We are Back, and Better than Ever

DSCN1819 (Large)After a couple of days of near-death, which followed a week or two of crawling speeds, following about a year of general sluggishness due to high traffic, the MMM blog has finally been massively upgraded to a completely new and very speedy web server. Whereas loading the main page used to be sort of a “whirrr..clunk..clunk..hmppphlzzz..plop” experience, as I test it today, it is decidedly more “Vssshhhhhh…BANG!!”

While I’m excited at the time savings this brings to my own daily life, I’m even more excited for how much time it will save YOU. If you multiply our 2.3 million pageviews in the past month by the average of 3 seconds of loading time the new server should eliminate, you get 1916 hours per month or about 80 days of people’s lives which are no longer wasted, every month. If we value your time at $40 per hour, this server upgrade is saving about $76,640 of the readers’ collective time every month. And yet the upgrade is costing me considerably less than that. So I apologize for not getting this done sooner!

Although in the end we just moved a bunch of bits around on hard drives scattered around the Internet, it was actually a pretty dramatic story. Without getting into too much technical detail, here’s how it all went down.

MMM: “Damn! This website has really slowed down recently. We used to be able to handle up to 900 simultaneous people, but today it seems to be capping at 100. What gives?

Mrs. MM: “Don’t worry – it’s probably just some temporary stuff that will resolve itself”

Website: “Yeah, good luck on that fantasy, suckas. ERROR ESTABLISHING A DATABASE CONNECTION!”

Mrs. MM: “Shit, I guess this is serious. Here, I’m poking around and I think I found some problems that should speed things up”

MMM: “Oh, thanks so much, honey! You are great. I’m going out to work on some stuff outside.”

Website: “ERROR ESTABLISHING A DATABASE CONNECTION! ERROR! ERROR! I’m only serving 80 simultaneous readers now! The other 200 can wait!”

The Mustachians: “WTF Dude!? Can you fix your site, or what? I’m going to go read something else now”

Google Search Engine: “Your website is too slow, I think I will lower your rank and stop sending you visitors”

MMM: “Faaack. I think we need to upgrade to a bigger webhost. Let’s try ServInt, since Pat Flynn used it for a while. His recent website crash was probably just a fluke and I’m sure it’s good enough for us, right?”

Mrs. MM: “OK, I’m cool with setting that up. Doot dee doo, click, type, workworkwork”

MMM: “Wow, what a great wife you are! I guess I’ll just go out and do some more fun construction stuff while the weather’s nice”

later that night…

Mrs. MM: “I am TIRED! But I got the whole site transitioned to ServInt. Whew! I’ll just set the DNS servers to switch over and we’ll see how it looks tomorrow morning.

even later that night..

ServInt Web Server:  “La-dee-daa, I’m a brand new website running on a nice $600/year VPS server, I can handle lots of traffic.. WHOOM!!!!… ACK!! NOT THAT MUCH TRAFFIC! TURN IT OFF! TURN IT OFF!! CRASH!!!.”

the next morning..

Mrs. MM: “Umm.. ServInt Customer Support, why is our brand-new website not working?”

Servint Customer Support: “Uh… well, your server had too much traffic, so we had to throttle it. It looks like all legitimate traffic and not a denial-of-service attack, but there’s just like 200 people trying to access your WordPress blog at once. That’s too much for us”

Mrs. MM: OK, so you’re telling me that this service is slower than our Bluehost Pro account that costs less than half as much. I guess I’ll keep shopping around. Buh-bye”

Web Developer Superstar Kevin Worthington:


Mrs and MMM: Hmmm…

At this point, we had to gaze deep into our souls and make a big decision. This blog has been a family-run deal since its inception, and when you bring in an outside developer, you need to hand over your administrative passwords and the feeling of control and safety that you get when you know your fate is in your own hands. But we also knew that in exchange for forking over some trust, you usually get a lot more than you give away. I’ve wanted to get more creative people involved with MMM for a long time, since the potential for growth would be unlimited. A filmmaker making rich little films for the YouTube channel. A bike advocacy flash mob team that makes people start biking all around the world. Co-ops of various sorts where you can build and invent things and help others do the same. A foundation that funds things. The more, the merrier. Anyway, that’s the future. Right now we don’t even have a website.

Mrs and MMM: YEAH! How can we do it?

Kevin: Well, I like the web host called Digital Ocean. It’s super-advanced and speedy, but the configuration is more manual so you need pretty advanced Linux system administrator skills to set it up. But I’ll do it for you. I’m an MMM reader, and we’re just cool like that.

THEN, we can make it even faster, by hooking up a Content Distribution Network in FRONT of the server, so a worldwide network of other servers blasts out the images and other static content based on geographic proximity, which will lessen the load on your main server even further, making the thing crazy, blazing fast.

Mrs. and MMM: Umm.. SURE!!

a few hours later…

Kevin: OK, I got everything working.

A Large Number of Mustachians:  Thank You Kevin Worthington Superstar Developer!

There is still more neat stuff to come behind the scenes – the CDN mentioned above, plus with Digital Ocean we have the option of seamlessly upgrading our speed every time the site grows to the next level. I’m thrilled to have a real, brilliant, up-to-date tech guy on our side and hope this partnership will blossom over the coming years. He will obviously get a fine place on my Recommendations page. But for now, let us all just bask in the fact that the website works again.

