New Beginnings

It’s with somewhat of a heavy heart that I sit typing this today, as I have lost 6 months of experiences and opinions on The 6th Floor. One would think after 16 years of web site development and posting and some 30+ plus years operating on a computer I would remember one thing. BACK UP! Yet when I started the ball rolling to change hosts from iPower, I took for granted the fact that I had not backed any files up. It shouldn’t have mattered, as all the files were stored on the host computers, so a backup on my end would be redundant. Or would it?

On July 21 I made the DNS change so my domain name would point to my new host at Siteground, it was an anticipated move as I would finally be free of iPower, moving to a better, more reliable hosing company. As I changed the DNS and hit ‘ENTER’ it would take 24-48 hours for the DNS to propagate. I didn’t think anything of it, as I waited.

Unfortunately, when I pulled up The 6th Floor, now pointing towards Siteground, I was agast at what I saw, a post from February! I immediately contacted iPower, who gave me the bad news that they would not be able to recover any of my files since the domain name had been parked. I was upset, more at myself for not taking the necessary steps to avoid this sort of problem.

While it’s only 6 months of material, there were some experiences that were well written and captured the moment. I lost a 50k race in April, my first 50 mile race in May. That probably hurts the most, as it truly my greatest personal accomplishment in 45 years! I lost many posts on nutrition and plant based eating, as well as information relating to Julie Marie at Protective Diet. More recently I had run Mt. Diablo (Eagle Peak) for the first time and posted about the craft beer journey co-worker, Johnny C. and I had begun.

Those stories are nothing more than a memory and honestly I can’t even remember what I posted, attempting to recreate them wouldn’t do the original story justice. So I will keep those experiences as nothing more than memories and move forward from this point. Hopefully there will be no further problems, as I am very happy with what Siteground offers. So apologies to those who might have missed T6F, it’s back and we will move forward.

IPOWER Out

It’s only a matter of time before I pull the plug on IPOWER. The last few weeks they have gone to great lengths to provide no technical support via their support ticket system, nor has customer support done anything to resolve the issue. In fact, I had to finally upload a backup version of my site to their server in order to get the site running again. That doesn’t address the initial problem, which is still my main concern. I won’t get compensated, even though I have asked numerous time.

I continue to read reviews on other hosting companies. Many have pointed me in the direction of Go Daddy, but I don’t believe I will go with him since the CEO loves hunting elephants, as well as reviews not being spectacular. There are some other companies, whose reviews were more glowing and positive, supporting WordPress better than Go Daddy. Currently I am leaning towards SiteGround, who received some of the best reviews I have read.

I have also made the decision to remove all the domain names I have listed through IPOWER, as well as her Bengal website, Spotted Envy Bengals. Ipower has been charging me $129 a month for web development and support, as well as a 30 minute education session (which has never happened). Their monthly update takes a few days, which in the words of my wife is “old news” by the time it gets posted. This doesn’t including my hosting, which is another $129 a year.

IPOWER will lose all of my business and I will leave a scathing negative review of their hosting, technical support and customer service. These days, it seems the customer is never right and companies do not feel obligated to fix the problems to please the customer. What better way to rectify the problem than to stop shelling my hard earned cash and find another host willing to accept my business.

So after 10+ years IPOWER, thanks for nothing!

T6F Hacked!

ipowerI have spent the past 10 days in a heated discussion with IPOWER, my current provider for my website. While I don’t have a date or time, T6F was hacked (I have my suspicions). It’s been about 10 years, but recently I have not been happy with their lack of support. In July, 2011 my website site account was not auto renewed and removed from hosting. It took IPOWER a week to build a new account profile, as they claimed I requested the website be deactivated. While this was NEVER the case, IPOWER was quite accusatory and directed their replies to the fact it was my actions and responsibility.

Never in the years leading up to selecting IPOWER, as my host, had I ever had to backup my website locally. This after spending addition funds to get IPOWER to auto back up my site after the 2011 problem. Nor did I have to concern myself about malicious data and information showing up on my website, as I thought I was protected.

Now this most recent attack has me looking for a new host since IPOWER doesn’t provide the necessary backup or security, pointing their finger at my lack of action (not backing up my site locally) for this recent attack. It’s WordPress who confirms the plugins work with the most current version of their software, yet IPOWER should be looking at potential malicious files/attacks before allowing these to be installed if the results could produced a hacked website.  They bottom line it telling me to activate The SiteLock “Fix” Plan, which “protects your website with daily scans, automatic removal of threats such as malware, and more.” This additional charge is $89.99/year! I already spend $16.95/year on Site backup and Restore, yet they won’t use this option claiming the files are infected. I already spend $131.88 a year on hosting!

