Groceteria.com is a site about the history of American and Canadian chain supermarkets, from the 1920s through the turn of the century and beyond.
- About the site: Learn more about the history of supermarkets, your humble host, and my methodology.
- Places: The geography and architecture of chain grocery retailers in the U.S. and Canada since the 1920s.
- Chains: Capsule histories of some North American supermarket chains, including photo galleries.
- The message board: A place to discuss the history of supermarkets and other retailers.
Guardedly, I have restored the Message Board. It’s at a slightly new URL, though the old URL will redirect. It’s been up 24 hours without major incidents. I’ll keep an eye on it.
So what’s going on?
I’ve recently been getting pounded with hits from spiders and bots based mostly in Asia, who repeatedly try to access content on the board and flood it with requests that cause my web host to take it offline. As I am in a shared hosting environment (as are the majority of websites) this server load was causing issues for other sites on the same server, so my hosting company disabled the board. This is a totally acceptable thing and I do not blame them. But…
To get the board back online, I will likely need to move to a different web hosting plan which would isolate my account from other sites. This might not be all that much more expensive, but it would be kind of a pain, particularly given the fact that the board does not get much active use right now from new users and posts. That said, the board archive does get significant traffic and contains a wealth of content and knowledge created over more than a decade, so I don’t want to lose that.
I’m still pondering how to proceed. These are the current options I’m considering:
- Move to a higher level hosting plan and continue the board as is. This is the ideal option but also the one that requires the most investment of time and money from me.
- Find a way to archive a “read only” version of the board in static HTML (which would negate the database server issues) and publish that. Users would not be able to add new content. I could possibly do some additional third-party message board for new posts, which is not ideal but which would make things easier for me.
- Move the entire message board (but not the main site) to another hosting platform and leave it in place as is. That way, if the issues persist, it will at least not take down the main site. This would also require some investment of time and money due to paying an additional hosting cost and maintaining more frequent backups.
I’m going to try to decide something by the end of the weekend. Realistically, the board will probably not be back online for another week at minimum. Right now I have some major things going on work-wise (this site is a hobby, remember?) so I can only fight so many battles at once.
Thanks for understanding!
Update: I’ve decided to go with Option 3 for now. I hope to be back up by Tuesday, but no promises on that…
Update 2: Back up for now at a new URL (but the old one will redirect). I will be monitoring.
The message board is currently offline due to hacking attempts and repeated issues with spiders and bots that have taken its content down several times in recent months.
I will work to restore it as quickly as possible, or at least to get a read-only archive in place. I cannot, however, say how soon that might happen. I do have a database backup made today (6 January 2020) so all the content has been saved; it’s just not accessible right now.
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