Site Weirdness –

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Guys –

We have been having some weird issues with the site and are trying to find out whether any of you have noticed anything … different. Here’s the skinny:

About six months ago, we switched servers – because we were having almost daily crashes due to overload of our bandwidth and the server company we were working with was not addressing the issue. But even with these problems, traffic  – people (especially new people) coming to the site – was upticking tremendously during this period. We were close to averaging well over 100,000 unique visits a month – and climbing.

Then we switched servers. The technical glitches went away almost immediately – but so did our traffic. We lost almost 40 percent literally overnight – and to this day, we have not been able to figure out why. A gradual tapering-off or plateauing makes sense. Not a collapse that sudden – like someone throwing a switch.

So, we’d like to ask for your help. We’d like to ask you to ask friends/people you know to try to access this URL ( or and let us know whether they have any problems accessing the site – or notice anything “off.”

Any general advice would also be much appreciated.


Eric & Dom


Share Button


      • Can we run them through awstats or similar so we can get an idea of where visitors are coming from, etc.?

          • Dom, maybe Brent is onto something. where he wrote:
            ” The server was being hit by compromised computers based on IP number. When you changed providers you changed IP but not hostname. The bot computers kept attacking the old IP number. A well devised attack would limit how much each of the bot machines did but in the whole would do enough to crash/slow the server.”

            Could that 40% drop be ‘bot attackers that you left behind with the server change? The paranoia of that theory appeals to me, nutjob curmudgeon that I am.

  1. I’ve only been coming here for a few months so I don’t think my input will serve much use, however I don’t recall any problems.

    • All input helps! Eric and others had some issues for a week, but we got that sorted right after the migration. Lately though the problems have been mysterious.

  2. Thanks for all the input guys! I spent the past few days messing with with settings. I think things might be sorted out. I really don’t want to have to switch servers again!

  3. This is but a theory. The server was being hit by compromised computers based on IP number. When you changed providers you changed IP but not hostname. The bot computers kept attacking the old IP number. A well devised attack would limit how much each of the bot machines did but in the whole would do enough to crash/slow the server.

    Downshift, it sounds like something between you and the VA area went down and the packets weren’t getting routed around the problem. On servers I’ve used I’ve found regional connection issues to be rather common. People from one particular area would have problems but everyone else would be fine.

    traceroute (unix) or tracert (DOS/Windows) is a usefull command to see the route between you and target host. It will also show where the packets are dropping off. just do traceroute and it will show each hop along the way. save the file when its working and you can compare it for when it is not and see where the ball is getting dropped.

  4. About six months ago,… that was when your website was offline for a week or so at a time? Twice.
    As I recall, I read some of your articles on LRC, but I couldn’t make it to the EPA website. All I got was the message, ‘website not found’.

    I want to say your website being off line happened since then, but I’m not certain. No trouble lately though.

    Seems to me your articles in the past were more low-key about your position towards team-thugscrum, perhaps one day your position and words really did ‘push some buttons’ and every goberment-loving-automotive-enthusiast here, suddenly noticed?

    Just like the day I realized Rush Limbaugh had nothing in common with the phrase, “smaller government” or “Constitutionally protected” after that – “click” – the switch on my radio went back to the F.M. dial and stayed there.
    I tried to convince myself that once smaller government set in, and as the Ditto Heads marched in that direction, they would see the folly of their position towards the War on Some Drugs and see how similar it was to the Soviet. No, they just marched in lockstep towards Fascism.

    Thank goodness for the internet.

    Also, I’m sure a lot of people just quit, after seeing Ron Paul get the shaft from the GOP, along with their own encounters with the two-faced party at the local level.

    Or maybe people got scared off by my comments and the links I posted which were jammed packed with startling info?
    I have found I tend to scare people, or piss them off, even though I’m not trying to.

    Anyway, perhaps this other bit of weirdness I’m experiencing relates to your website too?:

    About six months ago SHTFPLAN appeared to have updated their website.
    Suddenly I could not access their articles. I’d never had a single problem before that.
    I could see their ads and a list of their latest comments, but not the main article, or any older articles.
    I thought it was because my Flash Player needed updating.
    I took a pause from that website and didn’t update anything.

    Today I tried updating my Flash Player because I’d been getting a pop-up reminder that my Flash Player needed updating and I’d already updated JAVA.
    The Flash Player update failed, because it said I already had the latest Flash Player.
    That seemed odd. Why would I get a pop-up saying I needed an update if I already had the latest version?
    So I uninstalled Flash Player and reinstalled it successfully.
    I went to SHTFPLAN and I still couldn’t see the main article.
    I could see a list of the latest comments, same as before the update, only this time after I clicked a comment I could see the main article! … Then I clicked the home page and again I could not see the main article. Then I clicked the same comment link that worked before only to find it didn’t allow me to see the article the second time around.

    And now, no matter what I click (and I clicked everything a lot) I cannot see the main article on SHTFPLAN.

    I give up and won’t try again later.

    Maybe something like that happened to EPA?

    Note: I can access SHTFPLAN just fine using a different PC with a different OS on the same ISP.

    I don’t seem to be having any difficulties at any other websites.

    Hope that helps or gives you a clue.
    If not, pardon me for wasting this space and your time.

  5. First fair warning: I’ve been exclusively software development for the last eight years, so my infrastructure (network, caching, routing etc) knowledge is rusty.

    But my suspicions are:
    a) your provider is offering you great rates and awesome service for a price–they’re serving you off cache, and not crediting your URL with the hits
    b) OR they’re hijacking your ad streams–the spots where your advertisers would insert ads, they’re sticking theirs. Check your contract to see if they’re allowed to do this.

    How are you guys tracking your statistics? They’re notoriously difficult to compare site-to-site with the usual tools. Alexa et al. are much more impartial; is that what you’re quoting when you see a 40% decrease?

    • I sure as shit hope this isn’t happening. We have some stat programs included in the cPanel and WHM. We also have google analytics and webmaster tools.

Comments are closed.