Here’s another one to file under “Lessons Learned the Hard Way”.
So last week one of our hosting providers had their servers hacked. It was one of those “pesky” hacks where they switch all the index.html files to say “DEFACED BY LINUX” or something like that. So your homepages come up as such. Easily fixed by reloading the index.html files, which we did and assumed all was fine.
Then the next morning we start getting some obscure emails from this hosting provider saying something like “we are going to move servers so download copies of your files”. No more info, just a quick note.
My hubby is an IT guy so I understand how hosting works… it is standard for the hosting company to do a backup of the files themselves before making any changes. It is *not* up to each individual website owner (although it is good practice to do so). None the less I had a bad feeling so I went and grabbed a copy of all our website files to my computer, just in case.
And then low and behold Sunday evening I discover that our sites are gone – there is nothing on either page anymore. Yipes! I’m not too worried cause I do have a copy of everything, but what the heck is going on? There are no emails or nothing from these guys, just empty pages.
Monday morning rolls around and in talking to our Blog King Andy Wibbels I discover that we need the SQL database for each site to redo the blogs. Me being oblivious to this (SQL? What’s that?), I did not grab the databasese themselves when I backed up the files last week.
So we email the hosting provider saying “Hey, can we get copies of our SQL databases?” And they respond saying “Sorry, we don’t have any copies. Our backup was compromised by the hackers and we lost everything”. Oh gimme a break! Are you telling me that you don’t have any backups at all? Yep. None at all, they erased a server without any backups if you can imagine. I doubt they’ve ever even done a backup.
So whats a gal to do? Well, back to Super Andy, who informed us that we would literally have to re-install the blog software and then re-load ALL of our content. A daunting task to say the least, but really i’m just glad that we HAD the content from my back up the week before. Whew!
We set up our 2 sites with a new hosting provider, do a dns change with the registry and wait for it to take effect so we can start installing. This was Monday morning, and by Monday afternoon OnlineBusinessManager.com had switched to the new host and we could happily install away. Yay!
Tick tock. Tick tock. End of Monday and MultipleStreamsOfCoachingIncome.com is still not resolved to the new server.
Zzzzzzzzz. Wake up Tuesday morning and it’s STILL not working. Wassup with that? I’ve done many a dns switch and they say it can take up to 48 hours, but honestly i’ve never had it take more than a day.
The waiting game continues all day Tuesday and still nothing by the end of the day. Our Multiple Streams site has been down now almost 2 days, including our Members-Only area. I decide to wait until Wednesday morning as that will truly be the 48 hours mark.
So take a wild guess what I find on Wednesday morning? Yep, still a blank page pointing to the wrong (dead) server. Let me explain that this domain is registered through the same company that was providing us with the hosting that crashed on us. So I was really starting to wonder about these guys… was this a faulty registry site too?
At this point i’m baffled. But we decide to go to Plan B and start installing our blog/content under a different domain. Not optimal, but at least we can get everything up and running again for our members.
And I decide to do a transfer of our domain name from this registry to another registry account we have at GKG. It may take a while, but at least we’ll be able to get MultipleStreamsofCoachingIncome.com working again soon. I enter in the transfer request and it says “this domain is already in this account”. Once again, i’m like “huh?”. How can one domain name be in 2 different accounts? I check and sure enough there it is in our GKG account. Go figure! That must be breaking some kind of registry rule i’m sure, but i’m too tired to care at this stage. 😉
So I switch the dns from our GKG account, and sure enough MultipleStreamsofCoachingIncome.com is pointing to our new server within hours. YAY! Finally… we can get the site back up and running.
With the help of Super Andy and Multiple Streams team member extraordinaire Kerri Martin we have the member blog re-installed, re-designed and all entries re-posted by Thurday morning. A mere 24 hours to a brand new site! I tell ya, these guys are superstars.
So i’m still recovering… need to finish reloading all the entries to OnlineBusinessManager.com/blog and then we are 100% back in shape.
I’m sure some of you are wondering the name of the hosting company that caused all these problems? I’m not one to publicly slander, but I will say that it was a private hosting situation so chances are slim that you will come across this company. If you have any concerns and want to run a name by me I am happy to respond with a yes/no.
Like sands through the hour glass, so are the days of our online lives… i’m gonna go grab a beer now and call it a day. 🙂
- When you do a backup, be sure to grab any database files too! Your content is your most valuable asset, the website can be rebuilt if need be.
- Don’t *assume* that your webhost does appropriate backups, ask! And even then do regular backups yourself of the full site, at least once a month