 Update: while we’ve got much faster load times in general, there will still be some bumps and brief periods of downtime as the optimization continues. So if you get a delayed load time occasionally or a 404-not found error, just give it a minute and reload.


Further Detail: I took down yesterday’s post about the transition-in-process to avoid confusion, but here is a comment Mrs. MM wrote which I didn’t want to lose, since it sums up some of her thoughts on the process:

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to mention a few things and write a quick update.

First, Bluehost has been awesome and I would highly recommend them to anyone starting a blog. It is VERY easy and they do a great job. It is one of the few places where you can install WordPress and get a site going extremely fast. They also have a lot of support and documentation. I have heard that there have been issues in the last week for some, but I’m sure it will be resolved.

Some of the other web hosts we have tried have been much more complicated to use and require more skill (so far we’ve tried AN Web Hosting, ServInt, and now our site is on Digital Ocean!). I would not recommend those other hosts unless you really know what you are doing or if you get a lot of traffic on your site and need more than what bluehost is offering (apparently Bluehost is coming out with more options soon though, so stay tuned).

As for the update, we initially made our move to ServInt this morning and as soon as we went live, the server immediately CRASHED! ServInt informed us that our traffic was too big for them to handle. Huh, that is pretty crazy. So, even Bluehost did better than them in this regard.

I was desperate and even though I always try to do everything myself, I realized it was time to ask for help. So, when @kworthington tweeted that he would be willing to help, I jumped on the chance. You can find him at http://kevinworthington.com/. He knew exactly what to do and got right on it.

He set us up with Digital Ocean (a Linux based server that I would have had no idea how to configure) and got us up and running in no time. Even the forum works! (we’re still working on e-mail, by the way).

From what I’ve seen so far, the site is lightning fast and Kevin has ideas to make it even faster. We could not be happier.

This was a big lesson for me. Sometimes outsourcing is worthwhile when you don’t know what the f*ck you are doing. I was practically up all night working on this and Kevin got it all done in only a couple of hours.

Anyway, thanks for your patience and we’re excited to move forward on our new server!!

  • Michelle March 20, 2013, 6:31 pm

    WOOOHOO! Glad it’s fixed. I hope to someday have the same “problem” as you :) 2.3 million page views? AWESOME!

  • Kevin Worthington March 20, 2013, 6:33 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out Mr. & Mrs. MM!

    • Mike March 20, 2013, 7:19 pm

      Kevin…I may need to pay for your services in the months ahead, and the MM’s recommendation is more than good enough for me. Your domain is bookmarked, and I’ll be in touch later this summer! :)

      • Kevin Worthington March 20, 2013, 7:57 pm

        OK Mike, I’m happy to help. Please get in touch when you’re ready.

    • Darren March 20, 2013, 11:30 pm

      Hi Kevin,
      Maybe you can write an article on living MMM in (the ridiculously non-MMM greater NYC area). We live in Manhattan. My wife grew up in Long Island and has a large family there. We’re pregnant and gonna move to the Island. I work from home, and am inspired by MMM but wish someone who actually lives in the area would write an article on hacking an MMM-lifestyle in Long Island or Manhattan or San Francisco, etc.

      • Mr. Money Mustache March 21, 2013, 6:02 am

        Hey! I have an article that someone like that sent me about Manhattan. Maybe I can dig it up and use it as a guest posting. Would love to hear from Kevin too.

        You are right that I couldn’t write one myself, because my neverending enthusiasm for living in the West after growing up East would make me keep saying, “Just MOVE!!” :-)

        • Kevin Worthington March 21, 2013, 6:51 am

          I was actually thinking to write a post like that! I laughed to myself when MMM wrote that post about (I’m paraphrasing here) “how ridiculous it is to live in NY or NJ.”

        • Patrick March 21, 2013, 8:09 am

          Hmmm… I lived in Manhattan for 8 years. That’s where I mounted my first financial coup and dumped $126K worth of debt in 22 months. It’s totally possible to hack that place, and I made $10’s of thousands in side income. Of course, it is a unique place that is hostile to outsiders and preys on its citizens financially, so I understand why people get overwhelmed. But, the basic principles still apply: you only lose what you put in the game.

          If you have the right mentality, NYC is littered with free and cheap. I think people get the wrong idea because it’s POSSIBLE to spend a fortune (mostly for outsiders), but totally not mandatory.

          I have a theory that if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere. I mean, it’s up to you.

          New York.

          New …. wait — what?

          If you want, I’ll write said guest post. It’s up to you…. New York, New – oh, nevermind.


          • Darren March 21, 2013, 8:51 am

            @patrick, I have no problems making money in Manhattan. And inspired by MMM i have figured out how to save a lot. Maxing 401k – 51k in 2012 (f/t job 401k max and also set up a 401k for my consulting business and maxed out for both me and my wife). Also, fully contributing to employee stock purchase program, and saving all vested stocks. But expenses are still high. I am now allergic to spending so much on housing, and as a busy high earner with a f/t job I love, a consulting business on the side, and several business plans at different levels of maturity, my issue is no time for the other half of mustachianism, which is self-sufficiency and expense reduction, e.g., DIY. housing costs, renovations, etc., are EXPENSIVE. I did switch to using google voice only for free home phones (via OBI voip converter), and we cut cable tv. big things that save a few thousand bucks, but still only a tiny % of our spend. Maybe we should make a Long Island and/or Manhattan Mustachian forum topic and share tips. I could probably save another 5k in restaurants, and 2-3k in taxis, but I guess what I really want tips on is housing hacks for someone thinking of moving to long island and wanting to also invest in rental houses in long island. anyone have knowledge/expertise there? 3-4 br homes for 350-500k with rental potential of 2400-2800/mo in nassau.

