Hello, and welcome back to Child-Led Chaos blog. Did you miss me? Probably not, but I missed this blog! It’s been down for 48 hours because I ran out of bandwidth, but as I usually use under 25% of my monthly limit, this was very unexpected.
Here is a cautionary tale for anyone with self-hosted WordPress blogs: beware of your plugins! It does seem obvious, but I’ve never looked at my usage stats via my hosting dashboard, I’ve just kept a mild eye on the page views in WordPress stats.
Nothing odd happening there. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, this was happening:
I went self-hosted in June 2012 and the usage stats have been growing nice and steady since then but at some point in the evening of 25 November, something very strange starts happening. It’s not page views but file hits that have increased the usage:
In four days, 75% of my bandwidth limit was eaten up. It’s lucky this was at the end of the month so I’ve waited 48 hours in order to get this blog back up which has given time to look into the problem.
Entirely coincidentally *cough* I installed two new plugins on the evening of 25 November. One I made inactive because I couldn’t work out how to use it, but the other left active. Therefore I assume it’s probably the culprit. Both have now been deactivated and deleted!
All I was trying to do was to have thumbnail images of related posts appear at the bottom of each post, but I have reverted back to the text list of related posts. Ooops…
Please learn from my tale: When you install new plugins that haven’t been recommended by other people, do keep an eye on your usage stats via your hosting company’s dashboard. And if you get an e-mail telling you you’ve used 80% of your bandwidth on the 28th of the month when you usually get nowhere near, don’t assume you’re fine with 20% left for the last couple of days. Check the problem out!
I am sure other bloggers with self-hosted blogs are less useless than me (would you believe I’m from a tech background?!) but if this tale helps someone then it’s worth it.
Finally, huge thanks to the patient technical team of my hosting company, who instantly changed passwords, communicated with me at two e-mail addresses and put up with my stupid questions! Fingers crossed everything is back to normal now…