You may have experienced some problems trying to access The Scratching Shed recently, this was caused by a spike in visitors crashing the shared server we were hosted on. It quickly became clear that we’d reached a stage where our previous hosts simply could not handle the demand and that new options would need to be considered.

The “unlimited hosting” offers you see around the internet are wildly misleading. Unlimited hosting refers to the amount of bandwidth you’re allowed, but it does not cover CPU processes on the server. The previous incarnation of The Scratching Shed was quite resource intensive, meaning it was running a lot of individual scripts each time a user accessed it, thus putting a large amount of load on the processor. On a shared hosting server, sites are limited to the amount of CPU processing they can individually use. When this stage is reached, the hosting company shuts down the site so that it doesn’t slow other sites hosted on the same server.

To cut a long story short, The Scratching Shed was using a disproportionately large amount of the servers overall resources.

That brings us on to the new site you see before you. A much sleaker, back-to-basics approach which should load significantly quicker than the previous site and will hopefully keep us running smoothly for years to come. We could have tried the less resource intensive approach with our previous hosts and prevented a lot of the downtime caused by the URL relocating, but there was a feeling we’d be in this position again one day regardless. We’d have simply been delaying the inevitable with quick fixes (as we’d done for 12 months previous). It would have been a bit like applying sticky plasters to a fatal wound, or bodging together a football team from emergency loans and free transfers – covering over major cracks with short term fixes.

Anyway, what remains is our new “retro” look site. All previous posts, comments and features have been carried over, the only real difference is the aesthetics. All feedback is welcome and we urge you to contact us if you’re experiencing any issues. You can still find us in the same place on Twitter (@TSSLUFC) and Facebook and can also subscribe to The Scratching Shed for email alerts when new content is posted.