Last week, blog nauseam died. This post explains the background to that. You’re probably not that interested, so feel free to skip to the dot points that list the changes that have resulted.
The problem was a faulty WordPress installation was using excessive resources. This caused severe performance issues and resulted in the server software stepping in to throttle the site to prevent more widespread problems. The trigger for the WordPress fault has not been determined and may never be. This is somewhat akin to an old AutoCAD drawing suddenly going bad for unknown reasons. The problem may date back years but only recently became critical.
In discussions with my completely blameless web host, Saratoga Hosting, we determined the best course of action was to create a new, clean WordPress site and transfer over as much as possible from the mortally wounded old installation. This is similar to copying and pasting or inserting valid entities from a bad drawing to a clean one, and this is what we did.
I say ‘we’ because Dave from the most excellent Saratoga did a huge amount of work for me to ensure things went as smoothly as possible and with the best result. This is not the first time I have received quite outstanding above-and-beyond customer service from Saratoga in return for the few measly bucks a month I pay for hosting. Thank you, Dave!
Doing things this way provided opportunities for several improvements to both blog nauseam and its parent site, cadnauseam.com. These include:
- Improving performance. A clean install that’s not generating many errors per second will load much faster than one that isn’t, just like a small clean program like BricsCAD will perform much better than an old bloated mess like AutoCAD that’s attempting to do hundreds of things a second even when sitting there doing nothing.
- Upgrading site security. In addition to various unseen improvements including upgraded protection against hackers and better backups, the site now uses https SSL security, which is the way things are going to have to be in coming years. You may have noticed that the URL now starts with https:// and displays a little closed padlock, indicating this is a secure site.
- Integrating cad nauseam with blog nauseam. My old cad nauseam site was a bunch of hand-coded HTML pages that were real cool in the 90s but which have been neglected for years. It’s now part of the same WordPress installation as the blog, which avoids duplication of various things and is much easier to maintain. It also makes sense for me from a business point of view to have my business site more closely associated with a successful blog.
- Modern full-screen interface. The integration of cad nauseam and blog nauseam didn’t work well with the old Tempera site template, so I took the opportunity to switch to a cleaner, more modern looking template, Fluida. In addition to being very configurable, this template does all sorts of fancy hover-over stuff that some of you will undoubtedly hate, but in my tests it performed well and didn’t get in my way. The best thing about it is that it’s now full-width: Tempera was not. Some of you won’t like that change either, but I always dislike using a web site that confines itself to a narrow stripe in the middle of a high resolution CAD screen. Now I don’t have to dislike my own site.
- I’ve redesigned the favicon to reflect the dual cad nauseam / blog nauseam nature of the site.
I have now restored the polls and image galleries. The automated redirection of old URLs to the new location should now be working. The downloads page is still a work in progress and will remain hidden for a while, but that’s mostly of historical interest anyway.
Again, my apologies for the breakdown and the inconvenience of change, but I’m glad that there have been quite a few positives arising from a bad situation.
If there are things about the site you don’t like now, feel free to let me know.