Server maintenance issues? As the server administrator, I resent that
I noticed the sporadic availability problems around the noon hour today. I took a peek at the server'* vital signs and can definitely say that it is not an issue with the server itself. I suspect a problem somewhere in the network connection. Hopefully the problem will go away on its own, but I'll keep an eye on it.
The slowness is a completely different issue. Fortunately, it'* easily solved. The site is becoming more and more database intensive at the same time that the database is growing larger and larger. Unfortunately, we've gone beyond the available physical memory in the server, so now it needs to swap quite often. Swapping causes a direct performance hit, so things are going slower. It will be upgraded soon.