Welcome to Hoystory's New Digs

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on March 3, 2021

This year will mark the 20th anniversary of this blog. It started out on Google's "Blogger" platform, and has moved to and fro over the years, with different hosting providers, different software backends, different themes, but the same me.

Hoystory: where we were

For several years, Hoystory was hosted by GoDaddy. The price was reasonable and, in contrast to some reports, the tech support I periodically needed and received was pretty good.

In recent months, unfortunately that changed. I've been spending time learning javascript, improving my HTML and CSS, and using Oxygen builder to replace the premium WordPress theme I once used that has now ceased development and support. Oxygen is famously light on the front end; it doesn't force site visitors to load a bunch of stuff that isn't necessary. So my sites (Hoy Consulting and Restricted Arms were both hosted on GoDaddy and built with Oxygen as well), should've been loading pretty darn fast.

They weren't.

And it got worse for me on the backend as well. Oxygen requires some modest resources on the back end to load its interface and some of the additional plugins that I use to streamline my workflow. Too often, making design changes would either result in a failure to load the Oxygen interface or a failure to save the work I'd done to the server.

After following all the Oxygen troubleshooting steps but the last one, I'd finally turn to GoDaddy for help with the last one, which was: "Look at the server logs." After an extended back-and-forth on the phone with GoDaddy's Level 1 tech support who couldn't solve the problem and couldn't transfer me to Level 2 tech support because of the pandemic (apparently the only way those two could "talk" was via some chat functionality), I was informed that GoDaddy's managed WordPress hosting does not generate error logs.

The combination of slow user-facing performance along with continued frustration and issues on the back end was the straw that broke the camel's back. In researching these issues and complaints, it became apparent that many of my issues were likely a result of GoDaddy stuffing too many sites onto its managed WordPress servers.

This wasn't helped by the fact that GoDaddy had made some recent cancel-culture news over its decision to boot AR15.com. I don't know if GoDaddy's explanation about the "incited violence" claim is accurate, but that definition seems to be ever expanding. At some point, I fear it would come for Restricted Arms.

Hoystory: where we are

As of Saturday, all three sites are now being served via a Vultr High Frequency Compute instance with 2 CPUs and 4GB of memory, and managed via GridPane. The featured image from this post is a screenshot of my command line interface that I was using to move sites over to the new server. There are some things from my C & Unix course at Cal Poly back in 1991 that still stick with me.

There's still plenty of room on that server for other sites, which is something I hope to make a business out of in the coming weeks and months.


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March 2021



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