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The Death of Yahoo

It’s been a week since launch.  I have more war stories to tell.

The most interesting one deals with Yahoo hosting and the downtime you noticed and witnessed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

For ages I knew that I was being ripped off by Yahoo, but didn’t know enough to do something about it. Once we had Arbab on the scene and the FourQuants.com launch related pressure was off we started thinking about changing our host. While Yahoo is a little better than GoDaddy, it is generations behind hosts like HostGator or Inmotion and once we had tried our hand at both it was clear that Yahoo hosting was dead in the water.

The only problem is that taking a live site down for a day (especially one that you have just spent a lot of time and effort on promoting) is a very difficult call.

So we sat down and designed a plan that required us to take a back up of the site, run the test edition on our local host and then Friday afternoon between 1 and 2 pm nuke the servers with our updated edition. Get the backup and the updated edition up, switching from Yahoo would take a few minutes.  Atleast this was the original plan.

Yahoo being truly evil and as a direct descendant of Darth Maul and other evil Sith lords, could notice that something was up. Traffic has been going through the roof since we moved our shopping portal to ECWID and restructured our site. Part of it also has to do with what we have done at FourQuants.com and some of the other crazy mojo Arbab has been conjuring late at night on his servers.

Right, step one take a back up of the site.

God knows we tried. Over and over again. Which sort of put the last nail in Yahoo’s coffin. As soon as we have our data off these guys, we are switching, we said to ourselves.

Historically Tuesday and Wednesday is peak load for us. Where we used to do 250 – 300 visitors a day, we are now doing 500+; pageviews touched 2,000+ in a single night, mid week, last week.   But at the same time starting last week as soon as we starting hitting peak traffic, the MySQL server on Yahoo host would start acting up. We would be up late pushing posts and features and get hit by the infamous database connection error.

In our infinite wisdom tried to upgrade to MySQL 5 and failed but then decided to call Yahoo support for help.  They pushed the button and did it. And presto, everything died. Site, backup, phpMyadmin, Mysql, Database administration tools and WordPress.

Luckily since I have been a loyal Yahoo customer I have had many such experiences in the past and I didn’t shoot everybody I could reach at Yahoo as my first reaction. I stayed with the tech resource support guys for about an hour and then eventually gave up.

Three hours later we switched to our backup plan – prepare to ditch Yahoo and move to a new host.  Six hours later after no news, updates, courtesy calls, we-are-working-on-your-problem, please don’t leave us notes from Yahoo it was more or less certain that plan B would become plan A. 24 hours later we pulled the switch and moved.

It was difficult and painful and slow but also about time.

In one way it was a good thing. By killing our site Yahoo made it possible for us to cut the cord and switch. Unfortunately the Yahoo mishap as it will now be remembered in our history also pushed everything on our timeline forward by a week. The release that we had planned on Tuesday will now happen on Friday evening.

Come drop by and see us on Friday night. On the 20th of Jan we did FourQuants.com, last weekend we did the Apple and Android Applications. This weekend when you sign in on FinanceTrainingCourse.com we hope you will be pleasantly surprised by what we have cooked up (or rather Arbab, Uzma and Agnes have cooked up).

Drop us a note if you like the new look and the new functionality. It took over two months of experimentation and internal debate. Our primary objective was to give you a neater, cleaner interface that made it possible for you to find stuff you have been looking for on Finance Training Course.com.

We hope you like what we have done to make that happen.

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