If you visit RTH semi-regularly, you may have noticed slow response times and intermittent timeouts lately. I contacted our hosting provider, Webfaction, to report the issue.
It turns out another user on the same server has been running non-optimized database queries that are sucking up the server's memory and slowing down other processes - like the webserver running RTH.
Webfaction are working to reduce the load on the server, help the other use debug the poorly performing queries and, as they put it, "keep performance hits to a minimum."
When it works properly, shared hosting hits a sweet spot of affordability, managed server administration and a lot of flexibility to install applications (through SSH access if you're curious).
The downside is that a number of websites run on the same machine and share the available resources, including bandwidth, memory and hard drive space. That means one unruly user can compromise the performance of the other users on that machine.
It might be a good idea to start thinking about moving RTH to its own virtual private server (VPS), with dedicated bandwidth and memory that other users and their processes can't impact.
The downsides to this option are a) having to pay higher hosting costs and b) having to take on full responsibility for administering the server.
More to come as the situation develops.
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