The Database Is a Time Bomb

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I’ve been a proponent of Movable Type as a publishing platform for a while now. I stick with it for one big reason: it is absolutely great at static publishing.

I realize that Wordpress and the gang have all kinds of neato features, fancy themes, and powerful plugins. Despite all that, I find the reliability of good old-fashioned HTML pages comforting. Even commodity hosting plans have that part figured out.

Not needing a database connection means that if the host’s database dies, my site is fine. It means that if for some unfathomable reason Code Softly gets Digg-bombed I don’t need to worry about blowing away connection pools or overwhelming my page logic.

The fact is that most sites, especially blogs, have no business being written with dynamic pages in PHP or .NET or Perl, and they certainly don’t need a connected realtime database.

Not sure if you can benefit from static publishing? Take this short survey:

  1. Does your site change depending on which user views it?
  2. Are you sure about that?

Bottom line, most fancy stuff is unnecessary or can be accomplished with javascript.

Think about it, what’s the most fragile piece of your website, the part that breaks the most often? (hint: it’s probably the database) The database can be mis-configured, run out of juice, or just fail to start. Tell me you’ve never had a host accidentally have a DB outage.

What’s the part of your infrastructure that’s the last thing to fail? (hint: it’s the http server, aka Apache) Why tie the fate of your site to the most fragile part of your stack, especially when you don’t really need it?

Take a look at your site. I’ll bet you can get by with a bunch of static pages.

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