The blog host in question will remain anonymous until we switch our provider. In the meantime, if you want to know who they are, just contact us.
We all of something that means a lot to us, something that we don’t mind devoting large chunks of time to, something that we are willing to see through to the end. Everyone has some sort of passion in their lives, and that passion can change over time. For some people it is raising a family, or maybe a career, or maybe a sport or a hobby car – for me, it is this travel blog.
I have lived abroad for over five years. I have gone back and forth to my home country of Canada, but for the most part, I have lived out of a backpack. This doesn’t allow me to accumulate very much. Plasma Tv, nope. Stereo system, nope. Flashy car? Nope. First home owning experience? Nope. Even the most basic of my possessions, my clothes, are worn out so quickly that it is impossible to form attachments.
One thing however is constant. This travel blog. When James and I started blogging, and the website was in it’s infancy, the only views it received were from family and a few friends. As we devoted more and more time, we saw it grow. We were able to watch it grow with pride – knowing that it was a reflection of our hard work and devotion.
All to have it snatched away from us, in a flash – in a situation in which we had no control.
When we started the website, I knew nothing about web design or coding. I still don’t know that much. Every little ounce of achievement was won with long hours and bleary eyes, and oh so many open tabs containing tutorials on all sorts of technical details. We made many mistakes along the way – but the biggest mistake of all – was putting too much trust in the reliability of our web hosting service, you can read their findings here. On several occasions, we would come home from work to discover the website was down. I would immediately jump onto the live chat with technical support. Although they were usually able to solve my issues, they were never able to effectively communicate in English and were never able to explain to me what caused the problems in the first place.
The technical support operators would always lay the blame for issues elsewhere. “It is an issue with a plug in,” is one of their favorite lines. “You must have changed a setting recently,” is another. Plug in’s that worked without incident for months were blamed for site down time. Changes that I had supposedly made, even if I had not logged in to the website for days, were another favorite place for blame to be laid.
Somehow though, everything would usually work out. After a few hours online with tech support, the site would be back up, and once the hosting provider stopped meddling with the site, the plug in’s would miraculously start working again.
Lately though, things have gotten out of hand.
On Wednesday we discovered that the website was down. The hosting provider claimed they were having server issues and to give them a few hours. The next day the site was back up again, but a few posts and the last week’s worth of comments were missing!
Now, over the last two months, our hard work and tears have started to return results. People have been commenting on our articles! And meaningful comments as well! Every new comment left on one of our posts made us beam with pride. Losing these comments was like a kick in the stomach.
I couldn’t help myself – I started to cry.
I immediately contacted tech support. Something must have happened while they were having issues with their servers, and maybe, just maybe, they can restore our content. Not only were they unhelpful, but they were extremely rude.
“Live-Chat: kindly stop blaming us for your mistakes”
(yeah right! I guess it must be my fault somehow that all my content went missing, even though I was not online when it happened!)
Stating that they needed more time to look into the problem, James and I left them to it, and went into Melbourne to see the sights of the city. Late that night, we returned. Upon checking the website – I was one of the most horrible sites imaginable.
Our old logo.
Why was our old logo being displayed? Because the site had reverted to how it appeared in February, before we modified a theme, photoshopped a new logo, and basically learned how wordpress worked.
Everything since February was gone. Content. Photos. And all those amazing comments.
It was like being kicked in the stomach. My throat closed and I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t even cry. There has been a terrible mistake – they must be able to correct this! I got straight onto the tech support chat line.
Everything was spiraling out of control. All those hours, all the work, was lost. My baby – this website – had been hacked and destroyed by something outside of my control.
Luckily I had a backup, but it was not recent enough to restore many of the comments.
In the end we lost six weeks of content. Most of it we were able to restore due to having typed the original posts in word. Some were not so lucky though. And the comments! That is what kills me the most! As much as I love seeing the stats of our views, tweets, and stumbles steadily rise – nothing makes me more proud than to see that one of my articles has inspired people to comment and share their thoughts and feelings with me.
At one point, I contemplated giving up – but I won’t let all our hard work over this past six months go to waste. We will continue on – sharing our stories, our tips, and our feelings during our travels. We will continue trying to inspire and teach. Although one thing we will now do differently.
We will make regular backups.
Note – After restoring the majority of our site, our host dropped the site again. When we discovered that the site was down, we immediately contacted tech support. They blamed a plug in.