Yesterday I wrote about my plans to transition this site over to gonyea.com in the near future. Yet an event today reminded me about something I have been thinking off and on about for the past few months. Why should I run my site on my own server?
This afternoon I was doing my usual after work routine online, catching up on my e-mail, RSS feeds, and Twitter. I happen to go to my site ready to jot down a few ideas for a blog post. Eventually my web browser times out connecting to this site. I try my other sites on this server, nothing happens.
I groan, as I know immediately what the problem is. My server (running Ubuntu 9.04), despite several rebuilds and reconfigurations, will randomly spike to 100% CPU usage and become completely unresponsive. Cannot SSH into it, cannot even serial console into it. I have to do a hard shutdown of the server then power it back on, hoping that I did not corrupt the database in the process. Who knows how long the server was down, could have been hours.
This gets me thinking. Is there really a need for me to run the latest WordPress on my own server? Do I have the time and energy to keep this server secure, up-to-date, and with as close to 100% uptime as possible? Do I really want to troubleshoot obscure issues on an OS I know very little about?
My gut says I want the power of WordPress so I can eventually unveil my awesome web site that I keep promising for years, that this server is a great learning experience for not only hosting my own site, but making sure everything just plain works.
My head tells me that I have been promising that awesome web site since I registered chrisgonyea.com, which was 8 freaking years ago. Point the DNS records to Tumblr for chrisgonyea.com and begin fresh there, with a simple blogging platform that does the few things I have ever done with this site. Let Tumblr worry about uptime, security, and providing an awesome site for me. Maybe it will make me write more.
As I ponder this, I did some tweaks to my Apache installation since I did find some log entries that suggest the server ran out of memory. Let’s see if this fixes the problem. If not, I may press the kill switch on self hosting WordPress.