Where's all the red, orange and skulls…

…gone?

Anyone stumping up here over the last couple of days – anyone? anyone? no-one? – will have been met with a nice 403 error page, for the second time this year.

I never touched it, honest guv.

Second time and again it’s due to the same thing, something within the site is taking up far too much of the server’s resources and so taking down the whole thing. So the hosts had really no option than to block access to the index page and inform me, with a few suggestions.

First time round I reckoned it was due to a backup plugin, which emailed me a gzipped backup of the database every week. Database had got so big that the file wasn’t being zipped and email but just put in a folder on the server. So back then the plugin was deactivated and deleted. A couple of other plugins went the same way, moving from php to jscript, mainly the external link icon and the last.fm latest track list.

Another of the suggestions was to use a caching plugin, namely W3 Total Cache, which I did, hosts tested it and things seemed to be fine by them. Wasn’t too sure about the caching, seemed to slow things down a lot and things weren’t right with other sections of the site, especially admin such as deleting spam comments.

So at the time I decided on an upgrade of the theme, switching more things from php to javascript, finding ways of shifting things from plugins and widgets, generally cutting down queries to the database, less use of php and everything that puts strain on the server.

Then the other night another email, same thing. Of course I was away at the time and knew nowt about it and so yesterday the site was down for quite a bit. This time round it seemed the main culprit was a mixture of the Twitter Tools plugin and W3 Total Cache both of them leading to a massive error_log file.

Now the process of upgrading everything had been put on the back-burner due to other commitments. So when faced with this again it seemed the easy option and best to get the site up and running again was a switch to the default WordPress theme and get rid of all the plugins possible. That is most of those not involved in stopping spam and securing the site, a few were kept which are necessary to the running of the place and the caching plugin was replaced with another suggested one, which so far seems to have far a far less negative impact on the site.

So that’s why we find ourselves here in default land. Everything was done in a bit of a hurry, so things might not be working perfectly but I’m on the case…

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