            • Evan March 25, 2013, 8:49 am

              Long Island here…I love MMM’s stuff but some of the stuff is hard to apply. You can’t just move closer to work when homes start at 600K where my office is, property taxes hover around 12K, etc.

              That being said, most of everything else he talks about can be done.

            • Mr. Money Mustache March 25, 2013, 9:37 am

              Aha.. but what COULD you do?

              If you keep asking this question, with the goal of avoiding a soul-sucking car commute at the front of your mind, you sometimes get good answers.

              For example, one of my best job offers back in 1999 was near San Francisco. Houses started at $600k there even back then. So I considered the other job offers. Found one in Boulder. Houses in town were still $400k, but a house 8 miles out in the next town (still within biking distance) was only in the $200s. Did the math, then took that job instead.

              Other tricks include: renting instead of buying. Working from home. Switching jobs. Public transit.

              The core philosophy is Constant Optimizing – if you are ever stuck with a car commute, accept it if necessary for a short time.. but spend equal time working to eliminate it. As opposed to most people, who do what a friend of mine just did: moved from 1 mile from work, to 15 miles from work, just so he could buy a nice new custom house that was bigger than his existing perfectly nice 4-bedroom place.

            • Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies March 25, 2013, 11:33 am

              And don’t forget relative tax rates, MMM!

              I think what gets lost is that so many people assume that if they’re going to work in finance it has to be in Manhattan, or IT in San Francisco. I was offered a job transfer to either of these locations and declined. We were already being paid industry standard salaries and bonuses (so the move didn’t come with a raise!) and I had no desire to see my net pay cut by 10% or more just because I moved to a locale with an income tax.

        • Joshua Spodek March 21, 2013, 3:16 pm

          Living cheaply in New York City is as easy, fun, and rewarding as any other place in the world. Probably more so.

          I’ve been living in the heart of the West Village for thirteen years. People say it’s expensive living here, but I haven’t found it so.

          My way of living means maximizing my free time and I haven’t needed to work more than part-time for a decade — my only source of income. I haven’t missed a payment on anything in that time and I don’t know anyone enjoying life more than me. Meanwhile I’ve traveled the world several times over and all sorts of other cool stuff.

          Cities aren’t mustachian or anti-mustachian. People are.

          • patrick March 23, 2013, 11:13 am

            @josh & darren…. first thing, “Cities aren’t mustachian or anti-mustachian. People are.” is a 100% true. We lived on the UWS of Manhattan after paying down a shit-ton of debt. If you’ve got some cash, you’ve got a good bargaining position on rents, especially if you’ve got good credit. It’s totally possible to live a great lifestyle without spending a lot of money.

            Would love to write a hacker’s guide with a Mustachian bend to LI and/or Manhattan with you. That sounds really fun to me. I’m on the forum, but haven’t been active for a couple of weeks. Ironically, I’m balls to the wall working on a mapping app that connects events with people in real time. It fits with the idea that great stuff doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

            Anyway, lots to say. Can you contact me?

            Take care,

          • Nick Urban March 23, 2013, 5:50 pm

            I’d love to join a group about living well and cheaply in the NYC area.

            There are certainly cheap things to do, but it’s often difficult to avoid the social pressure of buying $13 cocktails and $18 hamburgers!

            Here’s a site I recently discovered that lists cheap events:



  • Tyler March 20, 2013, 6:35 pm

    Yep — crazy fast now! Nice work.

  • Joe O. (arebelspy) March 20, 2013, 6:42 pm

    Still quite slow for me, problems loading pages (timed out submitting this comment the first time, for example, and resubmitting it now), etc. Hopefully just me and not everyone.

    The plus side? Thinking about how many people must MMM’s message be reaching for something like this to be happening! :D

    • Mr. Money Mustache March 20, 2013, 7:41 pm

      That is strange, as I’ve been all over the site, editing posts and trying the “Random” button and seen nothing but speed. I wonder if there could be any slowness remaining due to things like stale data sitting in various browser and DNS caches for the next while? There was definitely some random behavior as my computer and ISP figured out where the new MMM site was earlier this afternoon.

      • Kevin Worthington March 20, 2013, 7:59 pm

        DNS still needs to propagate worldwide, so there may be some wonkiness for a little while. Plus I am still tweaking settings behind the scenes.

        • Mr. Money Mustache March 20, 2013, 8:28 pm

          “Tweaking Settings Behind the Scenes”… ahh, that is music to my ears.

          This is why I am so happy about the idea of building up a team. In the forum, I notice Arebelspy and Grant and the other forum moderators moderating and writing like crazy, and that community has grown to kick ass as a result. The readers take care of promotion by sharing posts with their friends. Everyone reads, evaluates and comments around the clock. I occasionally type some shit into the computer as well. It is like a grand symphony!

