What happened

On Wednesday I concluded the day with everything functioning perfectly.  On Thursday I found only error pages and I could get to my server using FTP.

I called support.  Happily I have an internet w-fi phone through Vonage, so it did not cost a patrimony.

Geek after geek gave me different answers.  Then suddenly the blog came back and I had FTP access again, but two things were wrong.  First, as you saw everything after 26 February was gone – that represented a lot of work and links back to this blog.  Second, I could see that the plugins in my plugin page in WordPress admin did not match the plugins in the plugin directory on the server.  As a matter of fact, the blog page showed plugins I had uninstalled before I migrated to a different server.  You see… even if some old database was now in use, the plugins picked up by the blog should be coming from the plugin directory.  Since they weren’t…  they were coming obviously coming from some other source.


I concluded that to fix my problem, the geeks had simply pointed the site back to the OLD server I had been on back in February before I migrated to the new server we are supposed to be on now!

I was right, but it was even more complicated than that as it turned out.

Leaping into action, and suspecting that my data was in reality intact somewhere back on my proper server, I got on the phone again and wrote more mails.  Again I got stonewalled.  I was told everything was fine.  There were no problems.  It was all working.  I had no problems.  The data backups were going.  Oh yah… sorry about that.  Nothing we can do.  Etc. 

Then one fellow told me I wasn’t seeing what I was seeing on my server and, then, that I didn’t understand what I was seeing… well… that’s when I got mad.

After calming down and making screenshots of the discrepencies between the plugin page and the plugin directory on the server, I called support again.  At that point I began some slow and very serious verbal chewing on some poor kid to whom I had already spoken to a couple times.  He produced the number of one of the co-owners of the company. 

This in turn produced results. 

We had a good conversation about my experiences that day. 

After being on hold for a few minutes, the co-owner came back to explain that the server (called it Z-2) I was supposed to be on had momentarily kak’d and had been rebooted.  So, we defaulted back to the old server (call it 67).  However, that server was, it seems, coincidently being worked on and everything had been shifted to a third server (call it 99).  Thus, the automated notification system couldn’t notify me of a problem because when it defaulted to 99 (because 67 was being worked on), the server didn’t know my e-mail address and couldn’t send a notice.  Thus, I was told by geeks that everything, all backups of db’s etc, were gone and couldn’t be recovered, because they didn’t take a look at the subsequent line of action after checking Z-2 and 69.  The co-owner got the ball rolling in the right direction and once all the various addresses and pathways had repropagated WDTPRS was once again pointed back to the proper server, Z-2, which had remained exactly as I had left it on Wednesday night, thanks be to God.

However, during the process of many hours, I had been both lied to once (and I had the e-mail to prove it), given incorrect information several times, and treated with no little measure of condescension by one techie.

When the co-owner heard my story he was very interested to know the names of people I had dealt with.  I made sure to give positive feedback about the poor fellow upon whom I turned my verbal wrath (which was up to about 85% of its potential fury at that moment).   The co-owner told me to contact him if there are any other problems.

In any event, it was an object lesson in the realm of hosting in specific, of customer relations in general, and in patience overall.

I want to thank all of you who offered help and support when it looked like I had lost all those entries.  Indeed, I thought they were destroyed, and had been told several times that they would never be recovered.  I learned a good deal about cached pages.

Now I am learning about cron jobs and automatic backups to be downloaded to a completely different place!! 

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Raphaela says:

    Welcome back, Father, and my felicitations on surviving a particularly nasty tangle with the techies. Good to see the blog is back to normal again (mostly, anyway; the link to the “podcazt” page returned a 404 Not Found error just now when I tried it, but everything else seems to be as it should be).

  2. Okay… eventually I will look into that.

  3. P.Bunyan says:

    Let me add my own welcome back. We missed you, for however
    briefly. With developments proceeding apace, this was not the
    time for a major meltdown. Glad everything is back up and running.

  4. P.Bunyan: Indeed. This could have been very bad.

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