Sinosplice is in Trouble

12 Jun 2004

Readers in China may have noticed that recently Sinosplice has suffered a major slowdown. The phenomenon is not limited only to this site, however; other friends in China have supported my observation that there seems to be an overall slowdown in traffic from international sites. Unipeak, a free proxy service that has recently become popular, has been shut down shortly after adding a Chinese version (which was stupid).

The problem is that Sinosplice has gotten so bad for me that server requests frequently time out. Using webmail and the hosting service’s control panel has become frustrating. My FTP connection is now so tenuous as to be rendered useless.

My hosting service, Webmasters, has been a pretty great host (especially when compared with iPowerWeb, “host of the damned”), but there’s nothing they can do about a problem that only exists on the China side. Dammit.

So my options are: (1) wait it out, and do very little with my site in the meantime, or (2) find a new host. I don’t want to go through the hassle of finding a new host, but I certainly have no reason to believe that Webmasters’ servers are going to get any faster in China. Also, probably now more than ever before, I have lots of cool (non-blog) features that I want to implement, which makes the timing particularly maddening. So I’m looking into option #2. This option is actually feasible because Webmasters will refund any unused portion of the year’s payment. Sweet.

Dreamhost, a host I discovered through the truly awesome, musically ingenious Songs to Wear Pants To (go there now!), has a really good package. I have yet to determine how good the speed in China is.

So I think Sinosplice has some rough waters ahead, and possibly even more downtime. Any hosting recommendations or other solutions are greatly appreciated.

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. well, here’s the hosting package that I use and will be pimping out today..

    Mine’s at http://www.surpasshosting.com , the main draw initially was the lowest rate was 4$US for 1GB of space with 30GB/month traffic. The higher plans are just as good deals though.. I’ve been using it for a few months w/ all my problems and asinine questions solved within hours so I know that support is quite good. You get all that fancy web-developer stuff like webstats/cpanel.

    a few ppl from the china blog circle visit and I haven’t heard a complaint yet so I guess that’s always a positive.

    (btw: does what you said about unipeak above mean that it’s no longer usable in china?)

  2. POWWEB is an excellent host. 1gb of space 5gb of transfer per day (150gb per month) and tons of freedom. I switched to them after leaving ipowerweb – which I agree is the host of the damned.

    If my site comes up quickly for you, then I would imagine that you would have no problems with them. There is also a customer directory with more than 1000 sites for you to check on speed etc. Link is on the front page to the POWWEB site. My referrer info is in the link, so if you go with them I will get a small kickback – us$15.

    Hope everythign works out for you. The best part of POWWEB is the community support forums. Try it and you will be happy.

  3. Have you considered mirroring, you could mirror your site to a second server that handles traffic when the first becomes too slow, you wouldn’t need a huge account, just some unix etc that redirects you to a second address if the response time slows down. I can’t tell you how where to get it though.

    I would offer to help but my server is a windows system and can’t run movable type etc.

    Instead of morning Unipeak, you could set up your own version and sell traffic on it.

  4. I use Dreamhost too, John. It’s nice. And the panel they implement is sweet too.

  5. A friend of mine told me about http://www.doteasy.com and it seems to have some pretty good options. might want to check it out.

  6. Interesting things are happening indeed.
    Unipeak is blocked for sure, so it is pretty useless as a proxy, but then there are many more.
    What has happened is that around June 4 the filters were up in force again and caused an sometimes general slowdown of the traffic. Some way of filtering has become more sophisticated as for example my interface to http://www.blogger.com would be hit consequently after four or five stepts into the process of using the interface.
    I could circumvent that by posting through email, but it certainly was a nuisance, hence the lack of pictures and a messy layout.
    Things seem to be back to normal again in the past few days and cannot really complain.

  7. finally i can access http://www.sinosplice.com after a long while invisible period. It’s weird that dora, jennifer, and me we three couldn’t access to ur site while rainbow (in the northern part of zucc) could.
    anyway~ it’s great that i can comment sinosplice again.=D

    wish u luck with the webhost stuffs~~

  8. about the proxy: i use anonymouse.ws now~~
    hope it won’t get a tragic ending as unipeak got.

  9. Another good proxy is Proxify. Hope that helps someone out.

  10. I have nothing intelligent to add except to say that I hope you keep going. I have read you just about everyday for months now and would definitely miss you and your friends.

    (signed by an old fart who dreams of teaching English in China but is married to a man who travels only to Europe.)

    Sandra

  11. john,

    we also host our archives with geohost: http://www.geohost.ca/ – i think they’re better than dreamhost but my stwpt accomplice disagrees, either way maybe one of them will work out for you.

    thanks for the link!

    -a

  12. I use phpwebhosting.com and they’re pretty good, and the connectivity in China is solid.

    But, you know, Sinosplice loads fast as hell here at ZUCC (as in this morning it loaded faster than China Daily). It probably has a lot more to do with your DSL connection than it does with the host.

  13. I’ll second that. Sinosplice has extremely responsive load times here at ZUCC.

  14. Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. It helps a lot.

    Only problem is, John B’s and Carl’s comments have once again made me unsure about the whole idea of finding a new host. Sinosplice’s connection is slow for me now both at home and at work, though, so I suspect it’s the difference beyween Shanghai and Hangzhou’s internet service that accounts for the speed discrepancy.

  15. Loads very fast in Qingdao. Couldnt see any lag time!

  16. Also, like I mentioned to you before, I’m on Webmasters, and having no noticeable speed problems here in Beijing. (Granted, I’m on dialup, so everything’s slow – but bokane.org and http://www.sinosplice.com are loading just as slowly as everything else.)

    Give it a few days and see; the filter delays seem to be mostly temporary.

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