Update Nov 20th: PayPal found in my favor and refunded the hosting fees I’d paid to Heroehost. However, Heroehost didn’t restore access to my accounts as a result. There was a brief window when I had access to Internet Marketing Deals and I was able to download an old backup from Heroehost. When I tried to rebuild the site, I found that some of the database tables were corrupted or damaged and couldn’t get the site back up. The blog you’re now reading is now hosted with ServInt.
I had a disaster strike two weekends ago.
I have 17 WordPress websites hosted with Heroehost, which include this blog and Internet Marketing Deals.
The sites are down – all of them.
They’re split between two webservers. One server stopped working early last week as the domain names weren’t resolving correctly.
All Support tickets I submitted went unanswered. I had some tickets outstanding from early in Oct. and when I checked, I found these hadn’t been answered either.
Then, on Friday, the sites on the other webserver simply redirected to their cPanel login pages. So all 17 sites were effectively down.
I was able to log into the cPanels though…for a day. On Saturday I found I couldn’t even get to the cPanels. More support tickets to Heroehost went unanswered.
Luckily, I was able to access the cPanels via a Windows server I rent in the USA. I started downloading the webbizkb.com website. This was a slow process as I had to do it piecemeal as there was only a couple of hundred Megs of space free on that Windows server.
In the meantime, I filed a dispute with PayPal for the monthly fees I paid to Heroehost.
On Monday, my webhosting account was suspended (the one I still had access to). No communication from Heroehost, just the plug being pulled. My guess is that there is someone still manning things there who’s not prepared to offer support and they pulled my account in a fit of pique after receiving the dispute notice.
So now I don’t have any access to any of those 17 WordPress sites. All the sites are backed up on those servers but, of course, I can’t get access to the backups.
So Heroehost have taken some of my prime sites offline and effectively stolen the content on them.
Naturally I escalated the dispute in PayPal.
All my time in recent days has been spent trying to chase this up in one way or another. And, as a result, I’ve had to put back or put off other work.
With those websites now being offline permanently, my income will be severely hit as a result. This is for two reasons:
1. Loss of income from people buying products directly from those sites.
2. Loss of income from affiliate links. I cloak my links so they look better to human visitors and they look like they’re on my sites. There’s an SEO benefit to doing this as well and it allows you to change out old affiliate links for new when products are no longer available or better ones come along, without having to update the links embedded in content itself. So all existing in-content links would redirect to the new affiliate link. But, because my links are centrally managed, and they’re now not working because my sites are permanently down, none of my affiliate links are working. So that includes links added to articles used in article marketing, links in emails I’ve previously sent out, etc.
So why am I moaning to you about this?
1. If you have any websites hosted with Heroehost, move them to a reputable webhost immediately before you lose your sites.
2. Always use a reputable webhost with a long-standing, good reputation. Smaller hosting companies may offer cheaper fees but they’re not worth it in the long run. Dependability and knowing the rug won’t be pulled out from under you is worth a bit of extra money.
3. Never trust your webhost 100%, no matter who they are. While they’re not likely to be malicious like Heroehost, they can be fallible. Take Hurricane Sandy in the USA for example. Any datacenters or server farms that were affected by the flooding may not have enough redundancy built in and all the data they host/store might not actually be backed up on a different site. An act of God or nature could wipe your sites out. So always back up your websites and make sure that you download the backups to your own computer. Then make a backup of that backup in case you get a hard disk crash (that happened to me too only a couple of months ago).
So protect your sites and, especially, the content you spent time creating (or buying). Protect your intellectual property. Don’t rely on others to do it for you. It’s a pain in the ass having to do regular backups but not doing it leaves you open to ruination.
Don’t put yourself in that position.
There was a 50/50 chance that I could get this blog (Internet Marketing Help) up and running again, Fortunately, I was able to download the site and database from Heroehost before they pulled the plug on my account. But that was the only site I had a chance to download. I’m hoping that PayPal can bring pressure to bear on Heroehost to give me access to my sites so I can move them somewhere else.
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