This post was published in May 2011, so the information in the post or about me in the sidebar may no longer be correct.

Log files, laziness and stupidity

Up until a few months ago, my site was hosted by the lovely people at NearlyFreeSpeech.NET. Although I’ve had a Linode since the end of 2009 for development, sheer laziness had stopped me from moving this WordPress installation from NFS to my virtual server.

With hindsight, I did several stupid hosting-related things over the last year and a bit:

  1. If I had just got around to it and moved the site from NearlyFreeSpeech to my Linode in January 2010, I would’ve saved myself $100 in payments to NFS.
  2. Why so much? Well, if I had kept an eye on what was going on I would have noticed that I had (for some bizarre reason, which we’ll chalk up to ignorance) disabled log file rotation in the NFS admin interface. Which meant that every time somebody visited my site, the log file grew, and grew, and grew. And I paid for it. If I had enabled log file rotation, I still would have been out $40. But not a hundred.

Here’s a graph of my monthly payments to NearlyFreeSpeech:

NearlyFreeSpeech.NET cost per month

This isn’t a knock at NFS: they provide a great service for very reasonable prices, as long as you don’t want to store too much stuff with them. I’d still happily recommend them for small(ish) sites.

Part of the reason I kept putting off the move was a worry that something would break and I wouldn’t be able to repair it. But the reason I rented a Linode in the first place was to learn more about how server maintenance and configuration works; I now know that “it might break” isn’t a good enough excuse.

The next time I procrastinate over something simple that could end up costing me $100, I’m going to slap myself hard and re-read this post.

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