Sorry that the blog was down for a few hours. Yesterday I did a throwaway post that somehow ended up getting 3800+ diggs or so. I didn’t have WP-Cache or Supercache turned on, so my blog melted to a little puddle of fail.
“Matt, you idiot! How you could run a modern WordPress blog without caching turned on?” you may ask. The first answer is that I’m stupid and figured that I was boring enough that I wouldn’t hit digg or Slashdot for anything.
The slightly-less-stupid answer is that turning on WordPress caching interacts really badly with the FreeBSD systems that my webhost Pair runs (I’ve written about this before). That means that for me, upgrading WordPress takes hours and is a pain in the butt. The last time I upgraded my WP install, I didn’t install Supercache simply because it was such a headache to uninstall before.
I have to do some thinking about what I might change (blogging platform, webhost, etc.) in the future to make this less painful. Frankly, the idea of racing to update my software every few months (so that I don’t need to worry about getting hacked) strikes me as a little backwards; I’d prefer to host my blog with some web service so that I never have to worry about security releases or downloading/upgrading software myself. I don’t blame WordPress or Pair, but the combination doesn’t work well for me right now.
One suggestion for WordPress: integrate caching functionality more tightly so that managing caching isn’t a multi-step process and doesn’t involve juggling plug-ins. Another WordPress suggestion: lower the price of VIP hosting ($600 setup fee + $500/month is too high; if you lowered that a lot, you could probably attract a bunch of people who don’t want to fiddle with WordPress upgrades) and make it trivial to do a CNAME like blog.mattcutts.com to VIP hosting. One suggestion for WP-Cache and Supercache: make an option that clears out all cache files and deletes all directories created by the caching plugin, then atomically disables caching. Maybe that option is there and I’ve missed it somehow. One suggestion for Pair: if I am the owner of a parent directory, let me delete any file or subdirectory from that directory. Then I could delete silly cache files that are owned by “nobody.” Again, I know the fault is primarily mine for not turning on caching, even if it’s a hassle.
Since you’ve been so nice to read my self-absorbed tale of woe, here’s a picture of my cat Ozzie, helping me hack on the blog: