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IsMyWebsite DNS FAQ April 18, 2009

Posted by ismywebsite in general.
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1 comment so far

Seems a lot of people are reporting troubles that are DNS-related, so I just wanted to make a note here and answer some common questions.

Helpful Node Tools

Node 1 – ismyw.com
Node 2 – ismywe.com
Node 3 – ismywi.com
Node 4 – ismywt.com
Node 5 – ismywall.com
Node 6 – ismywb.com
Node 7 – ismyws.com (Not online yet)
Node 8 – ismyse.com (VPS #1 – Configuring)
Node 9 – ismysi.com (VPS #2 – Offline)

On many servers (but not all),  you can view your website like this:

http://domain.com/~cpaneluser

If your website is set up, the above link will always work, regardless of any problems with your domain.

You can also get the full phpinfo(), which is basically the server’s PHP configuration, like this:

http://domain.com/phpinfo.php

And finally, to test if the server is online, you can use this address:

http://domain.com/testt.php

What are my nameservers?
Part of the confusion comes from the fact that every server’s nameservers are slightly different. For your account, your nameservers will be ns1.domain.com and ns2.domain.com, where domain.com is the domain above that corresponds with your node.

My subdomain says ‘IsMyWebsite Default Page’. What does this mean and what can I do about it?
In the case your account was accepted, and you have cPanel access, you just have to wait. You can access your website using the following on most servers:

http://domain.com/~cpaneluser (See above for your domain)

And you can enter domain.com for the FTP host if you are connecting. Alternatively, the IP address for your server can be found in the ‘FTP’ link under ‘Hosting’ and can be used in place of the domain name. Use this time to get your website all working for when it does come online.

As for what causes this, all subdomains default to a temporary server. This temporary server displays the ‘IsMyWebsite Default Page’ for every single possible unused subdomain. Your website is created on one of the above nodes, so the subdomain has to be reassigned to point there. This is a process called DNS propagation, and can take up to 48 hours, but usually not nearly that long.

To speed up the propagation for your computer, you can use a free tool called Open DNS. More details are available at http://www.opendns.com/.

If you still experience trouble after 48 hours, please be sure to let us know.

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We Exist Again! June 24, 2008

Posted by ismywebsite in marketting, volunteer.
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2 comments

Finally, I have received word that we are officially back on the listing of free web hosting sites at Free-WebHosts!

If you feel inclined, you can drop by and rate us 10/10 here:
http://www.free-webhosts.com/reviews/IsMyWebsite.php

I am also looking at other resources where we can establish ourselves. As always, there are tons of potential clients looking for free hosting at FreeWebSpace. Maybe someone can help us answer all the topics there.

Be sure to help spread the word in as many ways as possible at this time. We have 3 nodes which are almost completely empty so there is lots of room to fit your friends.

$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.

Site Back Online May 28, 2008

Posted by ismywebsite in development, uptime.
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2 comments

I brought the main website back online today, although a lot of client websites still aren’t online. I’m looking forward to the day when all websites will be online. Here’s the current status of all nodes:

Node 1 – SmokyHosts
This is the present location of most of previous websites. Due to SmokyHost’s inability to change the domain name we are now stuck abandoning this node and moving all accounts over to the other nodes. It is still being debated whether we should drop SmokyHosts altogether or request that the reseller be reset to use a different domain.

Node 2 – IsMyHost.com
Hosted by NetXServers, this is our most prestigious node, with the most freedom for those hosted here. Although we had difficulty with nameservers, everything was online up until yesterday. (I’m still getting the full story, but I’m sure Mike would have alerted all of you and backed up data if he could.) Haloclan.us domains are hosted here.

Node 3 – IsMyWs.com
750 websites are successfully hosted here, and there has been no trouble since their creation. Despite being a relatively new company, TornadoGaming has proved a valuable reseller to use, being both affordable, fully working, and providing helpful support.

Node 4 – IsNumberOne.org
The massive hosting company HostGator is behind this node, bringing with them much experience in stability at the expense of restrictions on the hosting itself. Overselling could not be enabled, and thus accounts created on this node have to request every extra MB they will be using. We are looking into upgrading to increase the available resources.

Node 5 – IsMyWe.com
This node is currently using FelWebs, and successfully working. All 750 accounts were created smoothly and are now fully working. Reasonable support is also provided.

Node 6 – IsMyWb.com
This is one bad investment, however discounted it was originally. URL file access is disabled, and any request to Nixism to enable it or get a refund went completely ignored. It would be possible to manually create and adjust all accounts, or more likely just choose a different reseller for this node.

Node 7 – SuperbHost.us
Despite the undesirable name, this node has functioned surprisingly well, with almost all accounts now successfully created. This will be finished soon.

Node 8 – IsMyWebs.com
At this point, just a fantasy. InfernoWrestling is looking into helping us purchase this additional expansion with a better hosting.

Node 9 – IsMyWall.com
Reusing an existing domain name (for our donation wall) with a good reseller. The search is on to find the right company.

