I’ve been a blogger now for over a year, and haven’t had any major website issues until a few days ago. Last week I received a message from a friend of mine who tried to access my blog and couldn’t. It was surprising news, but when I went to investigate, I couldn’t login or even view the site. That was a first, and unfortunately a sign of things to come.
For those not in the blogging world, you have to get a hosting company to allow your website (web domain) to be displayed on the internet. I researched web hosting companies when my website was nearing development completion and thought I had found a winner: InMotion Hosting. They aren’t the most well know or the cheapest, but I thought they would be a good fit for what I was hoping to do. Bluehost is a major web hosting company that gets a ton of press, but I’d be one of so many millions of customers that it would be easy to get lost in the mix. Until this point, InMotion has been very good; customer support either phone or email has been really attentive. The missing piece of their support though is a major issue, which hadn’t occurred until now.
Since I didn’t have any access to my website’s backend functionality, I called InMotion as soon as I found out about the issue. The website may have been crashed the day before, I’m not sure. Initially I had been told that the shared server that my website was on had crashed. For smaller websites such as blogs like mine, it’s common to utilize a shared server with many other websites. Later though, I was told that there was a major SQL issue that affected many websites. They didn’t tell me how many sites were affected, but that didn’t sound good.
On my first call to InMotion, the technical support representative said that the issue should be resolved within 24 hours. That time came and went, and during my next call (along with every call for the next several days) brought the same, almost scripted response of “we’re working on it but can’t give a timeframe for when it might be fixed”. Over the days of downtime, it never seemed like there was any urgency to have my website up and running though. In the meantime, InMotion put up a generic “Website Under Construction” image for my homepage. Some of you that visited the site recently may have seen that message and wondered what was going on.
On the 5th day of the crash, InMotion’s normal support line was down. I had to call in to the dedicated server line and had someone look at the issue and make a few adjustments that brought most of the site back up. Some issues sill remained though and another call later that night seems to have finally fixed the crash, although this is my first post since then to test out how stable my site is operating.
My site hasn’t been monetized, meaning it doesn’t make money. I wouldn’t mind it making money in some fashion, but for now, I write and have my podcast as creative outlets. If I was monetized and offline for the better part of a week, I’d be pretty upset. Even now I’m not crazy about what happened, mostly due to how lethargic the InMotion support team seemed to treat the issue. Choosing a hosting company is pretty important. For larger websites that generate substantial revenue, it’s a crucial operations piece of their daily puzzle. Going forward, when I know my website works, I plan to switch to another hosting company.
I’m also making some smaller changes to the site too, like removing the cheap flight feeds that were brining in flight deals from the five of the best cheap flight deals in the world. That was a cool feature, although I don’t know idea if people were actually utilizing it. It was unique because you could search on a single page using a city keyword, so you didn’t have to go to each site and scroll through flights to find one that fit. But if you did use that feature, sorry, it added alot of picture file storage to my website, and it’s probably better to not have that on this particular website.
For now though, the site looks to be working, and there are posts and podcasts in the works. Stay tuned!