So to speak. The blog post about Malaysia Queen of Songs Datuk Sharifah Aini which was published on Sunday (5, July, 2014) was picked up myforum.com. And the next thing readers started making a beeline to this article.
Then on Monday the traffic instantly went up and the site was paralyzed. My database server was toasted. The sudden massive traffic grounded this site to a screeching halt due to high CPU utilization (look at the drastic bar chart below). I screamed and I nearly admitted to ICU!
This site was having what they called establishing a database connection error. Most of you readers when you clicked on the blog post of the late Datuk Sharifah Aini (not Sharifah Amani!) faced with a white blank page with the black phrase: Error establishing a database connection as shown below:
This was my first time experiencing this kind of technical problem. Being IT-challenged, I was completely at sea. I wrote to my host server, BlueHost. Initially it was of not much of a help. They suggested to me some links from WordPress forum and other site on how to fix this technical error.
The last two days (and nights) were trying times for me. The thing is suddenly there was this huge deluge of free traffic pouring into the site, yet many, if not all of them could not access the post about the controversies of the late Biduanita Negara Sharifah Aini.
As they say the advantage of adversity is you get to learn from disappointment. To quote H. L. Menken, “Adversity introduces a man to himself.”
In fact the last forty eight hours, I’ve learned so much. Firstly, I am convinced that I love blogging and sharing great stories, ideas and interests with others is my passion. Even though I was bogged down with this technical glitch, I soldiered on. Yes, I kept on trucking. I could sit hours toiling over my laptop. I did not feel fatigue or bored. I was totally immersed in the flow in wanting to solve the problem, so my readers get to read that particular blog post.
The flow is a theory by Hungarian psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It is a mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully absorbed in a feeling of energized focus, complete involvement, together with enjoyment.
Secondly, that day I acquired more technical knowledge of the Internet. For the past two long miserable days and late nights, I read lots of tutorials and wrote incessantly to ask numerous online forums for clarifications and help. And drank gallons of coffee.
Their replies and answers are all helpful in some ways. My head was buzzing with jargon like: MySQL Database Tables, PhpMyAdmin, CPU throttling, DB_HOST, DB_USER, DB_PASSWORD, DB_NAME, shared hosting, etc.
One more thing I learned from this whole experience is not to lose one’s head when in crisis or in desperation. We should keep our cool and don’t fall for the first suggestion that offers to you.
When I post my problem onto one popular digital forum, one guy seemed helpful enough. Telling me about why my shared server has its limitations. For instance, there are limitations of database concurrent connections, cpu processes, cpu usage etc. And if my site reach one of these limits (cpu, processes, etc) it will slow down to a standstill. And that my site reaches one of MySQL limits, then it will shows “Error establishing a database connection”.
Then instead of showing me how to fix the problem, he was obviously urging me to upgrade my site to a Semi-Dedicated hosting or to a VPS (Virtual Private Server). Even though he used the word “recommend”.
For the uninitiated, the above two kinds of hosting are not cheap. It is a must for those who have a site with constant heavy traffic every day.
That day, I also learned about the technique of selling to a total stranger. If you want to sell something, don’t be too engrossed in asking a person to buy, buy, buy!
For those of you who like to improve your selling skills, I strongly you check out this book, “To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others” by Daniel H. Pink. This Number 1 New York Best Times Business Bestseller explains to you why extraverts don’t make the best salespeople, and shows how giving people an “off-ramp” for their actions matters more than actually changing their minds.
Frankly, I did not know that the very article I wrote about the not-so-scintillating (read as titillating) side of Malaysia’ favorite songbird Datuk Sharifah Aini, turned out to be a sudden flash of insight for me.
Anyway, I will be writing a few easy-to-understand tutorials about how to fix the error of establishing a database connection over here to share with my readers.
There are tons of free useful computer-related technical tutorials in the Internet, but most of them are not written for the non-tech savvy, like yours truly. No doubt, they use the correct and proper jargon to explain, But for IT-idiots, they confused us even more. I can feel your pain.
That’s all for today. I’m sorry I need to take my much-deserved sleep. Then just like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie The Terminator, “I’ll be back!” to share with you more wonderful and useful stuff.