– Reloaded!… just as we get back to work and look to planning a new year – a D-DoS attack takes place at 10:30 on That Little Shop (’s DB server on the hosted environment we’ve used for years.

The result after 30 minutes of the event taking place? A very much corrupted database and after many attempts to recover the site to a stable state, we realised we’d have to actually RE-BUILD the site from scratch to get it working again…

The re-build started on 8 January, with at times one and two people working on it – but suffice it to say, some long days and nights went into this crash course in WordPress development.

We’ve subsequently moved the site to it’s own Virtual Private Server at as an interim measure and then on to finally – and now not only is the site MUCH more securely protected than ever, we’ve also improved the page load performance by an astounding 650%!

It’s the 22nd of January – the site is finally stable again and we’re confident it’s bullet-proof as as result. And the costs are about 75% less than what we’d pay for a local solutionwith slightly different / lower server specifications :

  • 4 CoreCPU with 200 GB space and 6 GB RAM – R 235.50 / m (international)
  • 3 CoreCPU with 200 GB space and 6 GB RAM – R 1 252.80 / m (local)

– which equates to a cost difference of ±R 235.50 / m vs. ±R 1 252.80 / m, or 81% less cost!

*it should be noted that costs are indicative and don’t take into account any promotional discounts. Costs are ± as some are based on USD and ZAR exchange rates.

The other aspect I will also mention is that spinning up a VPS under pressure with international providers is MUCH quicker than any of the local options we tried – I could not even get past a registration screen on one of the providers I tried and despite tweeting them and 2 days later getting a call, I’m still not able to proceed.

Happily though, we’ve stuck to the option and it’s working perfectly. What did we learn from this experience – shared hosting is ok for most sites, but for e-commerce sites, it’s MUCH better to have a specific-to-site hosting set up that you control 100%.

So, a hectic, tense and yet, highly rewarding start to the year – we’ve learned a lot and will of course add what we’ve learned to our service offering very quickly too!

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