Apologies for Site Outage + Belated Antidote du Jour

Dear patient readers,

I will not bore you with details, but we had some technical difficulties. I could not view or access the site since late afternoon yesterday, and was therefore unable to post. I gather many readers could still view the site (at least until this morning) but could not comment.

This WordPress transition is proving to be quite painful, and I am at a loss as to understand why. Sincere apologies.

Since some of you are fond of the Antidote du Jour, I am providing one below.


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  1. Seal

    the transition is going poorly because Mercury is retrograde again until 9/29 – same as the last ‘transition’.

  2. Yves Smith Post author


    We did the transition on August 30, which I am told was prior to that. I have been warned by quite a few people that WordPress takes a lot of support, and transitioning a high traffic blog is a fraught process. No one expected this to be easy or go smoothly. I suppose I was unduly optimistic.

  3. K.

    Please do bore us with the details, Yves. Is the problem with the free software, the hosting company, or the person doing the migration? Are you paying for the migration, or is that also being done for free?

  4. Yves Smith Post author

    The problem is that WordPress has been misrepresented, as far as I can tell. I just pinged Barry Rithotz, who also uses WP, and he had similar problems over the weekend (although his tech guy responded faster, so less evident to readers). He seems rather unhappy too.

    There are at least 2 problems:

    1. Third party webhosts are really not prepared to deal with high traffic blogs, no matter what they say. They are not prepared for the bandwidth usage when traffic spikes, and it spikes at bizarre times (like last weekend for Barry, for instance).

    2. WP is a database hog, very badly designed there, even when you implement supercaching. My volume crashes a dedicated server and so does Barry’s.

    I did pay for a migration, but the guy who did it has never dealt with a high traffic blog and did not anticipate these problems. He came highly recommended from a firm that does only IT and Web services.

    I may have to go back to Blogger, this is just not viable.

  5. ndk

    Have you considered Drupal or even bumming a ride on CR’s Hoocoodanode? I’m biased against Google, and I’m biased towards Abby kittens, so take this with an appropriate grain of salt, but I really like to see more independence from corporations with such policies as theirs.

  6. Robert Oak

    Hello Yves,

    Your RSS feeds are broken as well as a large amount of site links.

    Your comment feed is valid

    Your individual feeds created from individual posts are valid (ex.: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2009/09/apologies-for-site-outage-belated-antidote-du-jour.html/feed/rss)

    The main feed gives a parsing error

    but I think I have a “hint” as to the problem.

    in post


    Go to this below line in the above post:

    It is so far off the beaten track that nobody ever really comes close, which is why these ships are here.

    line 193 in ie8, “view source” of the entire page.

    Now, just delete the text you see “If is so far off the beaten track”

    and retype in that text manually that you just deleted.

    I have found a hidden character (which will not display) that you probably picked up when doing a copy and paste of the quoted selection from the article.

    That hidden character, between off and the in the above sentence, is causing your RSS feed to not validate. It’s also bringing down your entire site RSS feed claiming it’s invalid.

    I’m pretty sure that’s the problem, a strange hidden character which doesn’t actually display (unless you copy it into word, at which point you’ll see this:

    It is so far off- the beaten track that nobody ever really comes close, which is why these ships are here.

    that hypen is just being interpreted by word to show “something” is present…that’s the hidden bad character which is screwing up your RSS feed.

    This is nasty crud to debug the XML of feeds, so if you are doing this yourself and want some help, feel free to email me offline.

    I have a WP site, and am resident geek of The Economic Populist. We have NC RSS pulled in our middle column of “must read” econ blogs so these broken feeds are a bummer and this is one nasty bug frankly.


  7. Skippy

    Seems like the Morton salt trollop/girl is making the rounds, your book, blog (transfer of), travel, etc.

    Skippy…when it rains, it pours.

  8. lnk

    I enjoy and learn from all the material posted, but I confess to always checking for the antidote du jour first, as one of my favorite moments of browsing.

  9. Eleanor

    Antidote du jour is always welcome and a clear improvement on Friday cat blogging, which only comes once a week. Given the news, cute animals — or even uncute animals — are needed on a daily basis.

  10. asphaltjesus

    Robert Oak,

    Re: RSS Feeds

    In case you come back to this thread, the issue may be with the javascript-based text editor gui inside WP. The editors are very complex code. Adding a character along the way would be a reasonable bug because they do so much transcribing from the gui-view back to plain html/xml/whatever.

    But, you might be right if it was a straight lift from a javascript-heavy site into WP’s text editor gui.

    A double-check by pasting into notepad++ or dog forbid, notepad would help isolate the issue.

  11. Tonsure WImple

    There is no finer antidote than a Somali kitten. They’re smart, quick, and sleep less. Somalis are the best. (Abys have the same characteristics but they look like rats.)

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