Oops! New Server and Some Teething Problems

By: Steven Tarbox
Last updated:
STENA LAGAN pictured in dry dock prior to painting 17.01.19. Copyright © Scott Mackey.
STENA LAGAN pictured in dry dock at Harland & Wolff prior to completion of painting, 17.01.19. Copyright © Scott Mackey.

This morning subscribers and those who follow the site on Facebook and Twitter received a notification about a “new” article being posted to the site that actually dated from 2014!  This was a mistake, for which I apologise.  Overnight the site moved for the second time in two weeks to our own Virtual Private Server – this has caused a few configuration issues which indirectly led to WordPress believing a post from 2014 was new.

NI Ferry Site had more views in 2018 than in the three previous years combined which has meant the site has outgrown a standard shared hosting plan.  A few weeks ago I received an email from HostXNow (our web host at the time) informing me that the site was using a disproportionate amount of resources on the shared server and so I would be required to upgrade or move the site.  HostXNow were very reasonable and didn’t suspend the account as many hosts would, but an appropriate upgrade was going to cost almost 10 times as much as the plan the site was on.  As a temporary measure, I moved the site to another provider, GURU (who have been excellent), while I worked on a more permanent solution.  That permanent solution is our own dedicated Virtual Private Server which means the site has its own separate guaranteed resources at all times.  NI Ferry Site is now hosted by DigitalOcean in their London data centre, with daily backups stored in a second location (Amsterdam). However, as this is a totally different platform there is the possibility of a few more issues, for which I apologise for in advance.  

The upside to this is that the site is on a much more stable platform which can handle a LOT more traffic, and faster.  Due to the hardware and software model used by DigitalOcean the platform is also easily upgraded and should be future proofed.  I’m still chasing bugs and other issues, so updates for the next week or so will probably be limited to and significant news, though as ever I will share anything I come across to the Twitter Facebook pages/groups anyway.

As the title image suggests, Stena Line is in the process of dry-docking five vessels at Harland & Wolff. STENA MERSEY is currently getting a fresh coat of paint and some TLC in advance of releasing STENA HORIZON again to return to her usual Rosslare to Cherbourg route next week.

Steven (site owner/editor and now server admin!)

Polite notice: While we welcome our articles being shared, we request that links to this website are provided rather than other approaches. Thank you (NI Ferry Site team).