tl;dr - moved to new servers, should be faster, less troublesome inshallah.
OK, after a few weeks of choppy performance on the previous hosts, I have moved the site over to a new host.
This should mean both a faster site and less issued.
However I had not moved earlier as the old providers provided more hands on support for managing the server and I had gottne used to being lazy. Not only that, moving servers can always uncover issued and problems.
The new virtual server is a lot faster than the old one, but I will now need to brush up my skills on how to manage it - and today went a long way with that as since a few things did go wrong, I had to figure out how to fix things myself.
This may be why for the most of saturday the site would be down for some people. The new DNS settings directing the domain name to the correct server are also still propagating and while generally they are near instantaneous, it can take upto 48 hours and for me atleast, I cannot access the site yet using the domain name (thought I can see that others can).
Technology can be incredibly annoying when it doesnt work.
PS I will be making a few other changes to the site too - a few smallish ones for now, hopefully better spam protection - I guess the onyl way to see if the other systems are better is by actually trying them out. I've added Mollom spam protection. Let's see how that works out.