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Bringing Our Hosting Back To Earth May 23, 2009

Posted by ismywebsite in general.
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4 comments

Hey everyone,

Well, I hate to not have much notice for something this major, and this has been in the works for quite some time, but just now it has been finalized. We will be dropping Galaxy Hosts as our service provider for Node 4.

I understand that many of you will probably want to know the reasons, and there are many. Here’s just a quick tour of the service we experienced from this company from various angles:

Reliability
One thing could always be counted on. There would never be a consecutive string of 3 days without downtime. We did achieve a couple, and at least we haven’t dipped below 90% in average overall uptime. This was largely due to server crashes from a large server load, yet we offered many practical solutions that would help solve the problem. None were accepted.

Security
How’s a major security hole, enabling anyone to gain the equivalent of root access? Well, in due fairness, they did fix it, eventually, after we pointed it out to them and gave them some guidance as well. For a company that’s been at this 2 years, they overall did not appear very competent in the area of server security and handling, and also refused to accept any help or suggestions, which would have really been mutually beneficial.

Features
Unlimited bandwidth, quota, and features were mandatory, due to a cPanel glitch. Despite our being well within our limit of space used, they would not enable overselling to fix the glitch, despite our repeated requests to upgrade to an account with it enabled. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the Addon and Parked Domains did not default to zero, but alas they did so we had to move many users off for that very reason. Not impressed at all.

Support
For the first week or so we were using them, support was excellent. They welcomed us to their hosting, and warmly greeted us. Finally, they realized we actually wanted to use the full extent of what they offered, and problems started to creep up. Before long, there wasn’t even a working support panel to communicate with them, and you couldn’t always be sure they even got your message.

Many of you will have personally experienced many of these problems, and many of them build on one another. We find this service is simply not of sufficient quality, and you as our clients deserve better. Lucky for you, it’s really not all that difficult to find a higher quality service. I could look just about anywhere.

What this means for every user on this node currently, is the following:

1) You should already be taking regular backups of your account, especially on an unreliable node such as this one. If you don’t know how to make backups, there is a tutorial in the ‘Tutorials’ section of your account. Be taking backups daily throughout this period. We can restore your account, and have plenty of hosting space, but we may not be able to restore any lost data.

2) For all users who have valid ads placed, we will be (hopefully) relocating your accounts to another node. I will be assembling a team of volunteers to assist with this. If you are interested, and you’ve submitted a volunteer application, then just reply to this blog post.

3) If all goes well, we will start transfering the accounts to our newest Node 7, which should be set up shortly. The transfer will happen through May 25th and 26th, and will only happen to accounts with valid ads placed. Nameservers will need to be updated if you have a domain. The new nameservers are as follows:

ns1.ismyws.com
ns2.ismyws.com

4) All remaining accounts on this server will be permanently gone on May 27th, or within a short period of time thereafter. If your account does not have valid ads placed, we offer no guarantees of any kind. All clients should have ads placed, and if you have difficulties with this, just ask and we will be glad to assist.

$190 Donation (Not Kidding) June 7, 2008

Posted by ismywebsite in features, insane, volunteer.
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9 comments

I didn’t actually believe this would go through. (In fact, I was recently promised another $100 donation that has yet to be paid.) But here it is, actually sitting in my PayPal balance. $190.

It started yesterday with a tiny comment on the blog:

Hmm… Tell me, what is the average cost of your nodes?

Depending on the price, I may be willing to donate enough for 1 year on 1 node, in exchange for waiving of ad requirements for my 1 site, provided that the money goes to a new node to help grow. Contact me on my email to discuss, please.

Bryan Bartlett, username Valareos, issued the following statement about why he donated:

The true value of any company, of any service, is not how they react when everything is running at 100% efficiency, but when a problem arises that shakes the very foundation of that company or service. What IsMyWebsite has went through these last few months could have been the end of the community entirely.

I joined IsMyWebsite just a few days before the great crash. In fact, I was in the queue to have my website accepted. My entire purpose was finding a free hosting service that supported SQL databases so I could develop my scripts in a test environment before going live on my paid hosting account. I was also going to use this service as a backup for all my files.

When the site suddenly stopped responding for days, I assumed that they just folded up, and vanished off the face of the earth. I continued to look for a different service, every so often checking back to see if perhaps the site would come back. Finally, the blog appeared, explaining everything. I waited, I watched, and I was amazed how quickly IsMyWebsite addressed the problem, fixed the problem, AND worked to ensure the problem didn’t repeat itself.

As I was waiting for IsMyWebsite to finish their nodes, and give me domain space, my original host deleted my entire website. Why? Clerical error caused them to show me a year behind on payments. There was nothing I could do. They offered to give me a year free service, but all my files were permanently gone, and there was no backups to go to.

So what did that show me? That IsMyWebsite, a relatively small, free hosting service that is supported by unobtrusive ads placed where the designer wants them handled a crisis with more professionalism, and more care for customer satisfaction than a large “professional” company.

It is for this reason, and many others, that I have donated $190 CDN, to pay for a full year hosting and domain for a new node, to help this community grow.

Thanks, and keep up the good work.

This is the first donation to ring through in months, and I really hopes it stirs up more. Donate like Valareos here.