We've had some intermittent problems over the last few weeks and I want to apologise to the community for the occasional outages we've experienced.
Since we relaunched The D-Word site back in 2007 we've been on the same server with the same host. They were cutting edge at that time, but in the past five years, our hosting company was bought by a bigger one and since then they have been trying to phase out our old data-center in favour of even more cutting-edge hosting. Since the acquisition, I've been planning on moving The D-Word to a different host (where we'd get more value for money), but I had been putting it off because it's complicated and time-consuming to move all of our valuable data safely. And it's always hard to find free-time to do these things when maintenance downtime would affect fewer members of the community (i.e. the middle of the night!).
On the eve of Valentine's Day, we experienced the most significant outage The D-Word has probably ever had – this was due to massive problems at the old data-center, and prompted some emergency actions to make sure all our data was safe, and then to make sure the site was stable again. This year, The D-Word was my Valentine, as I spent the day working on getting d-word.com back online and moving some of our essential stuff to a new home. Luckily, my fiancé is very understanding!
Over the last few weeks I've been preparing our new home for The D-Word and had set up a new server with the latest software and hardware so we could be ready to move the rest of the site.
Unfortunately we've experienced further downtime from our old host in the meantime, and I apologise for not completing the move sooner. Yesterday our old host automatically moved the site to a different data-center (as part of their plan to phase out the data-center that went down in February) and that broke some things unexpectedly. Luckily I had already set up the new server, so this morning I've completed the move to our new shiny server with more memory and more power. I managed to do this without any additional downtime.
I hope that no one was inconvenienced too much by any of this!
We should now expect more stability, possibly some more speed, and much less downtime. I've tested the new server thoroughly and it feels snappier to me. It's also geographically closer to Europe now, so it should feel a little faster across the pond. We now have a more durable email system as well. All in all, the recent problems have forced my hand, and I guess that's a good thing for the long term. Please let me know here if you notice any niggling issues.