So long Streamline, it’s been emotional!

Keith Adams


Well, here we are – on the cusp of AROnline’s (or if you prefer) 10th Anniversary and it looks like we’re going to have something of an upheaval. It seems that AROnline is too successful for its current host and we’re going to have to move.

I know I’ve been threatening this for a while and, along with a revamp of the current site – to a more up-to-date technology – we do need to evolve. However, thanks to the message from our current hosts,, reproduced below, this decision is being forced on us sooner than I would have hoped.

Hi Keith Adams,

We have recently become aware that your website,, was causing performance problems on the shared webserver on which it was hosted. Our monitoring system detected a resource problem on the server and we are confident that that your site has been contributing to this issue. More details as to the nature of the problem will be found below.

As a result of this problem we have acted to move your website to our probation servers, these servers provide a separate hosting environment that we maintain specifically to allow our customers to diagnose and resolve performance issues with their sites. This action on our part gives you the opportunity to alter the site as required so that we can then consider moving it back to the standard hosting environment without affecting the performance of the other hosted sites.

While your site is hosted on our probation servers you are likely to experience performance below the levels that we normally provide to our shared hosting customers.

The problem is:

site using high resources – frame pulling in content from other sites, using up to 120 % CPU and causing detrimental performance for other sites on the server

Beyond the description of the symptoms given above we are unable to offer assistance in diagnosis or resolution of the problem. We cannot advise you on how your site should be changed to resolve the problem. If we have been able to identify a particular script responsible for the problem then this information has been included in the notes above. If there is no indication of a particular script that we believe is causing the problem then you should assume that we have not been able to identify one. We will not take any further action to diagnose this problem.

While we recognise that this move may be inconvenient for you we would like to remind you that, when you opened your Fasthosts account, you agreed to be bound by our terms of service and to be responsible for the domains in your account. We feel that we have fulfilled our responsibility to you as a customer by providing this alternate hosting environment and giving you the opportunity to resolve the problem.

We regret that we cannot allow your site to remain on the probation server for longer than 7 days. To prevent the suspension of your site you need to contact us within 7 days and tell us what steps you have taken to resolve the problem. If we do not hear from you within 7 days of the date of this email we will act to suspend your website and associated services including email. This step is not reversible and so it is imperative that you act quickly if you wish to continue to host your website with Streamline.

Should you require us to remove any unacceptable data and related services in order to resolve this problem we will require your explicit authorisation to do so

On receipt of your reply, we will assess the situation again with the aim of moving your website back to the shared environment.

Once we are confident that the problem has been resolved we will move your website back to the shared hosting environment. Any further performance issues caused by your website will result in the site being permanently disabled and so we strongly advise that, in future, you actively monitor the resources used by the domains that you host with us.

Kind regards,

The home of good value web hosting

I am sure you’ll agree, that’s bit of a kick in the nuts. However, it’s heartening to know that AROnline is nothing, if not a victim of its own success. I’ll do all I can to keep the site online with an uninterrupted service, but  at least if there are outages in the next seven days, you now know why.

We’ll keep you informed, and if you have any hosting offers, please do get in touch.

Keith Adams


  1. Streamline.Net are blaming AROnline for their failings. What a surprise – it means their hardware, which you are paying for, isn’t up to the job…

  2. I’m afraid this is a not an uncommon thing – and they’re right, you are bound by their Ts and Cs.

    I was Site Manager at SABRE ( when we had pretty much the same issue and were forced to switch hosts – in the process we had to switch to a package that was 10x the cost of our original one.

    Usually, it’s because you’re (logically) using the cheapest hosting package you can get away with and outgrow what it offers. It’s a bugger, but as you say it’s also an indication of how successful AROnline has become.

  3. I suggest Streamline visit the Plain English Campaign website. I’ve never read such obtuse rubbish.

    I hope you find another host for your excellent website quickly.

    Good luck.

  4. Good luck with a move to another, more helpful server. There is a lot of valuable material on AROnline which, like the exhibits at the Heritage Motor Centre, should continue to be for the benefit of the nation and fellow enthusiasts.

    Anyway, if the cost of moving to another server is expensive, do let us know, as I am sure there is the means and willingness on the part of AROnline’s regular readers to help out in whatever way they believe is appropriate.

  5. Mike Goy :
    I suggest Streamline visit the Plain English Campaign website. I’ve never read such obtuse rubbish.

    I hope you find another host for your excellent website quickly.

    Good luck.

    Brilliant, I am not alone!!!!

    I bet they have formulated a blue sky thinking strategy focus steer group to look at the bigger picture and to understand where they went wrong and what KPIs need to be put in place to prevent further misdirection.

    I can think of a good old Anglo-Saxon phrase to describe what’s gone wrong: some one ***ked up!

  6. Actually, to be fair, Streamline only seem to have complained about the site’s extensive use of iFrames. Nowadays there are very few sites which trap external content in this way – it’s not considered to be “cricket” amongst web designers!

    Perhaps, if you simply remove your reliance on iFrames, the problem will go away? A better option is to open links to external sites in a new tab/window.

  7. Well, as you know Keith, I made a donation to the site not long ago and would encourage other regular AROnline readers to do likewise. I will keep an eye on things and hope you resolve the “irritations” soon.

