Sorry for the interruption this morning. The site was up and down and might not have been reachable for you. I’ve implemented some changes to the server setup that should prevent these kinds of problems in the future.

Warning, geek below.

For those of you with a technical bent, or the just plain curious, I’ve installed Nginx as a reverse proxy server over the top of WordPress and Apache.

When using Apache by itself, Apache opens a connection and hits PHP on the server on each and every request for a file. Since many pages on the blog have dozens if not hundreds of individual elements, that ends up being huge number of connections. Apache keeps these connections open, even after the server has delivered the file, which can, with a high number of visitors, eventually bog down and kill the server.

With Nginx, the the proxy server caches all of the requests it receives from different users and only passes on requests to Apache when it is asked for a new file that hasn’t been previously requested by someone.

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