Through it all, IPOWER has been awful to deal with! Neither technical support or customer service are willing to do anything at this point. Fingers continue to be pointed at me for not being vigilant and taking steps to protect my website on THEIR servers. While search for a new host, I have noticed that other, cheaper and more highly rated hosts provide back ups and protection in their monthly costs, not as an added feature. Unfortunately, I am not sure how much effort I want to put into finding a new host and then moving all my files and uploading my site to a new host. That would mean I have to succumb to what IPOWER insists me MY problem and spend more money on hosting protection.

At one time I sang the praises for IPOWER, now if asked about my hosting, I won’t promote their hosting or their services. I believe there are better hosting companies out there, more highly rated that provide better hosting packages that are cheaper and more reliable then what is provided by IPOWER. It’s unfortunate that “the customer is always right” doesn’t apply while dealing with their support. They can’t answer many of the questions I pose and it all comes down to backing up my files locally, probably day to ensure my files are protected.

While I am still missing some key components to my website I have it back online and ready to update. Hopefully there are no further interruptions or I won’t hesitate to pull it from IPOWER and demand my money back for their continued lack of support.

CANCELED!

I was caught completely off guard on last Thursday when I attempted to go to The 6th Floor and noticed it was a parked domain. Fearing my account had been hacked or taken off line for whatever reason I contacted my host, ipower. In the past 5 years I have had nothing but props for my hosting company. Unfortunately the information and lack of support I received the last 5 days has been quite disappointing.

It seems on March 16 they received a noticed that hosting should not be renewed and the web site was being canceled. Their files show that I made this request. They claim they have documentation to back this up. At any rate I had not changed my default yearly renewal since I had been hosted, so that leads to the question, why was I canceled?

I still don’t know, guess I have to go with their answer, while I don’t believe what they say getting my site back online, as I had it before it was canceled has been challenging, to say the least. Aside from having to sign up with ipower again, after being hosted for 5 years. I lost everything. For inquiring minds, no I had nothing backed up that was the responsibility of ipower since I was paying them to do that as well.

I have been in numerous online support chat sessions with sales and tech support. Neither have been all that helpful. I guess that could be the result of outsourcing, who knows and I can only speculate. After repeated conversations, another yearly hosting fee and $30 set up fee, which they would not wave I have my site back online.

Today was a reach bitch to say the least. I will be the first to admit, I know nothing about SQL. Yet ipower wanted $75 (I was quoted $50 by sales) to set everything back up, including my SQL databases. After some nasty responses back to them, telling them I wanted my site returned to the status it was prior to them deleting it and I refuse to pay any additional fees, some tech support individual converted and imported the main database. Yet some 24 other databases remain. To be honest I might just let it go at this point.

I was not done though. I sent a scathing e-mail to a ‘Contact Us’ link explaining everything that transpired. While I don’t expect an answer or any apology I don’t believe I will be recommending ipower to friends who want to get a web site online. Everything was all find and dandy when they were getting my money, but when I really needed help, they more less said sorry, nothing we can do.

Sorry ipower, while I might continue hosting for 12 months, you have lost me as a real supporter to your company. It’s really sad to see companies shitting on their clients when they need them most. I did learn a few lessons, one of which I already knew. Even though I pay ipower to back up my site, I will have to start the task on a weekly basis, for fear they will silence my word or cancel my site.

Changes. Really! Last time.

More changes…really! This time SHOULD be the final time. For those who frequent the site you might have noticed some links, categories and posts missing. I was unhappy with the idea of not being able to accomplish a few items I really wanted to have on my site, for example my amateur radio log (courtesy of HRDLog.net).

After posting a question on WordPress.com Forums and taking the responses into consideration I went ahead and reinstalled the WordPress files on my host, IPOWER and have had very good luck in configuring it. Currently when you go to www.the6thfloor.com you are on the new, hosted site. So far it looks to be running very smooth, but it also puts me back to work on updating posts and all the other files associated with my site.

This was how I wanted my site in the first place and while pleased it make take me some more time to get the entire process completed. I am open to any suggestions readers have, please feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment and I will get back to you. So to everyone who continues to support The 6th Floor and my ranting, thank you very much.