Back up again!

You would not believe how many emails and chats and phone calls I’ve traded with tech support over the past few days.

I just got an automated email letting me know the site came back up, so I was able to post this almost immediately. I just want to say I’m sorry for being down for so long, and I really regret that I had no way to communicate what was going on behind the scenes.

Last I heard, there were preliminary indications that the site was hacked. But that information was given me three days ago, and it’s possible they’ve changed their diagnosis now that they’ve traced it far enough actually to fix it.

I don’t know what they did to bring it back up tonight. I’m expecting some kind of report, maybe in the morning.

I’m thankful for the work the team did to bring the site back to life. Whew!

Update Friday morning:

There was no hack on the server.

For those who want to know:

Early this week, at my request, tech support made a change in server security. When they did so they apparently forgot to flip a virtual switch in the nameserver settings to finish the change, so the site was down for a while. That got taken care of but the site was running very slowly, sometimes requiring more than 20 seconds to load a page.

I implemented another feature to address that, but the specific way that I did that conflicted with the specific way the tech team had set up the new site security, and the whole thing fell apart. I told the tech team the changes I had made, starting with the very first conversation I had with them, but (for reasons I do not understand) it still took a very long time for them to identify that as the real problem.

Meanwhile the nameserver still was not resolving, which is the virtual equivalent of a GPS being unable to access any satellites: you know the address you want to get to, but you have no guidance on how to get there. I think that issue might have been independent of the others, although that wasn’t specifically said to me. If it was, then we had a technician’s true nightmare: independent simultaneous failures.

I need to get some WordPress features running again now for this site, and I think that should bring everything back to normal.

If anyone asks, I’d still gladly recommend the hosting company I use (inmotionhosting.com).

Comments

  1. Post
    Author
    Tom Gilson

    See the update posted at the end of the OP. It wasn’t a hack. It was a mix of independent failures and inadvertent conflicting changes made on the server.

  2. Post
    Author
    Tom Gilson

    In testing now I’ve found that page load speeds are fine in the eastern U.S., but they get slower the farther one is from there. There’s a way to improve that, but I’m going to just let this sit the way it is for a week or two before I work on it any more. One of the changes is technically impossible to make before early next week anyway.

    I give my apologies especially to readers south of the equator from Africa eastward toward south Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and all the many countries too numerous to name.

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