I would love to say it was indeed due to some nefarious scheme, devious hackers or even a demented Bourdain desperate for attention, but in fact the site trouble began when I opened this month’s visa bill and found that my domain host had not charged me the usual $21 dollars but instead, $6921.  This gives a bit of a jolt to the system.  They told me with the new design and increased image use I had exceeded my band width, and that I did in fact owe them the money.  I know band width is valuable but not that valuable.  They were quickly persuaded that this was unfair. They switched me to a new server (resulting in the blog being down for several days), and a new plan (for less money!), and didn’t charge me 6900 bucks, so all’s well that ends well.

Many thanks to those of you who expressed your concern.

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46 Wonderful responses to “Blog’s Back!”

  • ntsc

    In all seriousnes make certain that if you start to exceed bandwidth the site shuts down or has some other method of protecting your Visa card.

    Back 15-20 years ago when my son ran up a huge phone bill on 900 numbers, the phone company forgave it once, but told me they would not forgive it a second time.

  • Roman Greco

    ServerBeach.com, man. You need to ditch any host who let their fees, however inflated, get that far out of hand without warning you that you were exceeding your contract (buying hosting is a lot like buying a used car, as you’ve seen).

    I know this sounds like spam, but I had a similar overage problem and SB has been a godsend). I serve nearly 100k pages/day for under $200/month. (Please delete this if it sounds too much like an ad, just wanted to recommend a good service.)

  • lux

    Many hosting companies send customers a notice when they start to exceed their bandwidth allotment in order to avoid just that scenario. Sorry that yours did not!

  • Claudia

    Glad to know it wasn’t something I said (!) Man, the last few days of Ruhlman withdrawal have been rough . . . I was beginning to need a maintenance dose.

  • rockandroller

    Jesus H, that IS a shock! I’m so sure that they didn’t even warn you first.

    Glad you’ve worked something out and are able to continue now.

  • Linda (aka IdahoRocks)

    My heart just skipped a beat reading about that bureaucratic mess. Ugh! I hate those kinds of events. So, welcome back to cyberspace!

    I just finished reading “The Reach of a Chef” and found it quite interesting. I once spent 6 months in weekly classes with an apprenticed chef from Osaka, Japan; thus I greatly appreciated your section about Masa and his approach to food. It was similar to what I was taught and his statements about his food are so intertwined with Japanese cultural ideals.

    Of course I could never afford such a meal, but your writing is creative and I can almost taste the flavor from your food descriptions. Thanks.

  • Vincent

    I thought it was a band of eyepatched elves that swept you away – because thats what I saw after drinking WAY too much of that eggnog.

    I saw that and way too much of the inside of a toilet bowl the next morning.

  • Nic Heckett

    I blame the Foie Gras debate. Not just the vascular system that stuff clogs up.

  • Dick Black

    I think these Internet pricks deserve to be punished. They were just testing you Ruhlman, to see if you were stupid or not. The are probably doing this will all their customers and hoping a certain percentage will pay up.

    I say send the CEO a fruit basket and doctor up the fruit so he develops diarrhea or something.

  • Carri

    I started to think FB took you down! Glad that wasn’t the case…Now you know how many blog addicts you’re enabling! (at those prices, I’ll never complain about advertising again!)

  • doodad

    Whew. When I saw just the blog down and not the rest I was afraid that you had been hax0r3d by PETA or something.

  • fotodevil

    Thankfully I picked up a copy of Elements this weekend and had something to hold me over. Glad you’re back!

  • Darcie

    I’m glad the blog is back and that it didn’t cause too much discomfort to Mr. Ruhlman. Although I suffered from withdrawal, at least I didn’t receive a $6000 bill… :0

  • sam

    I know people complain about having .blogspot.com in their blog address, it’s not the best looking url, but in its defence I have just had my 1.5 millionth visitor, I have 3.5 years of posts (over 1000 posts) and I have never spent even a single cent on the blog hosting part of my hobby. Gotta love google.

  • Kay

    To be fair, luxuries such as reliability and proactive English speaking support staff possessing a modicum of common sense are not things one can safely expect to find in any $21 hosting plan.

  • SorchaR

    Yikes! That’s insane. They should’ve let you know long before it got to that point. Glad you could get it resolved – did you threaten to send Tony after them?

  • CarolinaGirl

    I am glad to see you back up and running! Thanks for not throwing in the towel when The Man tried to hold you down!

  • Phil

    It’s not until a site you visit daily goes down that you realize that you’re visiting it daily (did that make sense?). I too was having withdrawals. I was fully prepared for a PAYPAL donation button to appear, and fully prepared to drop coin.

