Tuesday, August 2, 2016
As the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Some seven years ago, our previous web host went tits up one weekend when they decided it was a good idea to physically move the server. Oh, and they decided to shut it down first, instead of, I dunno, virtualizing it, or migrating to a backup, or any other number of things a half-competent server admin would do. (And let's face it, I'm not even a server admin, let alone a compentent one, and even I know better.) When it was back up and running, settings changed on their end that prevented the site from working properly. After a couple months of this, we switched hosts.
We went with Arvixe for a number of reasons: full development stack support, email hosting, backend database, the works. And all for a ridiculous price. And for a time, it was good. Very good.
But as another saying goes, you get what you pay for. Late in 2014, Arvixe was bought by EIG. As these things go, there was the usual "there will be no changes" and "expect the same great service" and blah blah blah. Yeah, you see where this is going.
If you're not familiar with EIG, they're one of, if not the, largest web hosting companies around. And it's no secret that virtually every smaller host they buy, no matter how great, eventually goes to shit. They regularly lay off the existing staff and offshore support. Things go haywire and it's nearly impossible to get any help.
About a year after EIG took over, shit indeed hit the fan. Sites went down and support was nowhere to be found. Fortunately, Itzoe.net and our other sites were relatively unaffected, but we probably should have seen the writing on the wall.
And so a week-and-a-half ago, we went down. And stayed down.
I first noticed around 11:00 PM Saturday night. Hmm. I'm sure it's just a hiccup, it'll be up and running soon. At 9:14 AM Sunday morning, they posted that the server was down. Duh.
And then nothing.
And more nothing.
And the site didn't come back up until late Tuesday afternoon. Nearly 72 hours down. With no updates along the way. I shudder to think if I was running a small business that utterly depended on my site.
And then, to boot, it went down again last weekend for another 24 hours while they installed updates. Again, no communication.
Like I said, I'm no server admin. Hardware and servers really aren't my thing. But it doesn't take a genius to know if you're providing a service, you do your damnedest to make sure that service is available at virtually any cost. And I know shit happens, but maybe a little something, even something as simple as "We're sorry, but we're still working on it" wouldn't hurt. At the least.
So as it is now, we're shopping for a new host. Will it happen? I don't know. We haven't found one with comparable features for a comparable price. It comes down to is the crap we put up with offset by the ridiculously low hosting fees? Time will tell.