Congrats, you are on the frontpage of Digg (and reddit).

NOTICE: Despite what I wrote below, I still believe pair is a good host, and I still continue to host with them, and recommend them. I do feel they should have tried to keep my site going. For the record, other than this issue, I’ve had only positive experiences with pair.com who have been virtually flawless for the past 8 years.

PS: Do visit my original site at nsharp.org It’s now back up!

Actual email recd from my web host (Pair.com)
=======================================

Hello,

It appears nsharp.org is on the Digg.com frontpage.

Unfortunately traffic to this site had to be firewalled, as it was overwhelming the server and caused the server to become unresponsive.

We will only be able to lift this block when traffic to this site has significantly decreased. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Thank You,

[name removed]
pair Networks, Inc.
http://www.pair.com

==========================================================

OK, Let me explain a few things

1. Firewalled is a fancy term which means we pull the plug on your site.

2. Most of the traffic came from Reddit actually. When I explained this they had a bit of a hard time figuring who/what reddit was, so I said ‘It’s like digg’ and they got the idea (Of course I feel guilty for insulting reddit this way.. but moving on..)

2. When my site went down, it was a wordpress site using wp-cache (so pages were served as static content). I had also modified the digg/reddit links to be simple static html links for minimum impact. My account had an actual 200GB monthly allowance – so the server load from my site was low.

Why I am writing this

1. I trusted pair.com as a host. I told everyone I know “Hey, that’s a good host”. I hosted with them for 8 years. More specifically, I believed they would be able to handle a sudden spike in traffic because they have the resources necessary (own data center, etc) unlike other budget hosts.

I believed that pair would know how important this was to me, and do something, instead of pulling the plug.

2. Pair.com knew perfectly well what a big deal being featured on reddit or digg is, they could have done SOMETHING ANYTHING. they could have moved it temporarily to another server, instead, they just chose to politely pull the plug. A lot of people are pointing out that shared accounts aren’t suitable for large amounts of traffic. If my site regularly recd a lot of traffic I’d be on a large account, but on average I get like 200 visitors a day (please, don’t laugh). So I was fine with shared hosting. On the one day that my site got a lot of traffic, pair should have worked to keep the site up.They didn’t. They just pulled the plug, sent the polite email above, and forgot about it. They promised to restore the connection after things got normal, which is thoughtful of them.

Also note: I am on free hosting here (wordpress.com) and they are OK with the traffic surge of this being on the front page of reddit.

3. If you are a web host today, you CAN’T tell your customer that you can’t handle digg/reddit/slashdot. You should be able to use caches or reroute traffic as necessary. The reason is, every site you host has the potential to be on digg/reddit/slashdot/etc and as a host you must realize how important exposure via these sites is to your customers.

4. Say.. how on earth could Pair not know who reddit is? Seriously??

5. Last but not least I believe pair is a good host. I know they are a good host. I will continue to host with them, and recommend them (with a warning that their shared hosting is not digg ready – I believe this is one area they can improve upon).

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