Well, I’m pleased to report that my WordPress site remains operational after the hassles I went through yesterday. I’m pretty sure that it was a combination of the WordFence plugin firing up a site scan at the same time as the Broken Link Checker doing its periodic check-up that caused the resource usage spike, which in turn caused my web hosting to slam on the limiter for a few hours.
In hindsight, I can see now that WordFence was literally overkill for my site. While it provided some peace of mind, its utility was outweighed by its sluggishness. And since I keep this site up-to-date, and don’t have many plugins installed, the attack surface is greatly reduced.
I will reinstall the Broken Link Checker today, as that is something that does help me. But I’m going to change its settings so it goes at a more leisurely pace.
Moving this site to a static site generator is still something I’m looking into, but for now I’m just happy that everything is working again.