Man the Turrets, We’re Under Attack

Well, it may not be a conscious attack but we appear to be under attack nonetheless.

I received a phone call from my hosting provider a few days ago. That in itself was a surprise but when he told me that my site (sklapsky.ca) was experiencing high levels of traffic, and that there may be a problem, he got my attention. In the worst case it may mean deleting the site and beginning again. Best case I may be able to do something relatively simple and mitigate the problem. It could be a virus, another problem within the site (software), or ????

Now, I appreciate you may not have, or want to have, any knowledge of website workings. Perhaps the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff is best left there, behind the scenes. But suffice it to say the site (sklapsky.ca) was seeing an inordinate number of “hits”, which is internet speak for the number of individual visits to the site. Those visits can be by human or computer, or a combination of both. Each hit uses computer power of the host, the company that provides the website ‘home’. Too many hits means that too many of the host’s resources are being used just to service the needs of one client. The host may have many thousands of clients, each demanding enough horsepower to service their needs.

In my/our case there were about 274,000 hits/visits in Aug.. That is very high, and much higher than normal for a site the size of this one. As a result the percentage of the host’s resources devoted to us were disproportionately high. It appeared we were under attack, from within or without. Unlikely they were visits by long-lost cousins, much as I’d wish. Time to put on my Sherlock hat.

Some research has led me to believe the assault is external, not a virus or anything internal to the site. That, at least, is good news. I suspect it is ‘spiders’ or ‘bots’, electronic visitors that map out your site for content. There can be thousands of spiders visit daily.

I’ve since put some things in place to hopefully reduce the effects of the attack. It’s my hope and plan that any additional, more significant, changes will not be required. Again the worst case is that the whole site will have to be taken down (erased) and built again. That’s a task I don’t relish, as you might imagine.

If I’ve manned the turrets appropriately the problem may go away. Let’s just hope we have enough ammo.

Working, broken, Fixed, broken, Working???

This website has seen a few ups and downs in the last few months. In reality it has not only been this site that’s presented challenges, I have also had some moments. It’s been nothing too serious mind you, just normal ups and downs, but they took my focus away. I’m here now though so that’s a plus.

spending time here
spending time here

As I said the site became messed up a few weeks ago. That’s a technical term for unusable. The incorrect (old) pages would come up and none of the menus worked.I was able to resolve it, with a little help from my domain hosting company HostPapa, and I got it back into a working order of sorts a week or so ago. Things proceeded slowly toward normal until I broke it again a few days ago. Thankfully I figured out what happened and fixed it within minutes. Hopefully we are good now.

I’m happy to say the Facebook group page “Sklapsky Reunion” is attracting quite a bit of attention. I had mentioned it previously in a post titled Sklapsky Reunion Facebook page. Catchy title eh? The downside is you have to belong to Facebook, I don’t say ‘belong’ lightly because that’s what happens. Ultimately you can belong to Facebook, as in they ‘own’ you. That notwithstanding I think FB has some merits and that is one of them, the ability to connect diverse groups.

As a result of that connection I have some new family friends. I’ve learned a great deal about some of the branches of our family tree and expect to learn more. Hang in there, as promised more info will come.