I've been working on optimizing the site, to make it a bit faster.
To that end, it's required that the site be "down" now and then, as I perform various database operations.
I'm hoping it will be worth it long-term.
There are actually two problems going on at once -- optimizing the site, and dealing with a very slow Internet connection. The two problems constitute a one-two punch.
For example, whenever I want to backup the whole database (a smart idea!), the site has to be down while the backup downloads. Obviously when my Internet connection is 64 KB/s the download is going to go much slower than when my Internet is 240 KB/s (what I'm paying for).
Living in the country is great for peace and quiet, fresh air, place to raise children and give them room to play, family privacy, etc. but it's LOUSY for Internet options!