Updated (9/20): We are now back up and running, at least at partial capacity. Thank you all for your wonderful messages of support and encouragement. I couldn’t have done this at all without you!
Dear friends and avid supporters of The Winchester Family Business:
If you’re seeing this message here, it’s because there is no Winchester Family Business to post this message on. The site has suffered a massive setback and it’s future is very uncertain. There aren’t words to say how devastated I am, and how I feel like I’ve lost a child that I’ve nurtured for five long years.
Earlier this evening, the WFB hosting provider, A2 Hosting, shut the database server down and will not bring it back up. We had no warning. This means that not only can the site not run, but I can’t get a copy of the database and our massive archive to use for rebuilding. I have nothing right now. This is the latest of incidents that has plagued the Winchester Family Business ever since our ill fated upgrade in early June, but it’s probably the one that just killed the site.
For those that remember, back during the last few months of season eight our site was having constant errors, making it almost impossible to navigate articles or post messages. We were running on a server with not enough resources, an outdated Joomla platform, a template that needed rebuilding, and applications that were woefully outdated. We had to rebuild everything. In June, I did just that, and needless to say the upgrade did not go well. The server was constantly running out of memory and crashing, many of the new applications didn’t work right or killed site performance, and the new template, pretty though it may be, turned out to be a massive resource hog.
I could bore you all with further technical details, but let’s just say that I’ve been working my ass off all summer on a daily basis to fix all these issues, with little or no help from A2 Hosting or Joomla. This is the age of open source, where you are expected to be a savvy enough coder to fix these things yourself. In the end, I just didn’t have that kind of power over time and space.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to get The Winchester Family Business up and running, and to what capacity. I’ve already devoted so much time and energy just to watch this site, aka my long labor of love, crash and burn. Rebuilding right now seems more than my broken heart can take. Not to mention, real life won’t give me the time to do so. The only other option I was given was an expensive upgrade, something that is not realistic for a fan site that doesn’t generate that much income. I’ve never begged for donations before, and I refuse to now. We managed to sustain ourselves for five years, and if that’s no longer possible, maybe that’s the sign it’s time to stop.
I’m sure I’ll find a new resolve, but for now, The Winchester Family Business is no longer in business.
With season nine approaching in a few weeks, I’ll make sure our Supernatural reviews will still be available and ready for discussion. You may or may not have noticed our dedicated pages to Person of Interest and Revolution on this TVFTROU site. I can setup one for Supernatural if need be. This site is on a different server and a different provider than The Winchester Family Business was, so it is stable.
The Winchester Family Business also has a Tumblr page, so watch for reviews and other articles there too. http://winfambusiness.tumblr.com/
I ask you all to give me a day or two to mourn, and then I’ll come back with some options. The Winchester Family Business will never fully go away. We have too much history. I’ve put five tireless years of my life into this site. The late nights, the news and spoiler updates done in my car during lunch breaks at work, the laptop with me at kids events and family vacations, the cross country con trips, it’s been so much a part of who I am. I can’t imagine life without it. Maybe that’s why I am truly, truly crushed right now.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your amazing years of support and love. The SPN Family is truly the greatest family in the world. There’s a lot to celebrate in the next few weeks with the return of season nine, so let’s focus on the positive and get ready for what’s truly important, the Winchesters back in action.
With much love,