Improving HoR – Day 20 – Server Stuff

I’m starting to get all this newsletter stuff in place, but realized I didn’t have any form on HouseOfRave that allows passer-by’ers to signup for the newsletter.

I’ve gone ahead and inserted a Vertical Response email form which automatically adds the contacts to my existing list:

Also I’ve upgraded to a new server this weekend. My old server had been continuously running for 4 1/2 years….about due time for a hard drive failure. It’s also outdated compared to newer servers, so my hosting company bumped me up to a new server gratis.

They simply imaged the current drive and put it in a new server, and 99% of everything on there worked just fine after the transfer. However HouseOfRave had some problems since the paths on the new server were different.

I tried fixing it myself this entire weekend but to no avail. I don’t have a yearly service contract with Shopsite, so I ended up paying $245 to get a technician to look at the problem. The problem was fixed within 10 minutes of my service request.

It really reminded me of a story I once heard:

A nuclear power facility was having trouble diagnosing why the reactors were getting dangerously hot. The engineers exhaustively examined every piece of equipment and couldn’t find any faults or possible causes for this. This was a very dangerous situation so they resorted to hiring a consultant who charged $10,000 per day.

The next day the consultant came to the plant, grabbed a cup of coffee and casually walked around for a few hours lightly inspecting the machines and looking at gauges. After about 3 hours, the consultant took a can of red spray paint and drew a big red circle around one of the machines. He then told the engineers, “Replace this machine and the reactor will return to normal,” and he proceeded to leave.

As he was leaving, the engineers couldn’t believe he was charging $10,000 for only 3 hours of work, and demanded he give them a detailed invoice. He took out a pad and pen, then wrote:

Red spray paint: $1.00
Knowing where to spray: $9,999.00

So anyways…HoR is back up and taking orders. The site itself didn’t go down, but none of the add-to-cart or checkout buttons parsed properly to the cgi scripts (a.k.a. you couldn’t buy anything this weekend).

On the plus side, the new server is much faster than the old one. I’m getting a roughly 4X faster response rate across the board:

Even simple things like logging into the FTP and server backend are much, much faster which is always appreciated.

Speaking of appreciated, Happy Mother’s Day!