          Much like passive income itself, where your Monetary Employees work for you and crank out additional cash even as you sleep. It is very good to get good stuff happening in Automatic Mode.

        • Jayadeep Purushothaman March 20, 2013, 9:18 pm

          Yes, I saw an IP address number in the URL and was wondering what was going on.

          • Kevin Worthington March 21, 2013, 6:53 am

            For anyone seeing an IP address in the location bar of their browser: your DNS has not yet updated and that IP is the result of being redirected from the old site on Bluehost. Things are getting better slowly, but within the next 24-48 hours, everyone’s DNS should point to the new server. Thanks for your patience!

            • CincyCat March 21, 2013, 12:07 pm

              I was about to ask about something similar. It seems to be working OK in Chrome (which I am using now), but IE9 is not behaving AT ALL. Even after adding mmm to compatibility list. Keeps resolving to IP, half the pictures don’t load, and none of the links work. I am an IE kinda girl, so I hope the DNS updates soon. Patiently waiting… :-)

      • Nigelg March 21, 2013, 2:23 pm

        Hi, The first load of the new website took a count of 14. I’ve done it twice since and a count of 4-5. I never timed it before so I don’t know if its changed. I’m in the UK so probably not looking at your peak load times but I never noticed that it was slow.
        I’m using Firefox and all the formatting looks godd to me. Thanks for the site!

      • Aaron April 18, 2013, 1:45 pm

        Not sure if it’s just me, but I’ve been trying the “Random Article” button recently and it only seems to give me:
        “Weekend Edition: Why are you Writing this Blog, Anyway?”
        “Why are you named, “Mr. Money Mustache”, anyway?”.

  • CashRebel March 20, 2013, 6:58 pm

    Wow, congrats on getting it all working. I am just astounded at the awesome, intelligent people out there who are willing to help you out with any technical problem just because they are nice people. It really makes you feel good about humanity sometimes… Things might just work out.

  • Lance March 20, 2013, 7:08 pm

    Glad you got everything fixed! 2.3 Million pageviews is amazing! Think of all of the people you guys are helping move forward with their lives!

  • Eric Hansen March 20, 2013, 8:39 pm

    Hey Mrs MM

    I’m also a Bluehost user and things have been great. Why did you switch? Do they have a hard cap on traffic?

    • Mr. Money Mustache March 20, 2013, 8:56 pm

      Definitely no hard cap that I have found – the biggest day of this blog so far was almost 60,000 page views on the main blog plus a similar amount on the Forum with up to 900 simultaneous at times – all with plain old Bluehost!

      But I think when you have consistent, fairly high traffic (say over 30,000 per day), you start to notice slowdowns when the shared server running your website is also busy doing other stuff. Many blogs or websites would not notice this, but I make it worse for myself by insisting on a lot of image files and comments all on one page so nobody has to click “next”. Plus running the forum on the same server.

      So, I still have no complaints about Bluehost. I’m glad we used them for the majority of this site’s life when it generated very little money, thus it required a nearly-free web host to avoid being cashflow negative. Actually, Digital Ocean is still equally affordable. But I have seen dedicated/VPS web hosts that charge $250-$1000/month to handle traffic at this level. With a bit more earnings coming in nowadays, the site can afford to pay what it needs to, to stay fast. But for starting out, as with any business or hobby, you need to keep costs low.

  • Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies March 20, 2013, 9:16 pm

    All nice problems to have when you’re trying to build your site and spread your philosophy, though I’m sure it’s still a huge relief to have everything up and running quickly again.
    Getting experts involved can definitely make matters easier sometimes!

  • Jayadeep Purushothaman March 20, 2013, 9:25 pm

    MMM – people will wait 3-4 seconds if there is value in your posts – and there sure is! That $76K you calculated is worth spending indeed. Also in the larger scheme of things, you need to be relaxed and not so restless to understand and implement the MMM way of life ! Thanks!

  • Mr. Bonner March 20, 2013, 9:54 pm

    2.3M, that’s impressive. Would be awesome to see a post one day about applying the MMM philosophy to small businesses like this site.

  • Joel Oine March 20, 2013, 10:08 pm

    I’ve been reading MMM for a month or so and initially, I had no problems loading the site. Over the past couple weeks, though, it was really dragging. It’s really great seeing this improvement go live and I am very happy to have found this place with so many like-minded people! Thanks much!

  • Woohoo March 20, 2013, 10:51 pm

    I found your website about 2 weeks ago just right before you have these crazy traffic drama.
    And guess what? I read ALL the posts since then and almost finishing when I was reading jlcollinsnh’s stock series…and the site crashed! I was almost done too! LOL! Well I read jlcollinsnh’s series after that off and on…just waiting for you guys to come back on!
    I was a little irritated when the site didn’t load(it was slow but it always loaded) when I was trying to get the list of books to read that MMM and readers were recommending… because I was going to the LIBRARY!!
    Great site by the way! Happy that it’s on a new server.

  • My Financial Independence Journey March 21, 2013, 3:52 am

    Congratulations on getting your site moved to a new server. Hopefully everything will work well at your new web home.

  • Simple Economist March 21, 2013, 5:28 am

    I’ve been clicking around the site this morning and this is the fastest I can remember it ever being. Thanks for spending the time to put everything up on the new severs. I know that moment of panic when you click you site and nothing comes up; that feeling sucks. Good luck and keep up the great posts.

