In the past two weeks or so, I’ve been fighting with the site instead of adding content. The hosting company was complaining of too high resource usage on a shared server… but was unable to provide me with detailed access log.
In late September the site was Reddited (thanks to the MS C 5.1 floppy fun article) which triggered a significant though brief spike in traffic. To lighten the database load, I set up a WordPress caching plugin, which unfortunately had a nasty side effect—it forced me to change the permalink format, which made it look to all search engines like the whole site changed.
The caching did make a difference, but doubled site traffic for about a week. I also set up an image lazy load plugin to further reduce the load. There’s also some kind of suspicious traffic hitting the server—I don’t believe for a second that 25% of the site’s readers suddenly went back to MSIE 6.0, but it could be something like this. Oh, and IP blocks have been set up for the busiest bees spamming from beyond the Great Firewall.
Normal service should resume soon. Long term (well, probably next year) the site most likely needs to move to a VPS with a fixed resource cap so that if the limit is hit, no other accounts on a shared server are affected. The challenge will be finding something cheap enough or raise funds somehow.