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Link Back... for now? / 2007-12-31 00:10

You have certainly noticed the problems during the past few days. I'm not entirely sure what happened myself, but I'll try to give the gist of the issues to the best of my knowledge...

On Christmas day, the same day our credit card got charged for the hosting, the site went down with a "403 Forbidden" error. I contacted the hosting's technical support, and they underwent the routine of asking my domain name and the problem. When I told them, their response was, to my great horror and surprise, that our domain name did not exist in their database. This made no sense to me, of course, but the technical support was completely uncooperative and said I had to contact the sales/billing department.

Which I did, except, of course, that it was Christmas evening, and everyone was on vacation. I got an auto-responder saying they would be back on December 27th. Of course, when that day came, the site was still down and I still had no response. Then a strange "under construction" sign appeared, which for the record was a placeholder page they had put up - it was not from us.

Then, I saw that a senior technician on my instant messenger contact list (the only one who has ever managed to really help me in the past) was online. So I contacted him and explained everything. Strangely, he does not work for that hosting company anymore, but he still kept contact with his former employer and managed to get something done. He told me that the company had underwent major changes in their services: they had changed their administration control panel platform, but apparently had "missed us" during the migration. We didn't even enter their new billing cycle (which was scheduled to start on Jan. 1st, 2008). How anyone could "miss" what is no doubt their largest client is anyone's guess...

As of right now, I still have no response from the sales/billing. But the site is back online for some of us, thanks to this guy, who is actually hosting us temporarily on his own server. If your friends tell you they can't access the site, tell them to restart their computer or flush their DNS cache (under Windows X, command line, ipconfig /flushdns). It worked for me, but not for others, so I guess it's a matter of DNS propagation or something...

On my end, the images are broken. It's probably the case for many of you. The images are hosted on another server, and fetched via a subdomain, which may be wrongly configured. We're looking into this at the moment. To be on the safe side, image uploads have been disabled until we are certain the images will be displayed correctly. Worry not, though, the image files themselves are safe.

So for now, you can browse and use the site (minus the images, but at least all the data is there). Our contact will attempt to resolve the matter with the host tomorrow, so it's possible that the site goes down again for a bit (I say this because I don't exactly trust them to do it right, for obvious reasons).

Sadly, this isn't completely over yet, so we thank you for your patience. Don't worry about one thing: nobody is trying to shut us down, and we aren't going anywhere. As soon as we are able to, we will get a powerful dedicated server to make sure this does not happen anymore.

Thank you again for your patience and comprehension. Stay tuned for the updates as soon as I get them.