Sit back and grab a chair and allow me to spin you a tale of self caused cyber woe. It starts with, as most of these tales do, with an errant click of a mouse and misreading of two simple words: now or later.
All right enough of that. Seriously, I have issues. Big ones. Maybe it’s the Army running through my muscle memory, maybe it’s just my personality, but to say that I have control issues is, well, nothing short of exceedingly obvious. I’ve been griping about my hosting service for a while because I’m reasonably certain the hosting isn’t the fastest but again, could easily be my own lack of knowledge and pure stubbornness that probably contributed to this.
I am a signal officer. Trust me when I say the user is their own worst enemy when it comes to tech support. But, I digress. So a good friend of mine over at Friendly Web Consulting who does amazing website design and humors me when I get a wild hair to do something with my site (like crash it while deployed in Iraq) offered to help me move my hosting provider since I only had a few weeks left on my original plan. Cool. All I have to do is give her access to my FTP site and she’ll make sure nothing is royally destroyed.
Key task there: sit there and do nothing. Keep that in mind, it will be important later.
So I’m fiddling around with the account settings and I get an email from Godaddy saying my hosting plan is set to auto renew in a few days. So what does your intrepid do it yourselfer do? I mosey on into the Godaddy portal and go ahead and delete the hosting plan.
What I THOUGHT I’d done was delete the hosting plan on its expiration date. What I ACTUALLY did was delete the whole thing time now. And so here’s a lesson for all hosting companies out there: charging your customers an exorbitant fee to fix their mistakes may be good for your bottom line in the short term, but you will win no customer service awards in the long run. But again, more on that in a second.
So I deleted the entire database. I did this, albeit accidently. And since it’s two weeks after my release, I’ve still got a fair amount of traffic heading to my site. And now? Nothing. Cue oh shit moment.
Luckily, I had backed everything up recently and by recently, I mean last month. So I lost a few posts, but nothing major. I’d recently installed a bunch of plugins courtesy of Jane Friedmann’s blog on plugins so that data was actually salvaged. All in all, I lost about a day unscrewing all of my settings and widgets. Not bad, considering I completely erased my database.
The lesson learned in all of this is make a back up. Because some companies will soak you an insane amount of money to get your data back. The four or five blog posts I lost were not worth over $150 that Godaddy wanted to charge me to fix the database. But what if I had NO back up? Would I have paid them $150 to get back the last 3 years of blogs? Yeah, probably. I admit that it was my mistake. But soaking me for it does not engender me to them when I still had time left on my contract with them.