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A Word About The Recent Service Interruptions.
In the wake of our recent series of service interruptions, we posted the following message in a few different places (the forums, our Facebook page, etc.), but it seemed like it was a good idea to make it available here on the blog as well.
Dungeonaday.com uses a service provider called SubHub. It's the same service provider the site has used since Monte launched it and, prior to the recent (admittedly massive) problem, we've never had ANY issue with them at all.
A few weeks ago, SubHub's hosting partner, Softlayer, had a major hardware problem, and our site went down. This was NOT a hack nor any kind of security breach--just a case of a lot of hardware going wrong all at once. Since SubHub's hosting service proved unable to fix their problem in a timely manner, SubHub move to a different hosting partner. All SubHub's data was retrieved and moved to Voxel.net (who include benefits such as guaranteed 100% network uptime, advanced proactive monitoring of the servers, and the faith of clients such as the Mozilla Foundation).
However, upon arrival at Voxel, SubHub began encountering some DNS issues with the new hosting service, and their site began confusing which Subhub clients went with which DNS numbers. So, for instance, if you went to Dungeonday.com you might see the Ecuadorian Tourism Bureau's web site, or one belonging to a federal employee's credit union. They weren't cyber-squatters, just other SubHub clients that also had messed up DNS issues.
Ultimately, our solution was to create a new landing page for Dungeonaday.com--one that was not part of SubHub, but resided on a different ISP's server entirely and included a link directly to the SubHub URL, rather than masking that URL with "Dungeonaday.com." It was a quick fix, and easily accomplished.
The funny thing was, we already had a plan to make such a change. In fact, work was underway to executing that layout because it makes it easier to create a two separate Dungeonaday.com experiences--one that subscribers are familiar with (the current SubHub-based site), and one designed to give newcomers a more positive and robust experience when they come to the site (in hopes that they will then take the plunge and become subscribers, too).
The problem is, we had only begun working on the practical implementation and design of the new landing site. So, for a while, frequent visitor might have seen a different landing page on EACH visit as we tried to make it first somewhat presentable, and then continued to fine tune the experience. As of right now, the front pages are close to where we would have wanted them to be on Day 1 of a switch-over. Of course that means there is still room for improvement and expansion, and we intend to follow through with that. But at least it no longer feels like a ramshackle emergency shelter of a landing page.
More problematic, though, are the links within Dungeonaday.com. One difficulty we had not fully anticipated was that making this URL change breaks many (perhaps most) of the links on previously published encounters. And there is no easy way to searh and replace those links with new correct ones. So we now have a NEW project on our hands -- going through the entire site, encounter by encounter, checking all links by hand, and fixing those that are not functioning properly. That work has already begun, but it will take some time to accomplish fully.
So there you have it ... the state of the site. We remain committed to meeting our daily encounter output and to getting the link problem fixed as quickly as possible. And we further are committed to polishing and tweaking the new landing site so that it can help show the world how terrific Dungeonaday.com is. Most of all, we remain committed to making sure we provide our subscribers with a first-rate, high-quality dungeoneering experience every weekday of the year.
Thanks for being here and taking on this great adventure with us!