Site slow or unresponsive

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    • #43143
      John R. Fletcher
      Keymaster

      Further update on my posts of 17 October and 2 November.

      Click on the RECENT NEWS>Are you being continually logged out? link which is on the right-hand side of all my pages.

      Cheers,
      JohnF

    • #42915
      John R. Fletcher
      Keymaster

      Update on my post of 17 October 2019

      My web hosts and I have been carrying out various processes to put a stop to the periods of downtime caused by malicious bruteforce attacks on this site.

      You may have noticed the pesky reCaptcha system, asking you to click in the box to prove you are not a robot. I have given it a fair trial, and it definitely did the job, but in my opinion it proved too intrusive; it got in the way of what is supposed be an enjoyable experience of learning your parts.

      So I have shown it the door. Instead we have installed something which is invisible to the human eye, but not to those mischievous robots who, once they have seen it, are unceremoniously dismissed before they get the chance to do harm.

      The slight downside, which we are working on, is that, together with the other security measures we have put in place, there is an increased chance that you get logged out much more often than you should. We are working on a solution, but I hope that you will be patient with us, and agree that the downside of having to login slightly more often is preferable to having the site down for 2-3 hours per day.

      JohnF

    • #42601
      ian wardleworth
      Participant

      Thanks John
      Big improvement but then I am avoiding the ‘home-work rush’.
      Cheers
      Ian

    • #42592
      Janet O Donovan
      Participant

      Hi, John,

      I am a subscriber and am logged in to the site, but when I try to get a particular file, am told that I am awaiting email verification. It’s been a couple of days since the original request and I’ve re-sent it today. Longing to make use of your great resources. Clever you for sussing out the latest problems. A Captcha gate is utterly welcome if it makes a site more secure. Janet O’D

      • #42593
        John R. Fletcher
        Keymaster

        Hi Janet,

        This is a public forum, so I won’t get into discussions about your registration here. Also, I cannot positively identify you from your name alone.

        But I suspect your email provider is being extra vigilant and keeping the emails from my website in your account on their website. They will have decided, because you may not have received emails from my site before, that I am a vicious spammer whose emails don’t deserve to be delivered to you.

        I kind member researched this and has put together some instructions on his choir’s website to ensure that your email provider will pass on your emails: click on the “NON-RECEIPT OF EMAILS” link which you will see on the right-hand side of all my pages. These instructions refer to BT addresses, but apply equally to many other email providers.

        I suspect you will find your verification email in your spam/junk mailbox in your account there.

        If this isn’t the case, email me directly to my mac address: john_fletcher(at)mac(dot)com – replacing (at) with the @ character, and (dot) with the full-stop (period).

        It is still worth adding my two addresses to the Safe Addresses list in your account on your email provider’s website, for if you ever need to do a password reset, you would want to receive the response in you own Inbox on your computer

    • #42500
      John R. Fletcher
      Keymaster

      Good news to report:

      My web hosts have (hopefully) discovered the cause of this. It appears my site has been suffering what is called a bruteforce attack, executed by malicious-minded people whose purpose is to slow sites down. They do this by creating a program which targets login pages, and bombards that page with false logins. I have some security software which helps prevent this, as long it’s coming from the same computer, but these people have devised a way to make it look as though the computer is changing every minute or so.

      So I have been advised to put something called reCaptcha on the login page, where it requires you to tick a box to say that you are not a robot. A small price to pay, but my site is working super fast this afternoon. You shouldn’t need to restrict yourself to mornings… unless these people work out how to click a box…

      Cheers,
      JohnF

    • #42399
      ian wardleworth
      Participant

      Hi John
      not sure if you remember me from the days of the Countesthorpe Festival Chorus with Giles?
      The problem is caused by your hosts’ server contention rate as there are clearly not enough access points to your database during the afternoon: this is when all the kids come home from school and log on to t’interweb to do their homework.

      I do have a problem with the Dvorak Mass in D not allowing downloads – it will play the files but logging in takes too long and I would prefer to do as you advise.

      Best regards
      Ian Wardleworth

      • #42407
        John R. Fletcher
        Keymaster

        I can’t see/hear anything wrong with the Dvorak. It plays fine here. Mind you, it’s now after 7pm in the evening…

        J

      • #42401
        John R. Fletcher
        Keymaster

        [I’m not good at remembering names and the faces that go with them, so my apologies; the name does ring a quiet bell somewhere…]

        The web hosts have been investigating this and have suggested various options, most of which are way above my head, but I cope:

        1. increase PHP memory and upload limit settings. They have done this.

        2. Regular optimization of databases (I do this anyway)

        3. Adding gzip compression code the .htaccess file. I did this, but it didn’t seem to work. They did it and it still didn’t work. But now, finally, it’s done.

        4. They have now discovered there were quite a lot of PHP processes running, which they killed off, and all is again back up to speed.

        When I asked how to manage these processes, they just said it was outside their remit and need to be checked by a website developer who knows about coding….

        So if you know anyone who doesn’t charge too much, I have a list of 27 processes, all starting between 1300 and 1400 today. They are all the same Command type: root/usr/bin/php-cgi/.

        Does any of this mean anything to you? It’s all way above my head. No matter if it doesn’t.

        Thanks for interest – I’ll get there in the end.

    • #42328
      John R. Fletcher
      Keymaster

      I apologise if you some of you have been experiencing problems in accessing the site these last few days. It is particularly slow in the afternoons (UK time), and sometimes gives a “Time out” error, or “Database error”.

      I have been in regular contact with my hosts every day this week, and each time they say things like: we have rebooted your server; we have increased the maximum execution time; and other such technical things.

      Today they have escalated my problem, and they will carry out a full investigation, reporting back to me in 24-48 hours.

      In the meantime, I recommend if at all possible, to steer clear of 1500-1900 UK BST time.

      I also recommend that, if you know you will need to access the same pieces of music regularly, say for a concert at the end of term, you should download the sound files to your computer. Then the next time you want to practise you don’t need to login.

      I will post here when I get more news.

      Cheers,
      JohnF

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