Too long; didn’t read version at bottom.
So here’s what happened:
On 11/6 or Tuesday morning our shared hosting starts getting flaky, the site wasn’t responding very well for me. No biggie, I’ll go ahead and submit a ticket and just let them know something is up very politely! The day goes by... I’d say by about 4pm I wake back up (lazy democrat) and realize the site is not responding at all. I log into the web host and check my ticket status:
Sometime shortly after they answered that ticket they suspended the site:Hello,
I have double checked your website and it seems to be working fine now. I am also able to connect to your account (and members area) without any problems.
If you still experience any problems accessing it, please try cleaning up your browser cache, resetting your internet connection or restarting your computer.
Finally, if the account still shows up as unavailable for you, please try to access it by using the http://www.proxy.org service.
To add, feel free to check out our premium accounts, where the website speed and response times are a lot better. You are welcome to upgrade your account at http://www.000webhost.com/upgrade
Very Truly Yours,
Suspended (Unmanaged or abandoned website that allows anonymous posting. MySQL database is overloaded with thousands of junk records. To get your account unsuspended please upgrade to our premium hosting.)
Obviously, our database wasn’t filled full of spam (no jokes about Vrede’s posts please), and it hasn’t allowed anonymous posting in quite some time. We did absolutely nothing to violate their terms of service.
At this point I’m in a pickle, not only did they suspend the account, they blocked any access to retrieve any files or databases. The only thing in my favor now is that I did have the foresight to manually back up the database and files once a week, even though the 000webhost claims to do this for you.
Now, you’re only allowed to submit 1 ticket every 24 hours, so they got me, I can’t send another ticket asking for the real reason on why my account is suspended, ask for data, or anything, I’m at a stand still with support.
The “account suspended” message claimed we can get all our data back if I upgrade to their premium hosting – hosting24.com, desperate, I figure ok, I can sign up for one month (at a extorsionist rate) let them transfer our most recent data to it, then I’ll download it, and close that account. At the same time I was simultaneously signing up for a host we could trust, no way was I going with a company with this kind of business model.
Makes sense right? Yeah... it would have if they actually had more recent data than I already had the foresight to back up just last week! I paid for nothing in essence! They claimed something they could not do. The whole thing was a scam. Let’s see, it’s a debate website, during an election.... hm.... “upgrade to get your data back”, coincidence? I think not!!!!
After getting everything mostly settled down I started searching the Google for evidence that this has happened to other people, and apparently it has. In fact another fellow had his site shut down at about the same time.
Oh yeah, in the rush I screwed up (way too many tabs open doing way to many things at once in the limited time I have between work and life!) and extended the delay a couple hours by having our new host point to blueridgeNOW.com instead of blueridgeDEBATE.com.... damn typing muscle memory. So I’ve got a tiny amount of blame in there. Our new hosts support is *awesome*, and had it fixed within 10 minutes including wait time.
Anyway, fast forward to Thursday morning, the dns is finally starting to settle in and a couple people can start accessing the site again. So here we are now on a new host completely unrelated to this company with an obligation to give us 99.9% up-time. Hopefully, no more surprises. I’ve seen one issue so far and I’m not sure if it’s a result of the caching on my own computer/router or a minor configuration error with redirects I’ve made on the host, hopefully I’ll get that worked out tomorrow (Friday 11/9) or today actually, it being 2:30am.
I know we’re still missing some people that haven’t revisited us... I know some at least a few people continued to use “hville.hostzi.com” even after we moved to “blueridgedebate.com” hopefully they’ll find us again. It was forwarding, but who knows for how long, I no longer have control over it.
Unrelated, one of the most used search terms by a huge margin to find blueridgedebate.com is “foolgle”...... hahahaha!
It was a fun journey of downtime, I intentionally got ripped off to get our data back, learned a lot, and everything should return to “normal” soon.