DreamHost hosts the pfblogs.org web server and database. I’ve been a customer of theirs since 2001, and the last two years or so have been rough. We’re sticking with them for now, but the fetching software will not run. The RSS parser seems to use significant CPU power, and Dreamhost kills any process that uses more than the average CPU load.
For this reason, the fetching process is now performed on a grid server hosted with MediaTemple. Their support has been very helpful, but they automatically kill tasks that last more than 15 minutes — even shell tasks. Thanks to the growth in the number of blogs, the fetching process is now split to last under 15 minutes each time.
Four times an hour, for about 8 minutes each time, half of all blogs in the database are fetched. This has been working very well for the last twenty-four hours or so. This way, each blog is fetched twice an hour. This is above and beyond the pings allowed for the Friends of pfblogs.org, which are still being performed by the DreamHost server.
Now that we have more stability, we’re working on a new feature: free hosted blogs, powered by WordPress, for anyone who wants to start a personal finance blog. Blogs hosted on the new service can join the Friends of pfblogs.org at a discount, but must stay somewhat active. The service is being tested as I write this, and we hope to release it to the public within the next few weeks.