The worst feeling for any website developer/designer/whatever is to be working on the site, and then it suddenly goes down. Now you’re sitting there, stuck, not able to do anything but wait for the site come up. Imagine that it is late in the night, in fact it’s very early in the morning, and you need to get some sleep. When you wake up, will you remember where you left off, what will be broken, will people see a site that won’t work and never come back?

That’s what happened last night, so here I am, up early to make sure Wikipes is okay and finish what I was doing – updating the site with better code. However, the site isn’t up, and I got an email from my host that said this:

Unfortunately, I’ve had to disable your domain’s web services. It was causing the web server it’s on to crash. Unfortunately, we cannot provide a quality product to the rest of our users when this happens. I’ll re-enable the domain in a few hours and see if that helps.

No explanation as to what caused the crash (too much traffic, maybe?) It has been beyond a few hours, it’s been over 4 hours now. Suffice to say, I’m not a happy camper right now.

Update: Got a response from the host, which clarifies the situation a bit:

I’m reenabling your domain name. I’m not sure what it was, but your site would spawn and open several hundred apache instances, until apache reached it’s child process limit of 256. Once that happens, no new websites can be served. That then kills the server. I also noticed that several php scripts you were running were using a fair amount of CPU. That usually means the code you’re using isn’t as efficient as it could be. Unfortunately, we can’t really help with that at all.