More Growing Pains

On November 6, 2015, in Miscellany, by Jody Ewing

I’ve got to hand it to BlueHost.com for batting a thousand when it comes to tech support. Several years ago I’d switched from a previous website hosting service to BlueHost, and over the years, as iowacoldcases.org traffic increased, they always steered me in the right direction as to what plan best suited our size and visitors.

speed-imageThis note is to give notice about some possible downtime both tonight and sometime tomorrow as we go through two more migrations to BlueHost’s top service tier. On Oct. 29, we’d transferred our site to BlueHost’s new Cloud service, and though our pages indeed loaded faster, the site began going down 10 or 20 minutes here and there due to heavy traffic and our sharing of downloadable documents.

Many of you may have noticed we’ve steadily been uploading newspaper archives in PDF format and making them available for download in the “Sources” section on victims’ pages. We believe archived news stories — some several decades old — provide a historical timeline on these cases and help readers, journalists and researchers who, like us, emphasize cooperation with partners and other news outlets rather than competition.

This cooperative approach to profiling Iowa’s unsolved murders — as is witnessed with the Iowa Newspaper Association’s current “Gone Cold” project with ICC and Iowa newspapers — places solid emphasis on sharing known case details/information for the good of all and moving cases forward toward possible resolution.

PDF files downloaded from our site should, naturally, credit the respective newspaper as the sourceand, when appropriate, credit the author as the name found in the newspaper story’s byline. ICC provides these archives as a courtesy and there is no need to cite us as their source.

Tonight, after three savvy BlueHost tech support specialists reviewed Iowa Cold Cases’ site traffic history (now more than 3 million hits per month, several hundred thousand page views per month and more than 100,000 visitors per month — 70% of them unique visitors), “Patrick” at BlueHost told me the ICC website was “so successful that we needed bigger, better service.” I first thought we’d have to find a new hosting service, but after in-depth talks with “Kyle” and then eventually “Rob,” we’d reached the only possible conclusion: Iowa Cold Cases will be upgrading — in a two-part migration — to a managed, optimized Virtual Personal Server (VPS) with BlueHost. (Which, incidentally, also optimizes the WordPress platform we currently use.)

fiber-optics-speedThe first migration will begin at approximately 11 p.m. tonight (Friday, Nov. 6), and hopefully won’t result in too much downtime.

The second migration to the VPS will begin sometime tomorrow (Nov. 7) before noon.

Emails during either of these migration periods may bounce back, but please, rest assured, things will be flowing smoothly and pages loading much faster after all is complete.

The website’s name and all email addresses will remain the same. Hopefully, the only difference anyone will notice is faster web page loading and faster viewing and downloading of our predecessors’ remarkable cold case articles.

One Response to More Growing Pains

  1. Well, I wrote that post from my WordPress blog and it shared it here as it should, but I have *no* idea why it inserted the Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers logo into the post! (Nothing about them is mentioned in the blog post.) Looks like I need to do some digging into some default settings! :-)

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