The cut-down theme didn’t affect downtime much, so I’ve reverted to the original. It was looking tired so I tweaked it a little. I’m still not happy, but it’s better than before. The search box is now linked to Google, rather than an internal search. Google can search the entire page contents, comments and all, rather than the previous system which was limited to posts. It’s less fun for me as I can’t view stats on local searches, but that’s no big deal.
The lack of difference makes me suspect the problems are more to do with my hosts than my site. I’ve been using mon.itor.us to monitor system uptime. It works well for server failures, but can’t detect database problems. If my website responds with a ‘cannot connect to database’ error, mon.itor.us still registers this as a positive response. It’s not possible to monitor a mysql server directly with their software, but I found a blog with a clever idea: monitor the phpmyadmin login page – that’ll go down with the database. I think the database is going down frequently, and hopefully this will confirm my suspicions.
I’ve been a little disappointed in my hosts – Textdrive. I can appreciate that their job is to keep computers up and running rather than to help maintain individual sites, but none of my recent queries have even been answered, even an (you’d think) easy one regarding my general server load and whether I’m reaching the limits of shared hosting. Shame.