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Socoder -> Site & Server -> Time to Move?

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Posted : Saturday, 06 January 2018, 04:56

Time to Move?

As you all know, I've been watching the site like a hawk.
Yesterday I noticed the SQL starting to "sputter". You'll see the right hand side of the above graph is insanely more erratic than the left, and typically averaging a higher CPUTime.

I've seen that happen the past few times that the SQL broke, so I'm learning that that's a sign that the thing's about to break.

So I sent Zen Internet an email letting them know it was about to fuck up again.

*For the past couple of months, the server shcp19 has been having intermittent (every couple of weeks, or thereabouts) issues with MySQL, where it would seemingly lock up, returning a "too many connections" error, and not letting any of the many sites hosted on that server to access the SQL.
I’ve been watching the page-load-time figures on my own site, and typically when the MySQL's about to do this, I see a small period of higher load-times.

It's just started doing this again, so I thought that I should let you know on the off-chance that you might be able to catch whatever it is that's causing it, whilst it's in the act, so to speak.*


They got back to me nice and quickly.

*Thank you for getting in touch. I've taken a quick look at the box and there's no signs of any issues at present. We'll keep an eye on this, but if you do spot any concrete symptoms of anything, let us know.*

Today, the SQL broke.

.. Hey, who saw that coming.

I DID!!!

I'm seriously considering moving the site elsewhere, so if you've any suggestions for alt-hosts, pile them into this thread.

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Posted : Saturday, 06 January 2018, 04:59
[Again] Can't say I've ever had any real issues with Hostgator.
Posted : Saturday, 06 January 2018, 05:03
Yeah, that's the main one I've been looking at. Seems do-able, all but SSL. From reading online, people are finding it complicated to add to a HostGator account.

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Posted : Saturday, 06 January 2018, 05:09
Yeah I saw you on about SSL with Zen a while back and thought "oh that looks easy".

Checked how to do it on Hostgator... "nah I'll leave it....".

Do you really need SSL tho or just "nice to have"?
Posted : Saturday, 06 January 2018, 05:14
Yeah, kinda.
Chrome is being a fucking dick, because a "None Secure!!!!!" website is asking for you to log in, using a password, OMG!!WTF?!?BBQ?!?!!!?

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Posted : Saturday, 06 January 2018, 10:30
Hostgator... they were the bane of my existance for 5 years, server kept droping every week or so, resulting in so much stress...arghhhh. Slow as all hell support.

Sounds like things have changed though, maybe? I dunno, I think it's part of the territory with being on a sahred server, it only takes one prinny to write something to potentially mess up the server for everyone.

Web / Game Dev, occasionally finishes off coding games also!

Refresh Games - Game Dev Blog
Posted : Saturday, 06 January 2018, 11:25
I have always had a good time with Webfaction.
Posted : Monday, 15 January 2018, 07:19
That happened again.. :/

So, requirements.
Preferably UK based.
Preferably not shared.
But also preferably not insanely fucking expensive.
Preferably includes SSL or has access to working LetsEncrypt abilities.

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Posted : Monday, 15 January 2018, 07:22
You have to do a lot more manually, but a VPS maybe?

I've been with linode (London) for god knows how many years and they're fantastic and they have smaller plans now (I might have a coupon if you want me to check)

Their smallest plan is three times bigger and a quarter the price of what it was when I first registered! I'm on the 4GB plan (up from 320MB) because they kept doing free upgrades.


Posted : Monday, 15 January 2018, 07:29
There's honestly nothing wrong with shared hosting... as long as you're with the right company. Which it looks like Zen aren't.
Posted : Monday, 15 January 2018, 11:25
For shits and giggles:-

That Linode hosting Ben mentioned, $5 a month or something, worth a play!


Intel Core i5 6400 2.7GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB), 8Gig DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 64bit
Posted : Monday, 15 January 2018, 11:41

"enterprise" being the name of the folder SoCoder's in, on my harddrive.. For reasons I can't honestly remember!

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Posted : Monday, 15 January 2018, 11:56
That's where all your Star Trek episodes lived.
Posted : Monday, 15 January 2018, 12:10

Only have DS9 and Enterprise in there, although to be honest, I might delete DS9!!

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Posted : Monday, 15 January 2018, 13:27
I never got into DS9. Loved the others (didn't like Enterprise at first though, but it grew on me). Voyager is my fave though.
Posted : Monday, 15 January 2018, 13:31
Yeah, Voyager's great.

As I was midway through .. *cough* acquiring *cough*... these series, they popped up on Netflix, so I didn't bother with Next Gen / Voyager / TOS
DS9 has been deleted!!

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Posted : Monday, 15 January 2018, 14:06
DS9 got good when Wolf joined the station.
Posted : Monday, 15 January 2018, 14:10
I didn't mind Voyager.

DS9 was horseshit. Never really watched Enterprise - the titles were crap and Scott Bakula is a ponce - wouldn't have him captaining a netball team let alone the Enterprise.
Posted : Monday, 15 January 2018, 15:30
I got so fed up with many hosting providers and their wankypants servers that I ended up going a dedicated server route. This suited me more since it meant that I could run whatever I wanted on there. Any database, any application, any game server, anything.

