The web is said to be about free access, and I certainly agree. When China’s Great Firewall entered a more rigorous phase, and Google decided to leave China, some said that free access to information on the internet was a basic human right, I disagreed. Still, here in Toronto, Canada I do appreciate open internet access. There are limits, however, when certain people take advantage of your hospitality. People try to scrape your site to use for their purposes, they try to break in and use your site to launch their own malicious doings, they try to spam you so that your site’s comments increase their link and trackback stats. There are all kinds of schemes that cost the site owner bandwidth, and eventually money. The site owner is forced to increase his level of service from his ISP (or get kicked off of his shared service), or move to another ISP. This is not a zero sum issue: The site owner loses financially.
Busy I have been recently, with not much time for my blog, but it was all for a good cause. My internet service provider (ISP) informed me that I was taking up too much CPU time on their shared service and banned me. I am a good guy and generally follow the rules, so getting banned is out of character. After a frantic email they restored my account so that I could figure out what happened. I truly am a “less is more” type of guy, and that includes IT resources, and my online sites are pretty consistent, so a propensity of new content was not the issue. Eventually I took some steps to rein in the numerous bots that were scraping and doing whatever to my site, wasting my CPU usage on my tab, and eventually getting me banned. If your site is suffering the same fate, you may glean some hints and tips for reducing your CPU usage.