    Glad everything’s OK. Welcome back.

  • Maya

    I’m going with the Bourdain hypothesis – he probably couldn’t take the blog competition LOL. If he’s capable of eating a binturong’s frontal lobe then he’s probably capable of posing as a domain host. 😉

  • Connor

    Yep — the site being down made me realize my dependency problem, too. Glad you’re back.

  • Kurt Eye

    I’m sure your web traffic has increased dramatically what with your Top Chef judgeship and Bourdain’s posts. That’s how I got here. But I also happen to work for an internet company. Your increased traffic probably made flames shoot out of some server.

    Still, that invoice was a Hail Mary invoice on their part. Let’s see what Mr. Famous can/will shell out. Nice that they gave in graciously.

    You should definitely bill Bourdain, though.

  • Elise

    Ah, there you are! Glad you’re back. Was wondering what was going on. Server nightmares are no fun, nor are humongous visa bills. Glad to know that 6A made good.

  • Michele

    That would have bought a lot of vodka! Bet you’re,glad you didn’t have to blow it on web hosting.

    Glad you’re back.

  • Ben

    It looks like the images you use on your site aren’t optimized for use on the internet (meaning that they’re not compressed). Your homepage is coming out to over 700kb in size which isn’t gigantic but it’s less than ideal.

    If you want to save on bandwidth you might try learning how to compress the images or do what Adam does at the Amateur Gourmet and create a Flickr account and upload your photos there then put them in your blog. That would probably cut your bandwidth usage by at least half.

  • Adele

    Along with adding my relief that the blog is back — the shakes should stop in a day or two, let me just add a note about the Batali/Oliver Iron Chef battle (which I just caught tonight). I don’t usually comment on personal appearances, but Knowlton’s hair was amazing. I attribute the “do” for the Batali/Oliver judging to overuse of electric rollers. It was reminiscent of my hairdo, circa 1966. Okay, now you know I’m old, but really, someone needs to talk to that boy.

    Adele

  • Ted

    Bandwidth is often exceeded when the Keep It Simple, Stupid (K.I.S.S.) algorithm is ignored or flaunted.

    I’ve seen hot-shot propeller-heads put in a “new/improved” template for a web presence and they send the booger south.

    Hijole!

  • Claudia

    I thought BESH hijacked the blog, not Bourdain! (Aren’t you and Bourdain supposed to be busy culling the lists of nominees for the Cloggies at next month’s SOBE festival? Without the Golden Globes or Oscars being televised, we’re going to need SOMETHING in February. But I’m guessing Food Network won’t televise THAT part of this year’s SOBE, unlike that stupid Q&A with their celeb chefs at SOBE 2007 they recently aired . . . )

    Do you have a category and appropriate Cloggy for worst hair in the food/media field? Hey, just thinking out loud here . . .

  • Lydia

    I also just finished “The Reach of a Chef”, and thanks to your chapter on Chef Achatz, am now obsessed with eating at Alinea. I live in Vancouver, Canada, and have been emailing my boyfriend daily on all the cool things to do in Chicago. Here’s hoping it works!

  • stephanie

    I too am thrilled you’re back online. There was a small part of me worried that because of certain commenters, you’d just had enough.

    I shoulda known better :)

    Welcome back!

  • Kay

    You can’t have an uncompressed JPEG any more readily than you can have unwet water. They could be compressed more than they are now, but the resulting compression artifacts would cause sharpness and color fidelity to suffer.

  • Angela

    Yeah!!! After checking at least a few times a day and starting to feel increasingly distressed :), I’m glad to see that you are back.

  • Wilmita

    Chef Ruhlman,

    Welcome Back!

    We appreciate the explanation of why your blog was derailed.

    Also, I wanted you to know how much we appreciate and support you and your blog. When you’re right, you’re right!

    Red Beans and Ricely Yours,

    Wilmita

  • Ben

    Sorry, I didn’t mean that they weren’t compressed at all but they could definitely be more compressed with a pretty minimal effect on their quality.

  • Rick

    Dunno what all this talk about bandwidths and server stuff means.

    Glad your back, though. And, thank you.

  • kanani

    Michael,
    With more authors being pressed to go online (a necessity) and few publicists or even agents having a grasp on the technicalities or the costs (bandwidth is not something taught in writing schools) this little lesson has gives us all food for thought.

    True, most authors will probably never have the tie-ins that you have with TV and appearances, but it’s till important to know.

    Good to see you back.

  • Tracy

    Holy cow! And I thought I was raked over the coals with a $50 late fee on a bill! (Well, I was … but it pales in comparison to $6,900.)

    I’m generally a lurker but wanted to say that I’m glad you’re back.