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  1. #1

    Thumbs down - web hosting disaster

    As posted on the forums - as you can tell, I'm not pleased!

    As a small business running a website my web hosting is very important to me. The recent down time and data loss will affect me in a very major way.

    After discovering yesterday I was unable to access my website or my email, I sent off a quick email to from an alternate email account asking for an explanation. Several hours later my website (that’s my BUSINESS) is still down and I have no response. Check the server issues page to find there are some server issues.

    I go out and return at 11pm to find my site still not working. I wake up this morning ready to start work at 11am and find my site is now bringing up a 404. The website has been restored – but not all of it (including my index page) after reuploading this page I realise the extent of the disaster. My website menu uses SSI, the file is missing. I created that online in FTP – it’s gone and I don’t have a copy of it. My website message boards have 5,000 – YES 5,000 ACTIVE members – gone, 100,000s of posts DELETED. Pages of content, that took hours to create are deleted.

    I email asking what’s going on, why all the files aren’t there. AM told:

    You will need to restore form a local backup of your files. The hardware
    failure caused disk corruption. The files that are present are the only
    files salvageable from the event.

    What’s that meant to mean? Means ****ed up their backups? Means they’re incompetent? Does everyone keep every file on their computer? No, do some people actually create and edit files in FTP and TRUST the web company to keep them safe.

    I fire off another email asking about compensation before I decide whether or not to call a solicitor regarding this. Am told:

    There are no uptime guarantees or hardware guarantee on the personal hosting services. No compensation is due under our standard terms and conditions.

    We may however consider issuing service credit as a goodwill gesture once the main issues have been attened to. If such a move is made all users will be contacted by email.

    So, no guarantee that you won’t lose all our data, no guarantee that the site will even work. What do you actually do there? I TRUSTED you with that content and your incompetence has lost it… well done.

    I’m obviously furious. Have you guys ever thought an apology might be in order. I have to contact you to find out what is going on? Why haven’t you called me? Why haven’t you APOLOGISED!

    Collecting that many posts on a message board takes several years. Some people have been on my message boards for over 5 years. And you don’t take the time to contact me and apologise. I have to constantly chase to find out what was going on. THIS SITE WAS NOT JUST SOME HOBBY SITE – IT IS MY LIVELIHOOD.

    1 hour later and more good news – the server is down again, more data is corrupted, and they’re trying to restore from last night’s corrupted data. Well done you! Looks like even more data is going to be lost this time. Tried to call no answer – no call back. Tried to call later, and guess what – you’re closed!!

    So now my site has been down for almost two full days. I’ve lost advertising money and jeopardised sponsorship deals. The 10,000 people or so that will have tried to access it will not know what’s going on. All the 1,000s of user generated message board pages will now longer show in google.. costing me money as my visitors decrease. My members are going to be devastated and all I can tell them is.. “sorry but the company I trusted to look after your content managed to royally f*** up”

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Why didn't you have a complete backup of your site if it is your business? Surely you cannot be blaming the hosting company for not having the files you should have had anyways? At least you should have some sort of compete backup from some time point in recent history.

  3. #3
    Of everything but my message boards

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    If this is truly "your BUSINESS", you would have restored your backup to another host by now and already been back online.

    This is a part of having a "business plan" and procedures for "disater recovery".

    Best of luck.

    I support the Human Rights Campaign!
    Moving to the Tampa, Florida area? Check out life in the suburbs in Trinity, Florida.

  5. #5
    okay i didn't expect such strong opinions. Basically it started as a personal thing and has quickly grown massively into a business. I am looking for a new host as we speak, but I don't want to make the mistake of choosing one that doesn't back up again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Originally posted by ollyodm
    okay i didn't expect such strong opinions. Basically it started as a personal thing and has quickly grown massively into a business. I am looking for a new host as we speak, but I don't want to make the mistake of choosing one that doesn't back up again.

    Unfortunately you missed the point.

    Yes, a good host will back up files but at the end of the day you are 100% responsible for your files and you should always back up regardless of your host's policy.

  7. #7
    Yeah, you should of had a backup since that was your livlihood as you put it...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Try to email them nicely, ask them if they have old backups that might be useful to retrieve some of the messages. Hopefully you will be again to get something from the old backup tapes. Also as what they say above, backup everything especially your crucial data locally.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    I would say a vast majority of hosts have a backup system in place. It isn't their place though to make sure that you have up to the minute backups of your site. Most hosts make this clear in their TOS.

    You are responsible for your content. You are responsible to back up your content. It doesn't matter who you host with, you will be responsible. Create a weekly backup plan so that you never lose more than a week's worth of information. You can usually set this up in your control panel as a cron job.

    If this is your business take it seriously as such, and take responsibility for it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Quoted from 34sp's terms and condistions.

    4.1 Where the Customer has not purchased any Backup Services in connection with Hosting Services, the Customer has sole responsibility for making and maintaining its own backup of any material on the Customer Website, e-mail account, Dedicated Server or Co-located Server. The Customer hereby warrants and holds harmless for any loss of such material, and howsoever occurring without limitation.

    4.2 will use reasonable efforts to back up data as defined by the service description on website (or as otherwise agreed in writing between and the Customer). shall not be responsible nor be liable for any loss, damage, costs or expenses or other claims howsoever arising for compensation for any data, file or other material being damaged, corrupted, lost or otherwise affected.
    Moral of the story: Keep your own local backups.

    I think its a bit unfair of the title of this thread, after all its not the webhosts disaster really, after all you agreed that you are going to be keeping your own backups when u signed up.

    Good luck.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    I agree, always make your own backups. Other than that, I don't know the company but they seem over priced for what they offer.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    You really should have kept your own backups.
    It's your fault - they even offer (I believe) a backup service along with the hosting. If not, there's plenty out there. are actually a fantastic host - I was one of their very early customers almost 4/5 years ago. I've had no complaints at all!

  13. #13
    This matter has been largely resolve over on our own forums.

    We have managed to restore most of the content on the failed server, including the information held in ollyodm's database.


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