Well, it finally happened. WoW.com made a post about PUG Checker and within an hour of it going live I was banned from accessing Armory data. PUG Checker has been down for the count since about 10 AM this morning and will probably be up and down for the rest of the week or more until I can come up with a caching solution for Armory data.
Contrary to some of the more technically clueless comments on the WoW.com post, I did not run out of bandwidth or have my hosting account shut down. And I don’t host the site on my own personal computer. What caused PUG Checker to break was the fact that I was accessing the Armory for fresh data every time someone looked up a character. If you do that too much, too quickly, the Armory automatically bans your site from accessing the data for a certain amount of time.
So the crash and burn is entirely my fault. I never built a cache of the Armory data in advance because, quite frankly, I have other stuff I’m responsible for that helps me pay the bills and eat on a regular basis that takes priority over a small fan site that I see no significant income from.
I got some great advice about how I can get PUG Checker back up and running again without future downtime but it’s going to take a lot of work on my part. And right now I’m not too sure how feasible that is going to be. In order to avoid any kind of ban from the Armory I’d need to have what amounts to an entire copy of the Armory’s data on my own server. From what I’ve been told this morning that could take a program that runs non-stop over an entire week to complete. Once that initial copy was made, I could just update characters as they were checked on the site.
I highly, highly doubt at this time that I’ll be going to that extreme to keep the site operational. I’m going to let the traffic tidal wave from the WoW.com link work itself out over the rest of this week and then go from there.
In the meantime I want to apologize for the outage, since it’s 100% my fault, and thank everyone for the nice emails and comments this morning. I appreciate it.