For the past few weeks, I’ve been working with my developer friend Barry to build a little tool to help you with your home-purchasing decision. We’ve called it “Rent or Buy: the calculator” – and Barry was able to code graphs and sliders for me. I can’t tell you how pleased I am with it.

Then yesterday, we launched it. And there was a lot of excitement as it instantly started to go viral. Traffic spiked immediately. Then about an hour in, the website started getting a bit jerky with all the traffic. And within minutes of that, the site crashed.


Basically, yesterday was spent trying desperately to get the site back up. The linking sites started getting a lot of abuse about things not working. Of course, I was in blind panic about losing half a decade’s worth of content. And my host provider helpline rather helpfully provided me with multiple agents who all diagnosed different things:

  1. A corrupt database
  2. A corrupt file
  3. Throttling
  4. A lack of optimisation
  5. Something about mysql servers
  6. A lack of bandwidth
  7. Too many connections to something
  8. Other things

The solution, apparently, involved a combination of:

  1. A full database restore (didn’t work); and
  2. A massively expensive upgrade on my hosting option (which is still in progress – but seemed to bring the site back up).

Either way, at 1am this morning, after 14 hours of live chats and whatsapps and ‘grumpiness’, the site seems to have shakily recovered. Still a bit fragile, but I live in hope.

Which really just shows you the difference between:

  1. Putting your content onto someone else’s website; and
  2. Having your own website.

It feels oddly appropriate.

Once I’m feeling a little less jittery about things, I am planning a post to share some of the rent/buy insights that I think are worth mentioning. But this morning, this is about all I’m capable of.

One Side Note

It has quickly become clear that when I designed the calculator, I never envisaged a situation where one might live in a house for longer than the duration of a home loan. I blame my millenial-ness. We are working to bring those formulas back on track.

The maintenance feels like it’ll never end.

Worth it though.

[UPDATE: we’ve fixed it now]

Please go and check it out: “Rent or Buy: the calculator

Rolling Alpha posts opinions on finance, economics, and the corporate life in general. Follow me on Twitter @RollingAlpha, and on Facebook at