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 Post subject: site stuffff
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:57 pm 
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I'm sorry guys. Same issue-- site down, so I did what I've learned to do at Bluehost since this started around the start of the year.... I rebooted the server. But this time it shut down, and then gave an error signal-- with no options to do anything from my end. I spent a half hour with tech support, and they eventually got it rebooted. They said 'it had powered off and needed to be turned back on'. Does that sound reasonable for $500 per year?!

For those who haven't run web sites, the experience is very different than what you would expect compared to most other things. You always deal by phone, talking to someone who is looking at something similar to what you can see from the home control panel...but with something a little more special, which is why we call them. So they always say the same thing-- they look for awhile and eventually say 'please wait a sec while I speak with the technical guys'.

(I thought I already CALLED the technical guys!!)

So after 15 minutes the guy comes back on to say 'just wanted to see if you were still there-- we're still working, so I'll be back'. Apparently they have a lot of calls where people give up quickly.

After another 15 minutes he said the part about turning it back on. Not sure why it took that long to find the button... but now it is back....

I am (obviously) looking into other hosts. If anyone has a great idea, feel free to post, or IM me. I have had servers at dreamhost, godaddy, bluehost, and a few I don't even remember. They all have the same 'non-service' attitude, making it clear that they will look at things, but they won't ever look TOO far into it. You have to do that yourself! Oh, but we can't let you into functions back there- you might break something!

Sorry we were down today. I will try to get things running better!


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 Post subject: Re: site stuffff
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:34 pm 
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What a pain in the butt for you!

Don't worry that we were down for a day. You do the best you can and it's not like you don't have a full-time job or two. I wish I were able to give some technical help, but I know less than you do, for sure!

Amy

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 Post subject: Re: site stuffff
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:52 am 
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Agree with Amy! I'm just grateful to have this place, no worries about technical problems every now and then.

I can't pretend to know how frustrating it is to deal with technical problems with this forum but if it's anything like fixing ur elderly fathers DVD player to an ancient tv over and over then that has to be stressful :)

Thanks for all u do Dr. Junig!

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 Post subject: Re: site stuffff
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:13 pm 
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Fatcow.com has some great track records...
also, inmotionhosting.com might be worth looking into.

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RIP little brother. Gone, but not forgotten.


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 Post subject: Re: site stuffff
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:08 am 
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Thanks guys! I got the report back from my service ticket-- malware got into the server through one of my other web sites and created a 'cron job' -- a program that automates certain functions that occur at one set time, such as sending out mass emailings-- and when the cron job ran it would overtax and crash the server. Again, the process is so strange... I get an email from Bluehost saying I need to 'secure the server, delete the cron job, and remove the remaining malware files'. It said if I don't know how to do those things I can consider paying one of their 'partner companies' to help me. Then it said 'let me know if we can be of help in any way!!' So I wrote back and said that actually, they CAN help me because I don't know how to do those things, and they obviously do-- so can they just do the things they mentioned?

They must have had a good laugh. They replied 'we can't help you because we are not a security company. But you can do your own search for the appropriate services' (something along that line anyway).

Tonight I found out how to delete cron jobs. Really not hard-- just look on the control panel for the button that says 'cron jobs', open it, and hit 'delete'. That's the frustration with these hosting companies.... won't do one tiny thing. Would rather spend 15 minutes typing an email that tries to explain what someone ELSE should do.

Thanks for the ideas about other companies-- I'll take a look!


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 Post subject: Re: site stuffff
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:26 pm 
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OMG just saw the Fat Cow suggestion. NO JUST NO - stay away from them and any of the others that EIG, their parent company, owns. I can go into all sorts of reasons starting with "unlimited bandwidth"" is somethung they redefined to fit their own needs. I kid you not, unlimited dies not mean what unlimited means to the rest of the world to the point they shut your site down for anywhere from an hour to days for exceeding their parameters. STAY AWAY FROM ANY EIG company including Fat Cow.

Sadly hosting is a function of finding the company that sucks the least. To be honest, because you are running a half dozen sites you'd be better off getting your own server or a shared setup. The problem there is you need some technical chops to run that as well.

That said, I've had decent luck with A2. https://www.a2hosting.com/web-hosting/compare They are far from perfect but at least better than many. All of this stuff changes at lightning speed and really takes someone who is doing it all the time. For someone who does not do this for a living you are actually doing rather well. It's all a huge PITA. I do design and site maintainence for over a dozen clients and hosting is always dreaded.


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 Post subject: Re: site stuffff
PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:17 am 
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Thanks Don. I do have a private server, and yes, the tech stuff is right at the edge of my knowledge level. I've been learning, though, through every problem that comes along. At this point I THINK I'm OK... I was able to remove the infected files and the cron job that was crashing the server. I am just amazed at the number of threats out there! I've mentioned that I use Incapsula-- the company that puts the little sideways V on the bottom left part of the page-- to protect the site from DOS and bot attacks and for CDN services (i.e. content delivery networks-- servers spread around the country and world that store some of the static files for the web site so that content is delivered more quickly). I had it set up to send me emails after every bot attack. I was getting over 20 emails per day, telling me about attempts by bots to register, or to inject content into the database. I stopped the emails and now I just look at the site every couple days to see what's out there.

One last thing... many blogs these days use Wordpress as a base. Wordfence is a commonly-used plug-in that provides security through a number of ways, including maintaining a 'blacklist' of sites that have been reported as 'threats'. My blog, Suboxone Talk Zone, is on that blacklist-- which explains why it doesn't rank on the first page of Google. I also wonder if the links from this forum to that blog hurt the forum's page rank.

There is a way to ask Wordfence to remove a site from their blacklist, but it is a long process. I also only get one shot; if they remove the site from the blacklist and it is reported again, or if it is found to have malware, the blacklist is permanent. I'm planning to start working on that issue this weekend.


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 Post subject: Re: site stuffff
PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:36 pm 
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SEO - search engine optimization and Google rankings are again an ever changing landscape. I mentioned that I mostly do design and site creation/maintainence - that's where I specialize. I kid you not, the Internet is much like medicine where there are SEO specialists, social media experts, hosting and server specialists, coding, and on and on. All of it changes all the time.

Search engine rankings are based on all sorts of things. There are a couple things working against you here. The first is mobile friendly. Google puts mobile friendly sites ahead of others. How often the main page changes - Even if other pages change it can look like the site is not changing which again lowers the rank. Perhaps most important is many sites these days are based in Wordpress - which has all sorts of SEO plugins that can be used. These greatly help with rankings. If this were a Wordpress, mobile friendly site, just that alone would increase rankings.

All of that said, we are also very increasingly a social media world. People visit and use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc far more than visiting individual websites. There are a dozen or more Facebook groups that deal with the same content as here. Someone posts a question at 9 am and by afternoon there could be over 100 responses. All of these things compete with website communities.

We here are old - really old in electronic terms. Wordpress and Facebook were infants when the sub forum was started. It's nearly like three generations since then or more. Think of all the places that have come and gone,major we are still chugging along.

I have not even mentioned the sites using Adwords and other methods to try to boost traffic. The thing is, many are selling something or in some way generating income while you are doing this mostly to be a nice guy! It's much easier to throw a couple grand at something when the income that will result is ten grand. Again, as someone who does this on a pretty regular basis, you are doing great - far above the average content provider or business. Be proud of what you've accomplished

All that said if you really want to press on, looking for and converting over to a CMS based forum like Wordpress and incorporating a social media presence would do the most to attracted more people. If not, I see nothing wrong with being the jewel of an out of the way corner bar where many know each other and everyone loves to visit. :)


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
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