Since Monday evening (my time so at least 48 hours ago) this site has been unavailable.
The server doing the hosting seemed to drop off the internet.
Good question. As the site for my hosting provider was also down I decided to take the optimistic view that the situation was being recified and it would be back up shortly.
Q: Was it?
No. I tried again later that evening and the situation had not changed. I was getting more concerned but I decided to stay optimistic and see if it was back up the next morning. That turned into the next afternoon and I was then kicking myself as I realised that it had been a couple of months since I had last backed up these blog posts and there were settings that I had never backed up.
Q: So what now?
I jumped ship. Although the hosting had been ticking along without any issues I had considered it strange that they didn’t seem to care that they had not billed me since October 2005, ie more than six months ago. What company doesn’t care if its customers pay or not? Becuase of this I had looked into other web hosting providers a month or so earlier so it was simple to sign up with the first name on the list after I couldn’t even access the current provider by phone (voice mailbox full!). It was then a waiting game while the new DNS settings for my domain propogated.
Q: What about the data?
Initially I thought that I had only lost a little bit of data but as time flowed along I realised that I had lost enough data to be inconvenienced.
I run a copy of the site on my box at home so that I can test any changes before releasing them so I knew that all of the files were intact. It would be a straightforward matter of uploading them to the new host. This meant that my computer collection area was intact as that is contained within files or brought in from del.icio.us (which I backup via a cron script that uses the API to grab a dump of all my links once a day). The photos section was also ok as it pulls the set details from Flickr.
This blog was a different story as these posts are primarily stored in a MySQL database. Every so often I copy the database over to my local MySQL instance but the last time I had done that had been at the end of March. Almost three months ago! Fortunately Google’s cache came to the rescue and I was able to obtain the text for all of the posts I had made since that time. One item on my list is to setup a mechanism to automatically backup the database, a quick search showed that there was at least one WordPress plugin that could periodically email an export of the database.
Losing all of my email forwarding settings means that my spam strategy has taken a big hit as I will have to regenerate the list of valid addresses and again monitor my gmail account which will be the target of the catchall rule.
Q: When will the status-quo be restored?
Not until after the upcoming weekend. So far I have uploaded the files to the new web host and the DNS setting have propogated. Until I sort out some differences in the configuration of this host to my old host all I have running is this blog (how else can it be read?)…