Pair Disabled the Cafes

It really is time to switch to a more reliable host. Last night as I was at the vet with my cat (sadly, for the last time) Pair Networks turned off The Cafes with little to no notice. They sent a form e-mail with no useful information:

Due to problems it was causing on the server, we were forced to disable the
following script located in your account:


For future reference, please take a look at our script usage policies:

Please take a few moments to look over your script for any obvious problems
before using “chmod 755” (via ssh) or using your FTP client to reenable
the executable permissions of the script.

If you have any questions about this script, please contact our friendly
support specialists at or 412-381-7247 (option 2).

The message is inaccurate. /usr/www/users/elharo/cafe isn’t a script. It’s the complete web site.

I’ve turned the site back on, but since they didn’t tell me what the problem actually was, I have no way of knowing if the problem is still there or not. I posted a new article on Friday, and it hit Hacker News yesterday, so there’s been a spike in traffic but still in the 10,000 hits a day range, nothing serious.

Update: according to Garrett H.

Your site was simply receiving too much traffic today. It is a WordPress site, which tend to be more resource-intensive. It was causing problems on the server, and since it is a shared hosting environment, we need to allow other customers on the server to also have fair access to the
servers’ resources.

Here’s my response:

This is absolutely unacceptable. I will be looking elsewhere for hosting immediately, and recommending others do the same. That I posted an article people are actually interested in reading is no reason to turn off the site. If your servers can’t handle the trivial load of 10,000 page views a day, you need to upgrade your servers. If a hosted site sees a spike in traffic significant enough to affect other sites, then you need to allocate more resources to the site, not turn it off. The control center shows my bandwidth at less than 20% of what I’m paying for. Clearly Pair has dramatically oversubscribed its resources, and is not suitable for any marginally professional site.

Anyone have a recommendation for a new host? Perhaps I should just turn off the ads and move it all to IBiblio. Despite charging me absolutely nothing, they’ve still managed to provide vastly more reliable service for the last 15 years than any ISP or web host I’ve ever worked with.

One Response to “Pair Disabled the Cafes”

  1. mumi91 Says:

    Not sure how much you are hoping to spend. But in terms of technical merit and responsiveness I’ve had a lot of luck with Webfaction. I think they are in Texas. They are all open source, and they are very responsive to my questions when I have them. They seems to really like Python and Ruby – and I think I remember that you said good things about Python. Recently they also lifted all of the connection/hit limits, so given your up-and-down hit counts that might be good for your needs.

    I can’t say how competitive the prices are compared to what you are used to paying. Shared hosting is very modestly priced.

    AFAICT all of the programs that you are currently using are provided there as normal choices. I’ve been a customer for ~3 years, and my full disclosure that is I have no other relationship with them. I’m only a satisfied customer. Responsiveness is really first rate, and technically they appear to understand hosting.

    good luck

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