This is what happens when you put all your eggs in one basket.
As you may know, in addition to my blog at NathanShumate.com, I also had ten years of video reviews archived at coldfusionvideo.com (plus five other subdomains containing other writers’ reviews). Plus my publishing company, coldfusionmedia.us. Plus my webcomic, cheapcaffeine.net. Plus my book cover design shingle, fifthplanetdesign.com. Plus lousybookcovers.com. Plus pulpoftheday.com.
All of these domains were hosted in one hosting package, which you can do nowadays because of how cheap storage space is. Seven or eight bucks a month, and as long as your site isn’t draining server resources, you can host as many domains and sites as you want.
Until your server goes down.
I found out on the morning of Friday, March 29th, that pulpoftheday.com wasn’t responding. In fact, none of my sites were. I opened a trouble ticket on my host’s support pages. It could have been a momentary blip, obviously; maybe an hour or two.
I ain’t no math whiz, but I’m thinking ELEVEN DAYS (and counting) is more than an hour or two.
What really galls me is that I haven’t been able to get any response out of tech support, except for a single response a full week after my initial problem, where I was stupidly asked to give more information about exactly what the problem is. Then nothing. My daily bumps on the trouble ticket get no response except crickets.
There was a phone number listed on my host’s website. When I called it, it turned out to be the number of another hosting company, of which my host is apparently a subsidiary. I could get no response from either tech support or sales at the parent company, and the woman who answered the phone in the billing office pointedly told me that she couldn’t help me, nor could she give me any other means of contacting the techs who were supposed to be solving my problem.
After she managed to piss me off by pointedly refusing to answer my questions,* she did volunteer that she knew that my host had had a problem with one of its servers, which they were rebuilding. (A process that is so hush-hush, they can’t even let their clients know directly!) Oh, and there was no guarantee that my data was intact; she hoped I had kept a current backup.
You’ve. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me.
Isn’t that what a responsible host does? Maintains a backup on their servers? I could give them the benefit of the doubt and posit that someone who works in the billing office of a separate though related entity and boldly proclaims her inability to help me (a declaration with which I wholeheartedly concur) may not know the niggling facts on the ground… but the longer we go with nothing back from tech support, the less hopeful I become.
In case you’re wondering: The host who has, to all intents and purposes, screwed both the tech support and customer service pooches is Hostivia.com. Yes, Hostivia.com thinks so little of the customers who are paying for their services that they can’t be bothered to drop them a note when the services for which said customers pay have disappeared for ELEVEN FULL DAYS and counting.
(While we’re at it, Versaweb.com is apparently the parent company manned entirely by one billing person whose job it is to run interference.)
I have not entirely given up hope for my data. I have contracted with another host — one with more of a track record and paper trail — for new hosting. If and when Hostivia decides to replace the hamster which had heretofore powered that server, the new host will copy all of the data lock, stock and barrel. Assuming there is anything to copy.
In the meantime, I’ll use this wordpress.com blog as my one outlet (aside from my tumblogs, natch) to make my mark upon Teh Intartubes. Just so you’ll know that I’m not as dead as my websites.
*Seriously, this is how the conversation went:
ME: Is there any way I can contact Hostivia directly?
BILLING: I’m sorry, I’ve got no way to do that.
ME: You don’t have a phone number or anything?
BILLING: If you’ll give me your name, I’ll get a message to them.
ME: So you do have a phone number?
BILLING: Can I have your name please?
ME: How about you just give me the phone number, and I’ll contact them.
BILING: Can I have your name please?
ME: How are you going to contact them if you don’t have their phone number?
BILLING: Can I have your name please?