Site update

Forgive my indulgence, but there’s two reasons I love this website. The main one, of course, is because I love driving Saab cars. The other is because I love to write, despite my inherent limitations. Putting these recent site-related events down on virtual paper is a useful reference for me, and hopefully gives you some insight into how this place is put together.

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As mentioned last month, it’s been a difficult time here at TS, in as far as managing the website is concerned. I’m pleased to say that at some cost, there’s been a couple of recent breakthroughs.

One of the problems is that since migrating from one blog platform to another (think in terms of deciding to build a 9-3 on a platform other than Epsilon) there were a number of URLs that went missing from Google’s index of the site. Each entry has it’s own URL. The quantity now missing from Google’s index is over 1,200. That’s 1,200 entries that Google couldn’t find and Google don’t like it when such massive changes take place. Three months ago, around 40% of the traffic to this site came from search queries. Today, that number is down to around 10-15% and most of those are searching for ‘Trollhattan Saab’. They’ve heard the name, or been here before and forgot that it was a .net address.

Initially, we thought that it was a change in the URL structure from one platform to another that was the cause of the problem, though a script was put together to overcome this. It was only this morning that I and my site guru, Andrew P, discovered that it wasn’t just a case of questionable URLs after a platform change, it was actually a case of 1200 missing entries from the archives. The archives at this site currently number just short of three thousand articles written over the last 2.5 years. The actual number should be somewhere over 4,000.

We’re now working from a backup to get the missing items back on site. Naturally, this is going to take a little time, but the good news is that the issue has finally been found. Now it can be addressed.

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Many of you may have experienced problems in accessing the site in the last few days. It may have timed out and brought up a message saying that it couldn’t connect with the database etc.

Despite the massive drop in traffic, the website’s still been attracting sufficient numbers to cause havoc with the server that I’m using. Before the platform change I was hosted by my website backroom guru, Andrew P, but i had to migrate to a more commercial arrangement as the volume of traffic the site was getting was causing him some issues with other sites he hosts.

I’ve since moved the site to another server group with heaps of storage and bandwidth available on a shared gridserver arrangement. Despite this expansion, I’ve now killed my allocations there as well because when you Europeans and Americans are all online at the same time, well, let’s just say there’s a lot of you.

I’m remaining with that same host, but have had to upgrade my service with them, doubling the hosting costs for the site, but setting up a structure that should see TS through its next phase of growth.

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And speaking of growth, I’ll finally take on some semi-formal training in this website stuff later this year. It’s a local computing course on PHP. I have a number of ideas about ways that I’d like to expand the service this site provides for Saab enthusiasts. These are all information-based, no forums or anything, but should hopefully enhance the range of things you can find when you come and visit here.

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Thanks to you all for your belief in the site and your support. Ever since coming back from Sweden it’s been a nightmare here, with substantial changes in my workplace (yes, I do have a 9-to-5 job as well) as well as the Viggen crash and the site problems.

I’m pleased to be able to say that there’s light at the end of the tunnel on all those issues.

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16 Comments

  1. “The other is because I love to write, despite my inherent limitations.”

    Swade, you are an excellent writer! Keep up the good work, and I will reload TS only about 50 times a day if it helps… πŸ™‚

  2. Swade, you’ve got a virtual army of fans of the site behind you. Thanks again for everything you do. Things will get better, you know. [/peptalk] πŸ™‚

  3. +1. I’m with Gripen. Took the words out of my mouth. Thanks for your hard work. What you have done for the Saab community is worth a heck of alot.

  4. “I’m pleased to be able to say that there’s light at the end of the tunnel on all those issues.”

    More news on the Viggen? Please enlighten us!

  5. Thanks for your site, your POV, and your truthfulness. It is an asset to the SAAB and motoring community, and myself. As a lousy american, sorry about all the bandwidth, I say thanks for all of your hard work. I much appreciate reading your site every day.

  6. Denver — I believe Sam was referring to Swade’s comment that his bandwith allocation was blown when Americans and Europeans are online at the same time. As a fellow American, I’m embarrased by your apparent lack of a sense of humor.

  7. denvernewbie: While I’m sure Sam can speak for himself, I think he was referring to the fact that Swade mentions that when North America and Europe are both accessing his site simultaneously it is a heavy load for the servers to handle, sucking bandwidth. I don’t think he was slamming Americans.

  8. Every night I visit saabnet, saabcentral, saabscene, saablink, and this site. Trollhattan Saab is my absolute favorite. This is s true and pure Saab enthusiast site. Keep up the great work for our cool sub-culture!

  9. Swade – yours is the ONLY blog I actively view, just about daily. It’s a nice reward for me for me to visit after getting through the day. Keep up the great work & enjoy the future PHP training. That seems to be the way Web 2.0 is going…

    I’m proud to “know” you, albeit long distance…

  10. Swade. Don’t give up. And, you are a great writer… Sorry, I’m one of the people that get a little over zealous and refresh 50 times a day hahah, not quite that much, but sometimes it gets close…

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