Node 10 – Your Name Here
This is a great opportunity to run a free host without having to worry about finding new clients, developing a main website, establishing a working support sytem, or finding a control panel to manage accounts – at the same cost. Just choose a hosting company we’re not using and order a good quality reseller package able to fit over 100 accounts from them.

One way or another we will make it through this. If you have doubts, please email me so I can address them. I would really like some strong-willed people to help us make sure this never happens again.

Working “Perfectly”, Says SmokyHosts May 15, 2008

Posted by ismywebsite in downtime.
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9 comments

It was cPanel before, and now it’s the entire site! According to Host-Tracker, the connection is being refused everywhere. In other words, the server is not answering requests deliberately.

Hi,
Yes sir, i am able to perfectly access [cPanel URL] at my end!

Regards,
Smokyhosts Support Team

Regardless of how that turns out, I am now getting hosting with Wildcard DNS enabled from CorexHosting, so instead of creating the thousands of subdomains they can automatically exist! They are remarkably fast at setting up my account, so I will have the site back online shortly, originally as a redirect to this blog.

As far as development goes, I’m on schedule to complete the administration tools that will enable me to effectively manage the multi-node setup. This is the first critical step in creating and fixing everyone’s accounts. There are lots of offers to create nodes now, so I have plenty to fit everyone.

Thanks to those who have stayed with me up to this point, and most definitely you will be able to get whatever hosting you need in the end. It’s just a matter of time, since I’m not giving up.

Something Odd With cPanel May 14, 2008

Posted by ismywebsite in downtime.
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I just want to let everyone know that I am aware of some difficulties you may face accessing the cPanel and have informed SmokyHosts of the trouble. As far as I know the main site is working for most of the world now, and if it doesn’t work for you, get OpenDNS – http://www.opendns.com/

I realize that there are also a lot of other troubles with certain accounts working. Once I can rebuild my script to test, I can figure out which ones are experiencing trouble, and rectify them. The IP address is different, and many of the old scripts I was using are not built with multiple nodes in mind, so until they are modified I’m stuck with the primitive and laggy WHM interface. (Does it really have to load a list of all 1000 accounts just so I can modify ONE?)

So, we have:

  • Accounts not working
  • Scripts to fix this in need of modification
  • Deletion requests piling up without any page to handle them
  • Hundreds uninformed the site is back online
  • No easy way to make account modifications
  • Major inactivity at all levels
  • cPanel on IsMyWebsite.com not working at all
  • No explanation of current troubles
  • New accounts piling up
  • Nothing to spend credits on except advertising
  • Little motivation to place proper advertising
  • But other than this, everything is FINE!

So, as far as a plan for fixing this.

  1. Broadcast a PM to explain all damages. Reconstruct the control panel and create all functionality necessary to handle future tasks. (4 days)
  2. Use created scripts to assess and repair the situation universally. Email notification to all Advisors to announce this, which they should pass on to their clients. (4 days)
  3. Upgrade the interface to include a delete account page. Recreate the script to provide a solution to just about all client-related problems, and improve relations through email. (4 days)
  4. Upload e-books and other sales items onto reliable password-protected storage facility. Each will have a different password, and that is how items can be downloaded by purchasers. (4 days)

Any suggestions or further questions about this plan?

Change Of Plans May 12, 2008

Posted by ismywebsite in uptime.
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8 comments

Two things have happened:

  1. SurfWebHosts can’t offer us the required LayeredPanel hosting, which I also doesn’t appear it would have worked as well as predicted.
  2. SmokyHosts can’t seem to get the domain to change, and in addition changing the domain on all the accounts is proving to be a harder challenge than initially thought. (First you have to fetch just about every detail of the account, and only then can you change one aspect of it.)

Essentially, changing the domain to work with SmokyHosts again will get us online today, with nodes, and the option to transition away from them later. As the server usage increases, we can move accounts off to IsMyHost.com – which is now working as well!

We Were NOT Targeted! May 6, 2008

Posted by ismywebsite in uptime.
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1 comment so far

There’s an ongoing rumour around we were targeted in the recent hack. What actually happened could more closely be classified as a virus – which uploaded itself through one of our clients.

As far as I know, no one has any sufficient motivation to attack our service. Sure, some people have been upset by the wait times and not having their website accepted, but that’s not really something to attack a site over. Not to mention, no threats were received prior to the attack or after it.

The second reason is, this ‘hack’ seems to be designed to keep spreading and travel through a variety of mediums to reach it’s next victim. If the target is us, it wouldn’t be logical to have an exploit that keeps moving to attack others as well.

And yes, SmokyHosts did trace the entry-point. It traced to someone who had been using our host for 3 months and already had 3 successful websites built. Not to mention this user was active on the community and fully satisfied. (Specific user has been notified and will not be disclosed here.)

Either way, we are taking this seriously. The primary reason we’re not online again is because of steps we are taking to fix this situation. We could have been online 2 days ago, with a fix to this one hole. However, with multiple nodes, we can fix all possible exploits before they strike more than one node.

Sorry for any previous confusion and thanks for your patience.