It’s been a really stressful week as far as my ‘Family Furore’ website goes, and I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me adding all the graphics I’ve lost. And why? Because I was naive and didn’t ask earlier for the cPanel login details from the guy who took over my web hosting.
He has now taken my site offline because apparently he was offended that I’d spoken with NCAT about his refusal to give me a full backup or the login details for the cPanel after be broke his own deadline he gave me. He laughed at me, telling me to learn the law, he was a sole trader in Victoria so NCAT wasn’t relevant to him.
After messaging me telling me the above, and that he was taking my site down, luckily he took the time blocking me on Facebook first, which is how we communicate. It gave me enough time to get in and delete him as admin and export the xml files before it was gone. I didn’t know what xml files were at the time, and I just panicked, fearing I’d lost everything. I sat on my chair bawling in frustration for a few minutes before messaging a friend – someone I knew would help me click out of panic mode and into action mode. He immediately got hold of a lovely friend of his I’d messaged before about my site, and we all chatted which did the trick.
I got in contact with my domain provider and we changed the name servers across to theirs temporarily. Unfortunately that only gives me back my domain name, however the xml files are now uploaded to my new site, giving me back all my posts, thank god!! And because my site had been linked to wordpress.com via Jetpack, they were able to retrieve my followers which is great. Everything else has been lost though. I’ve spent the last few hours setting my site up again, however it’s going to take me a while to go through all my posts and fix the graphics. I can’t remember which graphics were for which posts – it’d make it easier if I did!!
I’ve learnt the hard way though, and it’s a mistake I won’t make again. It’s so sad that there are people like this guy out there who feel the need to play God to feed their own ego’s. But they are not above the law.
After talking with NCAT a second time, I’m reassured of a few things. A host provider cannot take down your site without good reason, particularly when you have paid in advance. A host provider cannot refuse login details to the cPanel or steal somebody else’s intellectual property, i.e. my posts. Payment cannot be taken for a service then that service or the work done, be withheld. It’s also irrelevant that this guy is a sole trader in Victoria and that I’m in NSW.
As consumers we can take steps to ensure the security of our websites. Always make sure you have full access to your site, and full control over it. Use a trusted, known host provider and keep a record of their business details, including contact information. And be wary of anyone you have working on your site who does anything other than what you’ve asked them to do. I’m so thankful I went to my site, followed the prompts and exported those files. I could’ve just as easily lost everything. Websites can be rebuilt, those posts can’t be rewritten.
One by one I’ll replace the graphics, but if you see they are missing, now you’ll know why.
Now go and backup your site to somewhere accessible!!