So for 27euros a month I get my own dedicated server with:

- AMD Athlon 64 5600+ X2
- HDD 2x HDD 500 GB SATA
- RAM 2x RAM 2048 MB DDR2
- Two IP addresses (had to request second and pay a bit more for it)
- Far more bandwidth than I would ever need a month (unlimited or 1TB or something). Anyway, I've never been near the limit

I have Ubuntu Linux installed on there and I don't bother with cPanel or anything else as that's more cost for something I'd rarely use. If I can't sort it myself in Linux then it ain't happening

Not sure if that's your cup of tea Jay, but here's a linky to what I use (Hetzner):


It seems a bit odd at first - digging through to find a bargain server, but sometimes there's some gems that come up for not many pennies and I'd highly recommend them - even though they're based in Germany.

I've also had this same server set up for the last 5 years. I've had to use their support twice - once because of a hardware failure and they swapped everything over in less than a day. The second was because I was a twit and changed root password and, erm, forgot it

Sure, 27 euros is a lot more than some of these $5/$10 bargain basement hosting places, but you get a heck of a lot more - and it's all yours to do with as you please

Posted : Monday, 15 January 2018, 17:26
Spent most of the night flicking through hundreds of possible hosts.
As much as "DIY" hosting might be inevitably cheaper, there's the slight issue that I have enough of a frustrating time keeping all my dev-tools up and running, and trying to code AGameAWeek, and doing all the music and gfx, and writing the newsletter...

I don't want to say "Lazy Jay Wins", but fuck that shit!!!

Similarly, SSL seems important to our Google Overlords, so anything that saves me having to piss about every 3 months is a good thing, in my opinion.

Right now, I'm looking at a place called Kloudhost(.co.uk), primarily based in Coventry.

First off, they offer free Let'sEncrypt, which seems to work in the same flawless manner as Zen's does.
As for actual hosting, there's the usual Shared/Reseller/Cloud/Dedicated options.

Shared only goes up to 30Gb space, and we're nearly there. Another year of AGameAWeek might very well tip that.
Cloud and Dedicated are through the fucking roof, price wise.

.. But Reseller..?
For £30p/m I'd have 100Gb of space and 1Tb bandwidth.
I could also move things to more localised sub-accounts, so that I can more specifically watch the CPU/Usage stats of all the different sites.

Techy bits are here

.. That's the one I'm currently looking at.
Any thoughts?

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Posted : Tuesday, 16 January 2018, 02:59
They seem fairly new so there's not much in the way of reviews.

That could be a good thing (small company, good service, not oversold, recent investment in hardware) or a bad thing (lack of experience, risky future)

It's another annoying step, but price-wise it might work out better to have the sites on one of those small but fast SSD drives. And all your downloads and big files separately on Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage. (Amazon S3 London is $0.024/GB/month)


Posted : Tuesday, 16 January 2018, 05:59
No idea about that kloudhost as I've never come across them before. I'd certainly dig into the details of what they offer before jumping in though.

As for SSL certs, they're a doddle to set up in Linux. You go create one with letsencrypt.org, pull it onto your server using certbot and then import it into Apache in just a few steps - easy peasy

Posted : Tuesday, 16 January 2018, 06:08
Kloudhost used to be known as Ngage. I expect Nokia might’ve had something to do with their name change..?
I spent a bit of time looking into both names, last night, and neither appeared to have any horrendous feedback... consider that as good (no issues) or bad (coverup via name change), as you will!

As for moving large files elsewhere, the main issue is that there's oodles of files to move, and links to redirect. It really should’ve been done by now, but it's something I’ve kept putting off for a long time, and the longer I leave it, the more fucking games I keep making!!!

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Posted : Tuesday, 16 January 2018, 07:31
Test question sent via the site's contact form.


Just a quick technical file/folder question for you.

I've been on a few hosts these past couple of years, and not one has
settled on the same answer, so I thought I'd ask you guys before signing
up (which I'll probably be doing later today)

When I upload a flood of files (say all the screenshots for my many many
games) am I better off putting 1000 files into one folder, or splitting
the folder into 100 folders and putting 10 files into each?

GoDaddy suggest that less folders runs better, whilst Zen Internet
suggest that too many files in a single folder makes the server run a
little slower.
Polar opposite answers!
I've got my site scripts to work in a middle-ground, but I thought I
should ask you what your "best behaviour" thoughts are?

Any thoughts and opinions are welcome.
Thanks for any feedback.
Jayenkai - AGameAWeek.com


Reply came within the hour


Hi Jayenkai

Thanks for getting in touch and considering us.

In general, the rule has always been to split large amounts of files into separate directories. The reason being that older filesystems have hard limits on the number of files per directory, additionally performance can degrade when storing too many files in a single directory. That being said, modern filesystems have much higher limits in this regard.

However this shouldn't be a concern until you're storing at least 10,000 files and even at that point, the issue will be with listing the directory (which could begin to slow down) - individual images will be cached and served up by the web server quickly. As such, assuming your example is based on your actual numbers, I would say don't worry about it and store the files in whichever way meets your management needs, e.g. if you find it easier to place the 1000 files in a single directory go for that, but if you find it easier to organise them into sub directories that's fine too.

It could be that the answers you were given in the past differed because different filesystems were being used at each host, or more likely it's because one was answering the question at face value (e.g. is there any file system performance reduction at all) while another was answering it from the perspective of hosting your website (from which there shouldn't be a noticeable difference).

In summary, very large amounts of files are technically best split into separate directories, but 1000 files is not considered a particularly large amount for modern filesystems and therefore it won't make any difference either way.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Kind regards,

Mike Hayes


Nice big proper human response.
I’d say that's a good sign.

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Posted : Tuesday, 16 January 2018, 07:59
Yep, a nice response there. I don't know if it's accurate or not, but it's at least human and answering your question.

Good luck.
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