  • Lucas March 21, 2013, 5:59 am

    Glad it is up and running again!

  • Jason March 21, 2013, 6:58 am

    I happened to think that it’d be nice to have a t-shirt that says “mustachian” on the back while I ride my bike to the post office. I was thinking black with yellow text (not that I’m picky or anything). Is the word “mustachian” a trademark or anything? If it isn’t, you may want to start thinking along those lines. Not for profit but to maintain control.

    • Jason March 21, 2013, 7:01 am

      Then again, maybe you’d be ok with Rolls Royce coming out with a “mustachian” and shopping it around as their entry level model at the bargain basement price of $250,000.

  • Al March 21, 2013, 7:09 am

    Your site doesn’t display properly in Chrome for some reason. Whenever I press “Continue reading”, the browser jumps up to the top of the page. Displays fine in IE though.

    • Delphine March 23, 2013, 10:31 am

      Same thing is happening on my iPhone (3G) (Safari browser). FYI.

  • Patrick March 21, 2013, 7:31 am

    It’s cool that it’s faster, but it doesn’t look remotely similar in my browser (everything stacked on each other – no sidebar or footer). In the end, though, I’m here for the content, which I can see just fine.

    • Use it up, wear it out... March 21, 2013, 7:44 am

      I’m seeing the same thing – lost the top of page logo, all of the menu options are just a stacked plain text list… Using Chrome

      • Dave March 21, 2013, 7:46 am

        Me too.

        • squeakywheel March 22, 2013, 1:41 pm

          Exactly the same here…I do miss the nice uncluttered look. Will work on being patient as at least I now have access to the content again :)

      • Use it up, wear it out... March 22, 2013, 1:51 pm

        I’m still having this problem in Chrome on the forum.. using Chrome Version 25.0.1364.172 m on a Windows 7 laptop. It works fine in FireFox.

    • Chief Needs a Punch in the Face March 21, 2013, 7:58 am

      Same with me..Chrome displays it all funky.

      • Matt March 21, 2013, 9:40 am

        Weird because Chrome works fine for me. Everything looks perfect and very fast. Yesterday, I noticed the IP address instead of the website in the url but today all is good.

      • Chief Punch in the Face March 22, 2013, 6:46 am

        Chrome working perfectly now! Thanks

    • GregK March 21, 2013, 11:18 am

      Yeah, the blog is freaking out at the moment… I’m not surprised there are still kinks to work out with a new host. They’ll get worked out.

  • Marcin March 21, 2013, 7:42 am

    Looks like there are still some issues with WP cache and CSS

    Request URL:http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/wp-content/cache/minify/000000/fZDdCoMwDEZfyFL3RCNtota1jTQp6tuv0-Fuhhf54XD4Aumt6B6pe9h1MQvHKPboxos0OJMu4F82MdZIYteAI-k1_xgyQSEExP1YQx7PbJhhM4RBjeeUKLeQdsIOhbNSxlsJFD9163iOXBxv19JsqU58CY6MBCQH5UeeX9L15wPEIg1QozYw1Ow1cD6DZeKinpHkDQ.css
    Request Method:GET
    Status Code:404 Not Found

    Request URL:http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/wp-content/cache/minify/000000/M9BPLi0uyc8FAA.css
    Request Method:GET
    Status Code:404 Not Found

    and few more…

    I’s suggest to remove those from response headers:

  • The Taminator March 21, 2013, 7:59 am

    I’m having the same problem as Patrick. And I am also here more for content than the fancy looks.

    • rjack (Mr. Asset Allocation) March 21, 2013, 8:06 am

      I’m seeing the same problem as well.

      However, I the DNS just propogated to my area now (Philadelphia/Verizon Fios), but I still see some wonkiness. It looks like the CSS is not being downloaded. I assume this is still related to DNS propagation?

    • Christine March 21, 2013, 9:20 am

      Me, too. And I’m using IE, not Chrome, if that helps.

  • Johnny Moneyseed March 21, 2013, 10:08 am

    Wow, yeah that is a lot faster. I had gotten used to the 1995-esque load times.

    I feel like you need to have a Meeting of the Minds. You could develop a panel of like-minded Mustachians who could further expand the groundwork that you’ve been laying down these past two years.

    It could be something like the “Mustaches of the Round Table”.

  • Mrs. Money Mustache March 21, 2013, 10:16 am

    Thanks for all the feedback everyone!

    There are a few minor things to work on, but I’m confident that everything will be Awesome soon for everyone. It sounds like many folks are not seeing the same things. For example, my site looks great on all browsers. I see a couple of issues, but we are back to serving 200 simultaneous active visitors on the site, which I haven’t seen in a while, so I’m very pleased.

    Hang in there – it will all get sorted out. Kevin is looking at everything and is doing a great job. All will be well soon!

    Thanks for your patience and for this great community. We love you guys. :)

    • Mrs. Money Mustache March 21, 2013, 10:21 am

      P.S. Anything weird you see today will be Kevin working on stuff, so don’t fret!

    • GregK March 22, 2013, 8:23 am

      Just in case you’re having a hard time recreating the problem; I’m using Firefox 19.0.2 on Windows XP, and it looks like this:


      • Mrs. Money Mustache March 22, 2013, 8:29 am

        Thanks Greg. We were able to duplicate that problem and it is all fixed now! Try a shift-refresh or clearing the cache and you should see it all nice and pretty.

