John Quiggin’s blog site has been down for a few days. It is WordPress powered but he runs it off a server (which had failed). As John has become quite the international force in economic commentary these days, this meant he was out of commission during the blog-intensive days of the American Economic Association meetings. This was compounded by the fact that he himself was out and about making things quite difficult.
Now John’s alternative mirror blog at Posterous was working so if you knew about this (as I did from Twitter) you could still see what he was writing. But it is hardly reader friendly to spread yourself over two blogs.
This is not the first time John’s blog has had trouble. Moreover, this happens to the other major independent blogs out there for Australia — Catallaxy, Club Troppo and Larvatus Prodeo. All run WordPress and all do it off their own servers. I recall each having problems — often caused in the summer by over-heating where-ever the server happens to be sitting.
I know from personal experience that having your blog go down is a major pain. And these are always timed for weekends, etc. But since I moved Core Economics to the cloud, I have had a much easier time. It wasn’t all smooth sailing as clouds can suffer their own issues. But since I have coupled my WordPress blog with Vaultpress I haven’t had an issue. They are my support site. That is a year with not one problem.
You might think that the issue is cost. It is but it goes the other way. Core Economics pays $6 per month for hosting at Bluehost. The major cost is $40 per month for Vaultpress. I don’t know what these other bloggers are paying but I bet it is much more than this. Also, I pay nothing for traffic.
So now comes the bleg. I’d like to understand why other bloggers shy away from the Cloud to host their blogs. I really don’t know the reason. Could it be that they fear a Wikileaks like take-down? Is it a security issue? Or have I missed a cost saving somewhere? Please leave any comments below. I’d like to understand.
Joshua Gans is a visiting researcher at Microsoft. All views here are his own.