Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Casual Stroll to Mordor Offline

Just a notice to all our followers that A Casual Stroll to Mordor's site is offline and may be for a few days while we sort out some web site host issues. We sincerely apologize for this lapse in service and are working on finding a new host as soon as possible.

Cause of This Outage

We were hosting our site through a shared server solution site called hostmonster.com. We've been using them for years (even before CSTM) and haven't had any issue.

A few weeks back we were having intermittent database connection errors and were told the issue was too many database calls coming from our site. No warning that this was any problem with our hosting service, just plain facts of what the issue may be stemming from. I researched on my own possible solutions for this type of issue and installed a new caching plugin to ease up on database calls from our site. The errors went away and we assumed all was good again.

Fast forward to today. LOTRO's site maintenance extended past their window and as a result people came to CSTM to see if there was any news. The resulting spike in traffic basically caused the database to blow up crashing the service entirely. We contacted the host for assistance and was told they'd look into it and expected everything to be back up in 15-30 minutes.

About an hour or so later we received an email saying that our site has been deactivated due to Terms of Service violation associated with our account. Our account has been suspended and we have 15 days from the date of deactivation to get our data or they may be deleted.

Just like that. Our site is turned off. We called and spoke with Hostmonster but basically they're done with us. When we notify them of our new host they will refund us any of our unused balance.

Finding a New Home

Thanks to the brilliance that is twitter, we almost immediately had more hosting suggestions than we knew what to do with!

Our old host was a shared server solution and told us we basically need a VPS or dedicated host. We are trying to avoid shared server hosts so we don't end up right back in this same situation. We realize hostmonster's database policies may have just been absurdly low as we really don't think CSTM generates unmanageable amount of traffic.

We are in talks with several hosting sites explaining our operations and trying to find the service/price that fits us best. It may take us a couple days to find, set up and transfer all our content to a new service.

We are very sorry for the downtime! We are working hard to find a new home for CSTM as quickly as possible!

Thank You

We are sincerely touched by all the helpful suggestions and wishes for quick recovery we've been receiving from the community. Thank you very much. If it hadn't been for all the support from our fans, we might have just walked away. Instead we are inspired to get back online as quickly as we can and continue sharing our love of LOTRO with everyone!

Thank you so much for your support!

If you are interested in chipping in a little to help us in paying for our new host you can do so with the donate button below. Donations are not required but certainly are appreciated!


  1. Check out http://www.squarespace.com/

    Dynamically Extending their bandwith, database, wathever.

    Never used them myself, but if it can handle Keven Rose's website, I'm pretty sure it can handle CSTM!

  2. Sucks how they handled this, but hopefully you guys find a good host soon!
    Best of luck.

  3. You guys are awesome, the podcast is brilliant and LotRO rocks the most. Hope you find a great solution, can't wait for you to be back up and running.


  4. Gotta love customer service.. to think.. this is a paid service (meaning the host).. Good grief they handled this horribly. Glad to know who the idiots where.. Will definitely not do business with them.

  5. MediaTemple is a rocking host provider. The staff has bent over backwards to help me, even when the issue was my coding mistake.


    They also offer dedicated virtual hosting that scales with your needs.

  6. Sucks to be out, but we will be here waiting for you.

    See you on the other side! :)