  • Steve D March 21, 2013, 11:18 am

    I like it.
    but as a final message…

    How to decide when and when not to outsource!
    I think its different for everyone. But having no clue isn’t always the only trigger for outsourcing.

    Just a thought! Love the new site,

    • Mr. Money Mustache March 21, 2013, 2:50 pm

      I like the idea of outsourcing when it can teach you something.The first time I had windows replaced in a house, I hired a window company to do it. Turned out it was a very simple procedure, so I did all subsequent replacements myself. First time building a house, I hired a sagely old builder to supervise me. Next time, I got the general contractor license and was the builder myself.

      With this web server migration, we have a guy with years of practice in speed optimization and an interest in doing it. We’ve already learned loads from him. Plus, the cost savings and income potential is very large from having a better website.

      On the other hand, outsourcing your lawnmowing is just an excuse to not do a 30 minute walk in the yard you’re paying so much to own anyway.

  • Leesa March 21, 2013, 11:23 am

    Funny…the only time I’ve EVER received those “ERROR ESTABLISHING A DATABASE CONNECTION” and other messages has been in the last week or so…including just now. Took 4 or 5 refreshes to get the darn site to pop up.

  • Christine March 21, 2013, 12:07 pm

    Nice it is much faster. I was getting CSS issues too.. after a few reloads it started loading a correct css file. The page that doesn’t work has this URL to css:

    The link that does work:

    On a web development perspective you may want to reduce your HTTP requests to javascript, css and image files.

    This page has 41 external Javascript scripts. Try combining them into one.
    This page has 17 external stylesheets. Try combining them into one.
    This page has 21 external background images. Try combining them with CSS sprites.

    Putting JavaScripts at the bottom of the page will also help the page load – javascript causing errors or big file can block/slow down the HTML tags from loading.

    If you ever need help with that I’d like to volunteer!

    • Kevin Worthington March 21, 2013, 4:04 pm

      This is fixed. There was a problem with minification earlier.

      • Christine Wilson March 21, 2013, 4:08 pm

        Good job on the migration Kevin! I’ve tried to set up a Linux server and it certainly is a specialty! (I gave up.. that time.. there will be more attempts I’m sure!) And now I know a reliable company for websites with high traffic from this article.. here’s hoping I have this “problem” in the near future ;)

      • Christine Wilson March 22, 2013, 9:14 am

        So do you like using CloudFlare with a CDN? What are your opinions on this?

  • Chipamogli March 21, 2013, 12:40 pm

    About those slow load times before… what was that movie quote? “When you are important, they’ll wait”. Hehe j/k thanks for making it faster for us mustachians-in-learning.

  • Rob aka Captain and Mrs Slow March 21, 2013, 1:57 pm

    Glad to hear about he upgrade cause I’m sure there are more people like me who said, “grocery shopping by bike!” What an awesome idea.

    Had a huge impact on our relocation, specficly choose a location where we won’t need the car, hoping to match MMM I had a third of a tank since…. Can’t remember

    But thanks for the blog has helped me a lot


  • BrownThumbMama March 21, 2013, 3:31 pm


  • Traveling Firefighter March 21, 2013, 4:16 pm

    Love your blog and I’m glad everything is working well. Now if something can be done about the small, hard to read font, life will be good. Surely I can’t be the only one who thinks the font is too small and hard to read?

    • Mr. Money Mustache March 22, 2013, 7:22 am

      Hmm.. I’ve heard that once before. To adjust the size of fonts your browser displays, try holding down CTRL, then either rolling the mouse wheel or pressing ‘+’ or ‘-‘. I do this all the time, to adjust site fonts up or down all around the web (right now I work on a laptop that has a 13″ screen with 1920×1080 pixel resolution, which means some fonts are too tiny even for my read-entire-novels-on-an-iPhone screen tastes)

      • Jamesqf March 23, 2013, 11:37 am

        Or if you’re particular, as I am, almost everthing about the way a page displays can be controlled by the user. Just check the options in the browser preferences, look for something like “prefer user style sheet”, and tinker.

        I much prefer white text on black background (white backgrounds give me a headache), in a moderately large font, and that’s what I’m seeing now.

  • Kevin March 21, 2013, 4:19 pm

    The forums are BLAZING fast now! They load in literally a blink of an eye. Great job all around

  • TallMike March 21, 2013, 6:48 pm

    There was a nytimes article a while ago about a cyberattack on the nytimes itself. The article stated in a quite factual way how a big cyber-security company called Mandiant had helped the times get back on its feet. I like thinking of how Mandiant almost certainly saw more business because they helped the right organization and I like thinking about how Kevin may see an uptick for helping out MMM.

  • Tyler March 21, 2013, 6:54 pm


    I had noticed a bunch of instabilities the past few weeks, very happy that it’s getting sorted out, and it feels good to be ‘in the know’ of what happened, and is happening!

    Keep up the great work, you have nowhere to go but up!!!

  • totoro March 21, 2013, 9:38 pm

    I think the new posts and replies to post update functions are not working?

