Lately things started to go wrong, however. I started getting error messages when I logged into the admin panels of my sites. My friend John Mackay sent me a note via Facebook telling me links on my site were down. Vint Cerf sent me a note after receiving the CTOvision monthly tech review telling me he could not reach the piece that talked about the Devost/Houghton/Pollard paper “Can You Trust Your Toaster?” How embarrassing for me. One of the father’s of our modern world wanted to read something on my site and I let him down.
I tried giving my sites more memory, and that seemed to work, but only briefly.
I am a busy guy and thought the easy way ahead for me would be to just cut and run away from Rackspace. I sent a little ping out on Twitter asking folks to tell me who I should switch to
A few friends replied, there are definitely other firms out there I could jump to. Rackspace also replied. Then they e-mailed me asking for more info and opened a ticket to ensure their support staff would be all over this. They proactively started digging and when I contacted them with more info they jumped all over this and found out exactly what the problem was. It turns out the problem was a complex configuration of my site’s plug-ins and some related settings that was causing one plug-in in particular to hog all my compute cycles. Rackspace recommended some very easy steps to mitigate that issue.
Now all sites are working faster and I have not seen any embarrassing dead links to real traffic.
Huge lesson for me: I should have gotten Rackspace up in chat first instead of jumping to the wrong conclusion that building pristine instals on a new webhost would solve my problem.
It is a free country and I reserve my right to switch hosts at the drop of a hat. But this episode reflected greatly on Rackspace and my current intent is to stay with them long term.