completely lost all focus of what was going on around me and went into my own special world where it is quiet and stimuli is almost non-existent. I think D ended up in some other world too. I am lucky to be able to do that. Otherwise I would have needed very badly to get out of the bar immediately.

Yesterday, me and K went to Spin’s birthday party. That was lots of fun too. Happy birthday Spins! Nice people and a custom ‘Pin the Tail on the Tigger’ game with Spin’s features imposed on Tigger and magnetic tails for pinning that was made with obvious love for her by her guy. He even had a special ‘tail’ for himself which was actually a heart that matched the heart on the card that he gave her (at least I assumed that card was from him. Only saw the outside, but it had an identical heart). Very sweet 🙂 Other than that, me and K did some errands and even had a little bit of quiet time to watch Prehistoric Planet and for K to start a puzzle that she has wanted to do for a while, but hasn’t had the time.

And then, tragedy struck… (not really. just having a sudden flair for the dramatic)

I have often thought that it would be great to have a completely managed dedicated server. In my fantasies, this was paid for by my clients who I provide web hosting for. In real life, this is not the case. I recently made a very big mistake. A website that I finished for a client went public a couple of weeks ago. The main content of this site is audio of a weekly radio show. Huge mp3 files being played through a flash audio player. I have never done a site with audio as the main content and had no idea how much of a load it puts on the server! I went from using between normal and high server resources to using thousands of times that much, causing the VPS I was on to fail repeatedly for me, my clients, the other 7 people sharing the VPS, and all of their clients. Somehow, the sites stayed up. When LiquidWeb claims 100% uptime, they are not kidding! If I had known what kind of load the new site would put on the server, I would have charged much more for hosting, but now I feel like the mistake was mine, and the client based their decision of where to host partly on the price I quoted them. I will charge more in the future.

Now, I must move to a dedicated server which costs twice as much as the VPS and has multiple times as many resources. The problem is that even with all of the money I make from hosting, it is not even enough to pay for the VPS, let alone a dedicated server. I host a bunch of sites for free for myself, family, friends, the autistic community, and other random projects. In the past, I have charged way to low of a price for hosting, often $50/yr. That was fine when I was on a shared host, but not anymore. Even though cheap hosting is all around, my hosting has a lot to offer, like 100% uptime, nightly offsite backups, 2 hour hardware replacement, blah, blah, blah. All of the things that I am paying so much money for, or more accurately, what my family is paying so much money for. They are helping me out yet again until I can get enough clients to pay for it. Good thing is that I now have the disk space and resources for a bunch of new clients. Now, I just have to find them! If anyone needs good reliable web hosting, please let me know!

The new server is built and ready, just waiting for me to transfer the files, settings, and databases from the VPS. I will do this late at night in a few days at a time when I will also be doing a large site upgrade for a client with a very busy site. I think this will be the best time since their site will be down anyway. I have lowered the ttl to 5 minutes on all accounts so that there will be as little downtime as possible when I change the ip addresses for my nameservers. I really hope it is a smooth transition. Luckily, the LiquidWeb folks are amazingly helpful, and will do much of the work for me, including moving the accounts and rsyncing all of the data a final time after the VPS is disabled, so no data will be lost in the process. Once this is all done, whenever I need more resources, I can just add them to the server or move to a new server without having to worry about propagation times and changing ip addresses. That is one great thing about dedicated servers. No one else to worry about. Total freedom.

I will be trying to think of other ways to raise money to pay for this too. If anyone has a million dollar idea, please share. Thousand dollar ideas are welcome too! I am trying to keep advertising either off of this site completely or to only do it in a non-annoying unobtrusive way. Ideas about that are appreciated too. This site gets much more traffic than my business site, so it makes more sense to advertise here. Only problem is that this site is NOT a business site and it is hard for me to think about making money off of it. It feels wrong, but so does not being able to pay for my own server!

I will try to stop panicking (and rambling) now and get back to work.

3 thoughts on “Dedicated $erver”

  1. hee hee just read your post – you should call it “Behind the Blog” or something to go along with your dramatic turn 😉 don’t worry – it will work out sweetie!

  2. 1) a lot of people find your site useful, and have gotten quite a bit out of it. tasteful google ads, you’re certainly due those.

    2) curious: how come you’re hosting your clients’ sites yourself, rather than using an external web host? bluehost is only $6.95 per month, and seems like it would be much less of a hassle.

  3. Thanks d and sweetie 🙂

    It is hard to picture tasteful google ads, but I suppose it is possible. I have been trying to use some affiliate links for things that I don’t mind advertising.

    When I first started hosting my client sites, I was on a shared server and it was way more convenient to only have to deal with one server than having to figure out multiple server configurations.

    When I ran out of space on the shared server, I got a dreamhost account and it was very very bad. I had to move those clients somewhere else. I got a VPS since the cost was not much more than paying for a larger shared plan with enough resources to run autiblogger and all of the other sites. Once I was on the VPS, I had to find more clients so that I could pay for it.

    THEN, I made the dumb mistake of underestimating the resources that 50+MB mp3 files in every post would use and overloaded the VPS. Actually, I had no idea they were that large at the time.

    That is how I ended up on the dedicated server.


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