  • Vilx- March 22, 2013, 8:20 am

    May I also suggest Cloudflare? It’s a trivial-to-set-up CDN and we’re successfully using it on a website that gets around 3000 unique visitors/day (500K pageviews/week). It also has built-in threat control, on-the-fly JS/CSS minification and other neat features.

    And did I say it was dirt cheap? In fact, we’re happy with it’s FREE version – we’re not even buying the advanced stuff.

    • Mrs. Money Mustache March 22, 2013, 8:32 am

      Thanks Vilx. We do have CDN set up now! It is working great.

      The biggest improvement we’ve made is having someone on our side who cares about the site, knows what he is doing, and can make improvements quickly and figure stuff out. We’ve been having database issues for a long time, so we’re working through all this stuff with a smart person who has done it all before. We’re already doing great and it will just keep getting better.

      No worries and thanks everyone!

      • Christine Wilson March 22, 2013, 9:12 am

        MMM’s website probably needs the full CDN support with all their visitors. CloudFlare isn’t a CDN in the traditional sense. Visitors will go to CloudFlare servers for the pages of your site rather than hitting your server. It acts like a proxy server for regular HTML pages.

        However CloudFlare coupled with a traditional CDN can speed up the website even more. I can see MMM’s website is using W3 Total Cache which makes it easy to set up.

        If you are interested – I’d suggest setting CloudFlare security to low (it gives false positives which block people from website), and disabling RocketLoader (known to cause javascript issues)

        • Vilx- March 22, 2013, 1:26 pm

          I thought that Cloudflare had it’s own CDN which automatically caches your static content. It’s main benefit is that you don’t need to modify ANYTHING in your site code. Since it’s a proxy, it does all the magic on-the-fly.

          But anyway, if they already have a CDN, then this is irrelevant. :) Good luck! :)

          • Christine March 22, 2013, 6:04 pm

            Well.. servers are farther away from my knowledge set! Its only what I picked up when doing research. Maybe Kevin could explain the details if he’s interested.

            I actually use CloudFlare with all my websites. So I do love them. But when I tested MaxCDN with my website I found it faster than CloudFlare. CloudFlare has also gone down on me a few times too. But CloudFlare was free and MaxCDN was not, so I moved back.

  • Maxime Bury March 22, 2013, 9:52 am

    Hi all, first comment here, but I’ve been reading for a while.

    Have you considered doing away with Wordpress, at least for the blog? Specifically, I have in mind tools like http://octopress.org/ (there are others I’m sure).

    This one in particular is free, generates a set of static files that you can then upload to whatever server you wish via ftp/scp/git … Since it’s static content, a very modest machine can easily serve 10k concurrent accesses without breaking a sweat. If you choose to use a CDN on top of that, there is virtually no chance of your server ever becoming overloaded. This would bring the cost of hosting down significantly, I believe (It would however not take care of the forums)


  • Monevator March 22, 2013, 10:15 am

    Congrats on biting the bullet on this!

    There’s apparently a CDN built into Wordpress now that you can activate with a plug-in called Jetpack. The CDN is called Photon. I haven’t used it yet, but I’m told it’s just press a button and go. (Yeah right. This is technology here!)

    Kevin sounds like he’s on the case, anyway. Who wouldn’t want a Kevin! :)

  • Sam March 22, 2013, 10:17 am

    For anyone who finds themselves lucky enough to have MMM’s problem, you can get alot of the CDN optimizations for free through CloudFlare.


  • Gena Kukartsev March 22, 2013, 12:06 pm

    Have you considered Amazon Cloud as a host? It’s a bit unorthodox but seems much cheaper than traditional hosting. I buy a micro instance and some disk and traffic, and I get a virtual server with root and all, for the price of the cheap shared hosting.

  • Jay March 22, 2013, 7:32 pm

    I just wanted to note that this post kinda had me giggling considering when I tried to hit your site tonight it timed out.

    But I will continue to read…great stuff here.

  • CALL 911 March 22, 2013, 7:42 pm

    I have no idea what any of you are talking about, but I can change my oil, cut my grass and save a life after biking to and from the grocery store. Long live
    Badassity! And here I thought that the load times were related to the Mustashian ideals of patience and delayed gratification – that or my circa 2006 Win XP free laptop. Thanks for the updates.

  • lurker March 23, 2013, 7:49 am

    wow talk about a first world problem! glad all is well and everything does seem super quick once more. badassity rules again.

  • Darren March 23, 2013, 6:10 pm

    Dear MMM, please consider adding a LIKE button on comments so people can express if they like a comment and maybe sort comments by most popular… just a suggestion… Not to be confused with facebook.

    • FuR April 2, 2013, 5:02 pm

      Even better, a Bad-Ass button. ;)

  • John Fuller March 23, 2013, 9:21 pm

    This post isn’t being fair to Servint.

    Think of your server as your house and your web site performance as your standard of living. Typically when you are running on a shared server, you are in a big house (a mansion!) but you are sharing it with a lot of roommates. Even worse is that you don’t get to pick these roommates. Anyone with the money is allowed to move in, space allowing. At times, your roommates might be great, tidy and respectful other. At other times they may be disrespectful slobs. Though your house is big, your standard of living goes up and down depending on who your roommates are.

