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Lee Odden

Getting Screwed by Your Hosting Company

By Lee Odden     Blogging, Online Marketing

Yesterday I received an email from our new blog host. It reads:

This message is in regards to your (hosting company name) account “toprank”, which
resides on the server xxxx.hostingcompany.com.

Due to problems it was causing on the server, we were forced to disable the
following script located in your account:

/usr/www/users/toprank/tools/rss-buttons

For future reference, please take a look at our script usage policies:URL 1
URL 2

Please write to urgent@hostingcompany.com for information about having the script
reenabled.

If you have any questions about this script, please contact our friendly
support specialists at support@hostingcompany.com or xxx-xxx-xxxx (option 2).

Sincerely,
The Hosting Company Support Team

That’s interesting alright, but what’s more interesting is that the hosting company’s handiwork also disabled access to all 3,000+ URLs published under our domain. I called support when I saw the email and received a recording to call back between 8am and 8pm. I also just sent an email and am waiting to hear back.

The script that was disabled has nothing to do with the rest of the blog, so there’s no reason to have disabled access to the archive urls.

The irony of the situation is that the last post I made prior to this happening had to do with online reputation management and while I am very tempted to mention this host by name, I will see how the situation pans out.

Update:

OK, this morning between 8-9am CST I finally received a reply from the hosting company support team saying that our RSS button tool was causing load issues with the server hosting the blog. We are using their “Webmaster” hosting plan. Too many people were referencing the RSS button images (even though we’ve long since changed URL references to the respective RSS reader web sites). Our current hosting plan is a shared plan. It’s not the “highest” but not anywhere near the cheapest either.

My email was sent to the suggested “urgent” address and responded to 12 hours later. Overall down time for the site is 16-18 hours. What the hosting company decided to do was disable access to the directory hosting the RSS button tool as well as rename the .htaccess file. In their email they only stated “disabling” a script. They never mentioned anything about making changes to the htaccess file. They did this without notifying us first that there was any issue.

Our past host never, ever made changes to our site or configuration without first advising us in advance. The only reason we’re not still with our old host is because of how they were not able to deal with a DOS attack. However, we still host about 20 sites with them and will continue to do so.

With the current host of this blog, it seems to me a bit unreasonable at best, to disable a web site without notifying the customer of any issues first. I really wish we could find a hosting company that can handle our basic blog hosting needs without insisting we use a dedicated server. But maybe that’s what we need.


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