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Content Management Forum

Do you keep your server clean? (yes, it matters)
Is it a mess? growing in kbs every week? garbage, are you an addict?

 8:21 pm on Nov 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi there webmasters, we have discussed adding content, photos, htaccess, robots.txt, redirects, server side includes, etc. It's all about adding and adding. Suddenly the server gets filled with all kinds of documents including unused ones (if the bots and crawlers are the only one reading them... there is no need to keep it).

So it's pretty easy to get your mbs growing and growing using more and more space, things get messy. Some webmasters are not familiar with the concept because they build & sell, that's fine. But what about long term websites? when you add content and pictures every day/week/month and then you notice you and your sites have been together for 2, 5 or 10 years, so now you know you are using lots of space and it just doesn't compute.

Why does it matter? space is cheap right? Well nobody wants to face a "I'll buy your site" and suddenly not knowing what matters and what doesn't, worse than that many of us have faced disasters online, be it due to server failures, climate disasters (yes, some of us remember the headlines and big sites going down) even one datacenter burning to the ground.

You don't need apocaliptic events to bring down your site, sometimes updates on your server become a nightmare and you might need to move out. Moving from server to server means time and money, that's when you become grateful for planning and not needing to move 10 gigabytes.

Besides, perhaps space is cheap but speed is everything. So, is your server a mess?. Some CMS allow you to add pictures and files with easy but only few keep track of it and the use of files (file access). You might be surprised but many CMS keep the files even after you deleted it on your wysiwyg, some are more clever and delete every unused file.



 9:00 pm on Nov 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Interesting post but I prefer to wait for the next "#*$! happens" thank cleaning ! Too lazy :-)


 10:40 pm on Nov 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I try hard to delete old files, renamed pages and so on. Mainly because I can't find anything otherwise. Things like header logs get deleted after I've offloaded them to the HD.

One time recently the deletion habit alerted me to a php error. Something that worked on MAMP didn't work on the live site-- not because of some arcane version-numbering issue but because my HD still had some duplicate pages using an older naming system. The live site didn't have these files and therefore couldn't camouflage the error. Ouch!

Backups are good. But they should live in a different physical location.


 1:05 am on Nov 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

good point - and well beyond cms too.

in my case i have image bloat, i have products that have a series of associated images, i often change all the images, but leave the old ones on the server - they do take space but probably don't slow the system down.

i am however a logging freak ... i log a LOT, all kinds of stuff over and above the regular server/apache stuff, some to log files and some to special databases ... these tables now have millions of rows.

generally speaking with a cms, it is very space efficient, in that it is generally a series of templates, that build pages on the fly from a database, i think this is pretty efficient - even if you have a complex caching system, where a lot of pages or part pages are saved in a cache.


 1:29 pm on Nov 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Housekeeping? We don't need no housekeeping! :)

Every 90 days or so we do reviews... it is amazing how much can change in that period of time. And how often we leave things in place "just in case" we need to revert... and usually never do, ie. it worked right. Though storage is not a problem, review of files/products can be, so regular housekeeping is a pretty good idea.


 12:50 am on Nov 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

I like to, but it can be difficult. I wrote a script to try to track down orphan files in Drupal 7 and create a report. It's not great, but it helps with the housekeeping.

In the back of my mind I think I'll create more such things, but until a pressing need arises, I can't quite get there.


 12:58 am on Nov 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

I found a bizarre background image that I used on my site between its opening in 2001 and early the next year. Just sitting there uncalled for eleven years.

and you know what? I would never delete it. It's part of my site's history. I can look at it and remember how cheesy my site was for the first couple of years. I'd no more delete that image than I would my current stylesheet. :)

Remember your websites are little museums too and we can't always rely on the wayback machine to be there.


 5:12 am on Nov 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

But is a production server the most appropriate place to store unused backups?


 5:13 pm on Nov 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

But is a production server the most appropriate place to store unused backups?

It's not only about where, it's about how.

There are bots out there looking for yoursite . com /backup.zip, .tar, gz, etc.

In my opinion backups should be safe but also in convenient places allowing you to move information really fast.

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