    In server terms, your roommates compete with you on resources. Imagine if Microsoft decided to save money on hosting and attempted to move their site to your Bluehost server. If they did that then nobody’s site on that server would load! Additionally, your roommates may be mad scientist in training programmers who run experiments which occasionally blow up, or they could get hacked and their site turns into a monster which uses a lot of resources to do evil deeds (like sending out tons of spam.)

    To get total control over your standard of living, you need to move into your own house. Unfortunately, you are getting less for more. You probably can’t afford a mansion and it’s probably more than you need anyways. But it still feels strange that you would be paying more money in monthly costs in moving from a shared mansion to your own two bedroom house. However, in some cases a two bedroom house might not be enough. You may have to go for a three or four bedroom house, which is even more expensive (and still far from being a mansion!)

    With a VPS you are still sharing the same system, but most of the resources are completely walled off (the big exception is that the drives are still common space, but shared drives generally cause less problems than shared everything.) Your neighbors can throw all the wild parties they want, but they won’t affect your space. Generally the entry level VPS accounts are for small sites or development. For you to have had access to the resources you had when you were on Bluehost, you probably would have needed to jump up a couple of plans (which probably would have cost nearly twice as much.)

    When comparing the price to Digital Ocean, you have to break down what you get between the two services. With Servint, you probably picked up a managed account. That means you were paying probably around $20 / month for a Cpanel / Plesk license which gives you the control panel. A reasonable monthly charge for their base account (comparable to what you would find with most VPS hosts is $20 – $30 / month, especially considering that they actually offer support for just about any silly request you might have (a super cheap host offers nearly no support other than to verify the thing is plugged in and the lights are blinking.)

    So, in this case you basically offloaded your support costs from the host to a freelancer. That may or may not save you money and headaches. The great thing about hosting support is that you can generally get a rep 24 / 7. A freelancer actually sleeps, takes vacations and works on other jobs. Servint probably would have even moved your site from Bluehost if you asked them to. I know they offer this, but I don’t know if they would have charged extra or if they would have included it as part of their support. I imagine if you would have done a bit of negotiation, then it would have been included.

    What’s interesting about Digital Ocean is their SSD storage. SSD’s are far faster than spinning disks for moving data from storage to eyeballs. It’s a bit of a wildcard for hosting these days because storage access speeds (or I/O) is one of the bottlenecks for popular Wordpress driven sites but everyone is waiting for SSD prices to go down. MySQL (the database) access hits that storage hard because it has to put together bunches of queries (each hitting the disk separately) as opposed to loading one static HTML file (this is where caching can really help.) So, really it’s the database software which is the bottleneck, but fast hard drives go a long ways in removing that bottleneck.

    Unfortunately, Digital Ocean is probably running consumer grade SSD’s to get those prices that low. That means their servers are probably running the same sort of drives which might come with an SSD laptop, a device which is built more for low prices than durability and not designed for a web site which may be expected to put heavy load on the device 24 / 7 rather than a couple hours / day of browsing / saving cat pictures. However, that’s not to say that consumer grade SSD’s can’t be used in a server environment. Some providers, such as Linode, refuses to offer SSD storage until enterprise grade SSD’s are more cost effective. I hope that Digital Ocean has a robust enough plan in place that its customers won’t have to experience data loss from drive failure and / or performance degradation.

    If we are further comparing Digital Ocean with Linode, then we would also have to look at the CPU resources they give us. The initial plans at Digital Ocean provide access to 1 core while all Linode plans start at 8 cores. That means if your site is heavy on CPU usage, then you need to take more than just the SSD’s into account.

    Ultimately, choice is good. Hosting is a tool and choices allow us to pick the right tool for the job. But if you are making comparisons, then you need to make sure that you aren’t comparing apples to oranges. By the way, I have accounts with Digital Ocean and so far so good!

    • Mr. Money Mustache March 24, 2013, 11:46 am

      Thanks John, nice explanations.

      I wish there was a common benchmark for server performance that would be clearly listed on all hosting accounts – so you could know before signing up. Maybe even a Wordpress-specific one, where a specific test blog would be loaded and run in controlled conditions. Then I could see that Bluehost guaranteed a minimum/median/max performance of 10/100/500 operations/second, and a new potential host might have a guaranteed 200, or 1000, or whatever. It is good to know what you’re paying for.

  • John@MoneyPrinciple March 24, 2013, 5:07 pm

    I see you are using nginx now – much more resilient to load peaks than apache…. Presumably you are caching it as well so service should be instant!

    The .css glitches mentioned may be due to reading from the cache – just clear it manually if you modify things (ie erase the files and they will regenerate).. I don’t use WP caching but the nginx cache which I find more reliable. It just needs a must-use plugin to clear the cache when a comment is added or you are logged in. I have a number of sites on my server so that way I don’t have to worry about individual caches.

    There are some nginx perl scripts to minify and combine things which are better handled server wide than by WordPress itself. Haven;t tried these yet though….

    Well done!

  • Miss Stachio March 25, 2013, 8:06 am

    Anyone having trouble with the forums today? When I went to log on today, it actually logged me on to another user’s account. When I clicked “log out”, a different user’s account came up. I kept clicking “log out” and was cycled through several user’s account (none of which were mine).

    I’m not sure how to remedy this and am a bit concerned that someone may have access to my account. Could someone let me know if there’s something I should be doing to fix this? I would post this issue to the forums but didn’t to post under someone else’s username/account.


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