Server Hiccups and What I'm Doing About It

First of all … an apology to all my readers for their inconveniences when attempting to access this blog – if you have been receiving a 404 error message and ending up on the root Community blog.


In December 2010 I performed a major server upgrade to better the performance of this blog and all my other sites and blogs. In the past month we have been doing server modifications to utilize the capabilities of the new server so we can have a faster and more enriching (and downtime free) time on the blogs, as well as enhancing some other features related to security, memory, backups, and the works.

Last Saturday we did the final (*knock on wood*) upgrades and I think the speed and the security of the server is at the best it has ever been – with one crappy little side effect, which has been affecting this blog.

You might have noticed that at times coming to this blog, you receive an error message. What is happening is that I have two separate installations … the original blog is at http://PetLvr.com/blog/ (since May 2005) and the community blog at http://PetLvr.com (since August 2010). Certain actions seem to trigger almost like a merge of the configuration files of one or both of the installations making it seem like http://PetLvr.com/blog/ is a virtual subfolder in the root http://PetLvr.com domain although, looking to be the /blog/. What’s worse, is that whatever causing this is because the server is doing its job protecting the security and configuration of the blog and everytime I fix it, it seems to revert back to a correcting position and we all get the error messages once again.

Please note that while is is happening occasionally, it all depends on me (HART) to be here to catch the error and fix the minor problem because it doesn’t trigger a server technical problem or support ticket on its own. Fortunately I’m here at the computer most of the time and may notice the problem and fix it before anybody else notices that there is a problem. Unfortunately, I could be out and about doing errands and then come back have supper, watch TV and check back late at night and realize that the site was down all day before I was able to fix the problem.

I still strongly believe that this site is currently operating the fastest and most efficient way it has in a very long time … at least since before September 2007 when there were less growing pains and traffic not as significant. Of course, if you are experiencing any problems or noticing anything otherwise, I am always happy to hear about so I know what’s going on and affecting our readers.

I have been provided with possible solutions, and given my outside-the-box solution is probably not the best thing for this blog in the long-run .. I have decided to do the following – for better or worse:

1. Merging The Databases

I will be be physically merging this database with the one on the root community blog. There will be only one installation on this domain (PetLvr.com) and I will also be rewriting all the blog URL’s to accomodate the move. Currently, the URL’s look like … PetLvr.com/blog/YYYY/MM/blog-post/ … and I will be making changes to look something like this: PetLvr.com/blog-post/

Hopefully I will get help with the permanent redirection so nobody is affected by the change in URL in their bookmarks and/or search engines.

2. Revamp The Community

Currently the root installation and community blog is on “buddypress”. I will be changing it to a different community (“mingle”) that focuses more on member interaction and forum integration into the blog. Members will also have more opportunities to be guest posting directly on the main blog – since, there will only be one main blog from now on. I should note that I will be cleaning house with the current existing buddypress community, by deleting all members who do not have an avatar. If you registered in the http://PetLvr.com community but did not create or upload an avatar, you may want to go to http://en.gravatar.com and assign an avatar to your email address. Gravatar is owned by wordpress and most wordpress blogs and themes will recognize your avatar when you go around commenting on other people’s blogs – not just this one.

3. Template Change

Currently, the main blog is using Thesis template and this major upgrade will give me ample opportunity to come up with something new and exciting for 2011 PetLvr Community Blog … probably with the Genesis framework.

4. Timeline

I hope to complete this project by the end of January 2011 – so, if there are hiccups between now and then I hope you aren’t inconvenienced too much and bear with me while I am making the changes. My plan is to recreate and meld the existing community with a new community in the root of this domain http://PetLvr.com .. then work on a new theme design .. then export the database from the /blog/ to the root. After that, I will be closing this /blog/ and let everybody know with a blog post.

5. Possible Grand Reopening Contest

I was thinking that if I can round up some prize money and/or a few sponsors for giveaway prizes in lieu of free advertising or specially promoted on a new page on the new Community blog .. I hope to have some type of grand reopening contest for the month of February or part thereof. This could be in the form of signing up to our newsletter, new member registration, twitter or facebook participation or even just commenting in our blog posts. I haven’t decided yet if I will be able to do this, however if you are a pet related sponsor and want in .. give me a shout … hart (at) petlvr (dot) com

HARTLEY B SINGER
aka HART (aka PetLvr

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