The following post is not about travel, and is boring. Unless you’re a techie or care to hear me rant about a frustrating experience with an incompetent webhost, you may skip it without worry 🙂
So after pushing them for days and days, I finally managed to get someone to locate and fix the actual problem: another account was hogging all the MySQL resources. As soon as they blocked it, speeds skyrocketed and things returned to normal. I went to sleep happy.
Then when I awoke the next morning I found a very troubling email:
We adjusted the w3totalcache to use the minification which combines the CSS files as the fix we conveyed earlier, the page is no longer hitting the firewall rules. Please let us know if you are still having issues.
Um…what? First of all, you took it upon yourself to edit my source code without permission – even after the issue had been resolved and closed? I logged in to have a look at what was changed, diffing it with my local backup, and discovered something even more mindboggling…
THEY UPGRADED MY CORE WORDPRESS INSTALLATION!!
OK, so it may not be immediately obvious to non-techies why this is so unfathomable. Essentially what they did was, without any kind of permission, went ahead and overwrote hundreds of files on my server. They had no knowledge of whether or not I’d modified those files (I had), or if it would break anything else I may’ve been developing (it did), or if I had a reason for not having upgraded already (I did). Worse yet, they did this without even bothering to run a backup (as specifically instructed by WordPress) and seemingly without reason (what on earth were they trying to accomplish anyway?) This action brought my local development copy completely out-of-sync with the live version, meaning that – had I not accidentally discovered what they’d done – I could’ve easily performed local edits on my dev copy and mirrored them to the server (thus creating a partially-upgraded, broken website). Notice that their email made no mention whatsoever of this change.
I was furious. But because they hadn’t bothered to take a backup first, they had no solution. And to make matters worse, the WiFi had gone out the previous night and Tony was out of town – so I got to spend the next few days downloading my *entire* webroot and database over a cellular connection while trying to manually diff everything and figure out what they screwed up. Just to get it back to how it was when I went to sleep on the 4th.
Never in my life have I experienced such incompetence or unprofessionalism. If you use HostGator, make sure the first thing you tell them is “Don’t ever modify my personal files without explicit permission!”
The fact that this isn’t implicitly obvious simply baffles me.
Note: These posts are behind realtime; the above took place on Saturday, February 5th.