Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sorry Japanese users :)

UPDATED on Feb 3rd, 2010: I found a solution to this, and now SetCronJob works fine with all *.jp URL. Your cron jobs were enabled. You will no longer get error message "Error: Connection timed out" (if your site is online/up).

Hello all,

One week ago, I found that my service became too bad, and cron were not executed on time. It often took around 30 sec to even 150 seconds :(

I had to order new cron server, remove the logging feature, but the problem still exist. Before I had the third cron server set up, I had a carefully check at cron jobs.

Finally, I found that the problem came from URLs of Japan: They took around 5 - 15 seconds to establish a connection to, and around 0.5 - 2 seconds to make a request. Although I had set the timeout value 2 seconds, but they didn't timed out :(

So, I made a change to determine the failure: If it does successfully make a connection and request, but time elapsed in more than 2 seconds, it will be considered as failed.

This disabled around 300 URLs from Japan :(
(Most of these URLs are from

As I already had some premium users from Japan, I had mail to them to provide a solution: use PHProxy, and give them my private site with PHProxy installed.

This already solved the problem of my premium users, but free users feel confused (and angry, I guess).

After a lot of time translating Japanese to English (using Google translate, of course :D), I found a lot of my users complain at Twitter.

Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience this is causing.

Here are some explanations:

- "SetCronJob is unable to reach this URL now. Error: Connection timed out"

This means that your cron job takes more than 2 seconds to make a connection and request. As stated above, this will be considered as failure, and you can not create / enable your cron.

Good solution is use a PHProxy, as said in who disabled your cron jobs.

- Received "Cron Job disabled" mail from SetCronJob?

After your cron job failed 5 times, it will be disabled, and you'll receive this notification. Your cron job will be rechecked for 3 times before giving up. See who enabled your cron jobs.

-"Job runs once but then they say your site is too slow buy our hosting if you want it to work." (From Twitter)

The "Your website is too slow, ..." is just an advertising (not a message) for my new plan: If users are interested in HostGator hosting, and would like to get a SetCronJob premium account, they can sign up for HostGator using my affiliate link, and I'm happy to give them a Diamond account.

However, this hasn't been set up yet (that's why I don't publish it on this blog).

So, "buy our hosting..." is misunderstood. It's HostGator hosting :D

- "...promoting a free service that doesn't exist." (From comment on SetCronJob's blog)

The free cron jobs service is at SetCronJob. That's true. SetCronJob offers free cron jobs every 5 minutes, and you are not required to pay any cent or do anything to make your cronjob work.

If it doesn't work, let me know, I'll have a look at your cron setting and URL.

Again, I'm really sorry for that.
If you are still confused about anything, let me know :)

To users not from Japan: Everything is ok, and you can see the service is very on time now :)

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