  8. Hi,

    I am a regular AROnline reader and an IT website consultant so, if I can offer any assistance or technical advice, then please get it touch. I would hate to see the site go down and loose the valuable contents which it has provided over the years.


  9. I say go ahead and change hosts – the current one is rubbish! Half of the time pages won’t load (no matter which computer/phone, no matter what ip).

  10. MacDroitwich Supercover – unmoderated, uncensored and there when you need it. It’s great to know you belong.

    [Pork Sward, that’s a bit of a cheap plug, my friend. Thanks for your offer an off-site forum, but that is the least of our hosting problems – if can host 2.5GB of data and handle a monthly turnover of 279.18GB (as at March 2011) of data, then that’s great, ta. Otherwise, we’ll pass in lieu of changing hosts next week. Keith]

  11. That’s a bugger! Fingers crossed it can be resolved. Count me in for a fiver if you need sponsoring or donations.

  12. AROnline has expanded from solely British Leyland to covering basically the whole British car industry over the years. Might it not be an idea to trim back down to BL-related stuff and create new sites for other marques? Would that help in any way?

  13. @Wolfie
    Yes, that might well help – we’ll see how the next couple of days goes. I’ve made some changes which should lessen the load on Streamline’s 486DX2/66 server and have changed my DNS entries to CloudFlare’s proxy-based system. We’ll see how that goes.

  14. @Keith Adams
    No one envies the hassle you are now facing over the next few weeks but I think the success of late is because you have expanded AROnline to cover the bigger picture and that has generated new interest from readers who wouldn’t normally visit a single make site. Perhaps you could put up a poll or shift some of the discussions to Facebook?

  15. I hope that you get this sorted without too much pain. I disagree with the suggestion about splitting content off. I think the site has become even better as it’s expanded its remit to cover rivals and also-rans. It’s a remarkable resource to have in one place. I do, though, appreciate that these things all cost money.

  16. Pity that they can’t sign off that obtuse rubbish with a name instead of hiding behind a false kind regards and

  17. Yeh, have to say AROnline’s an awkward site to navigate using the frames – because the browser seems to prioritise the left menu bar, it resets the website back to the home page everytime I need to go back.

    I think that extensive use of CSS and using links to external websites opening on seperate tabs would be far easier to manage. The website’s served us well but really does need a bit of an overhaul. I hope AROnline comes back in a new clothes and all its glory. I will continue to be a fan.

  18. I agree with some of the AROnline readers who have commented above: please don’t loose the non-BL stuff. I love reading about the cars I remember from my youth. No other site has such well-written articles of better than magazine quality. Count me in if you need a contribution.

  19. Keith Adams :

    Yes, that might well help – we’ll see how the next couple of days goes. I’ve made some changes which should lessen the load on Streamline’s 486DX2/66 server and have changed my DNS entries to CloudFlare’s proxy-based system. We’ll see how that goes.

    Clever move – I shall offer them my 12 year’s old notebook to do the hosting…

  20. Isn’t there room on the old Longbridge factory site to install a suitably powerful server setup to host AROnline?

    Failing that, perhaps will go bankrupt and have their assets taken over by the Chinese…

  21. Keith Adams :
    …and have changed my DNS entries to CloudFlare’s proxy-based system. We’ll see how that goes.

    You might also want to look at offloading some of the larger files to something like Amazon’s S3 service:
    2.5gb storage costs 35c (US) /mo
    279gb transfer costs $41.70 (US) /mo
    10,000,000 GET requests $10.00 (US) /mo


    Google storage might be a viable alternative to S3…

    However, in all cases it will take time to transfer the data and change the links on the site.

  22. I wonder how you can use 120% of cpu? That, sounds like a good trick.

    Just out of interest, what deal/plan are you on? Everything on the site includes: “Unlimited website traffic with unlimited bandwidth, there are no unexpected costs, however popular your website becomes.”

    Assuming that you are on one of these plans, how do they justify the attitude? Isn’t this just false advertising and breach of contract? Probably, but the lawyers would cost more than just moving.

    I also notice that the letter from includes:
    “… when you opened your Fasthosts account, you agreed to be bound by our terms of service…”

    Is Streamline just a Fasthosts reseller or a subsidiary? Did you open a Fasthosts account and did you agree to their terms, or did you buy from Streamline and agree to their terms?

    Apart from that, if you are doing c. 280GB a month traffic, that is well beyond the maximum for shared hosting plans that don’t lie about being unlimited. Like, 20 times as much.

  23. AROnline’s a brilliant site – all of it. I don’t want to lose any of it but AR/BMC/Leyland is my priority. Why not hive off each make/marque (AR, Ford, Rootes, Vauxhall etc, etc) to its own site with one entry “hub” site feeding back and forth? I also think that’d be a lot clearer but then others will disagree. Whatever you decide, I’d chip in a copper or two if it helps.

  24. Don’t split the site – the expanded material, among other things, is what makes it such a success. I know naff all about webhosting, etc., so I can’t offer any technical advice, but I’m up for a fiver if you need help to cover costs. I’d be lost without my regular AROnline fix!

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