This blog disappeared on February 3, and returns today February 17 2013.
The reason is a strangeness at my former host, whose ordinary practice is to evict customers from time to time, without warning or appeal, when servers become overloaded. I had heard about this from other victims before I signed up, frankly didn’t credit those reports, but it is true. I have no reason to think I generated a lot of load, but have no access to the account to see. What’s strange is, if I was running a budget host, and one of my customers, who was only paying less than $1/week, generated a lot of traffic, I would suspend the account and send the customer a message: “If you want to retain your account with us you must upgrade to a more expensive plan.” No such message was received or referenced.
I can’t blame privilege for this, as the hosting market seems to be quite competitive, and I see no evidence that the deceptive practices of some hosting companies are protected by government.
As it happens, I am at a new host, and I am paying more than previously but not outrageously so. Another difference between the old host and the new one is that here we have a fairly active user discussion board, where even prospective customers are able to participate. Otoh, transition to the old host was much smoother, whereas moving here involved several discontinuities, which caused delays despite prompt attention from tech support.
I am not naming my old host right now, for two reasons. First, I remain responsible for another site over there, which hasn’t (yet?) been evicted. Second, other than evicting me without notice, the old host was quite cooperative about sending me a backup file and redirecting nameservers. (A refund has been promised; we shall see about that.)