About the Database Errors…

I’m sure a lot of people have stumbled across an error appearing when loading a page on the blog that says “Error Connecting to Database” and are rightfully confused by what it means and why it’s happening.

To assuage a larger concern upfront: no, the blog is not about to lose all of its data. It’ll be fine. Just wait a few seconds or up to a minute and then refresh the page.

To be a tad more specific, let me take a moment to oversimplify how the blog works: we have the live website with all of its formatting and wonderful Warriors talk, and then we have a database on a server that has all of the data of the blog. The live website connects to the database in order to use the information stored on it and present that information to you. You can think of the live website and the database as being two sides of a river, with the actual connection between the live website and the database as the bridge from one side to the other.

The error lays out two main causes for why it’s appearing: we either don’t have the right information or there are some issues connecting to the database that are out of our hands. We (BlogTeam) know it’s not the first option, because the blog’s been working fine for the past 8 years and that wouldn’t have been possible if we didn’t have the right information. Thus, it has to be the second option.

What exactly does that mean? Ultimately, it means that it’s out of our hands. Kate (who pays the bills to keep the lights running on the blog) does not host the blog herself, but rather pays a hosting service to handle that for her to keep the blog up 24/7. The blog’s database is on a server owned by that hosting service. There’s not really much that can be done except wait and refresh the page. We’ve had bouts of database errors in the past and they usually passed within a few days and returned to normalcy. Sometimes, the hosting service does things without our knowledge that can impact the speed or accessibility of the blog. Hopefully, that’s also the case this time, though BlogTeam is keeping track of things and will contact the hosting service to inquire if things escalate.

If we go back to my river analogy, the blog’s side of the river is in one country and the database’s side is in a different country. The bridge connecting the two sides is the responsibility of the database’s country, and it has gates that can prevent cars and pedestrians from crossing the bridge. Sometimes, those gates fall down, leaving people stranded on both sides. Since the bridge is the other country’s responsibility, we have to wait for that other country to pull the gates back up.

Hopefully, this helps you all understand the situation and soothes some worries!

Embers of a Spring Dawn (Emberdawn)

Writer, photographer, moderator