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Category «Techie stuff»

Minor bugfixes 1st November 2018

After fixing the problem with our SSL certificate we took the opportunity to look into a few more bugs that have been present for a while but never properly addressed, mostly to do with the PriceTracker: PriceTracker storing 0.00 prices: for whatever reason, some vendors report prices of 0.00. Obviously they are not giving anything away, …

Back up and running after SSL renewal

Sorry if you got a scary warning visiting our site over the last few hours – our SSL certificate, the cypher that all modern websites use to keep your browsing private – expired briefly. Many browsers, Chrome especially, start throwing panicky warnings about criminals stealing your data and whatnot. We assure you that the chances …

Major unplanned downtime – sorry

Just checking in to apologise if you couldn’t reach UPCZilla over the last 24 hours. A server misconfiguration, possibly coupled with some kind of DDoS attack, caused our server to completely fail, and as luck would have it nobody noticed for almost a day – seemingly our emergency notification also failed. Sigh… So it’s back …

Two million UPCs and counting!

We did it – we made 2,000,000 UPCs! Let’s make it clear – quality is the goal on UPCZilla, not quantity. We could probably have dumped huge numbers of UPCs into our database a long time ago, but we prefer a slow and steady approach. There are technical issues to address, we need to make …

Invalid UPCs culled and soft 404s fixed

Recently UPCZilla saw a major drop in traffic from Google. We quickly realised it was very likely due to the large number of soft 404s the Googlebot was finding, as well as excessive 500 errors due to some unoptimised database queries causing MySQL to hang when traffic was heavy. The soft 404s, it turned out, …

Solution for slow fulltext searches

This won’t interest most visitors to this site, but I had to post it somewhere as it will help someone out there, so it’s filed under Techie stuff. A bout of heavy Google crawling of the site forced me to look at some of our slow database queries, which could be overlooked when we had …