IT Support have identified & closed down a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack that has been so stealthy in its execution that it took this long to track it down. Basically, someone (for want of a better word) has been tying up our host's resources with spurious requests, effectively stealing bandwidth from genuine users like our goodselves. The consequence of this was slow responses when you request a page, time-outs, and the good old 404 error - page not found.
Now that this has been thwarted, you should have noticed a distinct improvement to service since mid evening yesterday. I know I certainly have :o)