Website woes

Yee-ha and all that stuff on establishing a blog. OK, supercool.

But I’ve been trying to get a website up, too. And that’s just been so bad I had to write about it.

It’s not even like I’m trying to create some spectacular, flashy site. Just a place to put some school-related stuff with a friend. You know, projects that need a home and/or a showcase, my CV, things like that.

So I found a free webhost (I know, I know, you get what you pay for). I’m not going to use any names right now, as maybe things will get better and it’s just a bump in the road.


So, I sign up (actually apply) for a subdomain on this free webhost and am awaiting approval. While I’m waiting–before I even get approved–I get an email saying my account’s been cancelled. No reason given, but if I have questions I can contact the support team.

Okay…so I check out the user forums. Turns out the service is improving all of their servers, and they decided to do so they had to basically tear the whole thing down and start afresh. This meant (according to announcements, less than 48 hours before the tear-down) that all existing accounts would be cancelled, and everyone had to reapply. The rationale for this was that it would also get rid of deadbeats and inactive accounts. And, of course, new signups would be suspended until the new servers were up.

Oy, okay, whatever. So I wait until the servers are up (which takes about two days) and re-apply. This time,
I got a prompt response and my application was approved in about 24 hours. So, I upload and start getting things together. I’ve got this nice orange-on-black thing going on…

Less than a week later, I get this email from the service: my account’s been cancelled. Again. And again, no reason is given, but I can contact the support team, blah blah blah. So I go to the forums and discover that again there’s been a mass cancellation. This time it’s not everyone; turns out (I think) that there was some sort of attack on the system and some accounts got suspended or deleted.

But mine is one of the ones that got deleted. Site taken down and everything. Good thing I had backups of almost everything. I cry for help in the forums, and am instructed that I’ll have to re-apply. Or is that re-re-apply? Re-apply again? Whatever. I did so, just because I’ve become a little attached to the domain name already.

Now, I’m waiting for re-approval (re-re-approval?). It’s forthcoming, I’m sure, because the domain’s active again, although I can’t login just yet. It’ll probably be up in the morning. But–just to make things interesting–while I’m waiting, I get an email from the service’s Head of Network Operations. He states that the service (which I researched, for real, and had a good reputation until right about the time I tried to sign up) is going downhill, the owner is becoming an unreasonable tyrant to both staff and customers, and he’s quitting to join the staff at a rival service offering free webhosting and he recommends that we defect with him because things are only going to get worse where we are and here’s the link–twice–to the new host, be sure to check us out.

I don’t even know what to think anymore. Is this just bad karma? I’m a graduate student; I can’t necessarily afford (as cheap as it can be) to pay a subscription fee for hosting some simple little website. I was just looking for something that’s more permanent and a little more spacious than the webspace the university offers. Whatever. We’ll see what comes of all this.

But it makes me feel old. I want to ask, “Whatever happened to good, old customer service?”

Song of the moment: "Criminal," Fiona Apple


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