You don’t know the half of it!
For those of you who have tried to read this blog over the last few hours I can only apologize and hope that you haven’t been put off by another downtime from my server and the amazing ineptitude of my ISP. It has not been a good few hours, but I shall tell you what happened and what is going to happen next.
It looks like my web site – and several others on this ISP – have been targeted for attention and an attack. The attack takes place, or so it seems to me, at the front end, what you get to see, through a spider or bot called ‘legs’. This month alone this bot has ‘visited’ my web site 212533 times. Last month it was here 173855 times and in September 160234 times. In August 130801 times and in July 7 times. I could give you more precise figures on what it has done, such as the fact that this month alone it has taken 5.8 GB of my bandwidth.
My ISP is incapable of handling this level of bandwidth in such a mass, this many visits inside such a short period of time. I suspect that they don’t even know what it is that has caused all the problems, but that will change once we get on the telephone and start telling them what’s happening with the servers they are supposed to be monitoring – this is, after all, a Managed Server.
Throughout this time – and even now – the Technical Hotline, which boasts on the ISPs’ web site that it is available 24/7 remained out of touch. Each time someone dialed the emergency number it would ring once and then automatically hang up. This is something the ISP will deny tomorrow, when they finally get around to answering our complaint: they will tell us that they can find no problems with the telephone connection whatsoever; everything is working as it should. Once I figure out how to do it I will upload a short video made of us trying to contact the Hotline which clearly shows dialing and hanging up. I could probably go a step further and get a complete listing of all calls from one telephone to this telephone number – which is supposed to be secret – from the telephone company, but I think the video should prove enough.
Once the system was back up again I discovered that the data bank had collapsed. All the files were still here, all the basic information, photos, images and so on, but nothing to tell the server what to do with them. WordPress was incapable of operating since it had no commands to tell it what to do.
I then had to work through a series of pathetically useless FAQ instructions on using the backup facility. Nothing worked the way they describe it – as others have very clearly found out in the past since the FAQ page has a customer happiness rating of just 1.8 from 10. In the end I managed to download the SQL file to my computer, convert it from a .gz file into a readable document, rename it to an SQL file and, using HeidiSQL, upload it to the server. And here we are, back again.
What did we do during this break of over four hours?
Well, aside from screaming silently into the wind, tearing my hair out and several similar things, aside from writing comments and keeping people up to date on Facebook and Google Plus, aside from trying everything imaginable to get things going again, we rented a new server at a different ISP.
Yes, we all know what that means. It means moving again. It means transferring all this and several other domains on the same server to a brand new one. But this time it will be easier. This time we will transfer, change the DNS and then fire the old ISP. No stress, no strain and no deadlines. This will happen over the coming week or so, hopefully without too much disturbance to your viewing pleasure. Now that I’ve done it twice I’m getting fairly good at moving an entire life from one virtual place to another. Not that I want to do it too many more times, but still.
And this time I will write a few decent entries in advance so that while one site is still up the updates continue and when the other comes online they are there too. A brief break while we await the reconfiguration of the DNS and that’s it.
At least, that’s what I am promising myself!
And now? Now I need to start with my damage limitation work all over again. I hope that I haven’t lost too much this time, but I’m not counting on it. Plenty of work ahead.
Still, it’s good to be back, and thank you very much to all those who offered and gave me support over the last couple of weeks, it is more than appreciated!
Love & Kisses, Viki.