Sunday, July 3, 2011

Issues with Go Daddy

Dear readers,

Last few days have been really tough on me. While I have to take care of the technicalities and back-ends of the band, my PhD synopsis is getting closer with not much progress there. On 30th we geared up and ironed out all technicalities to promote our singles. And just in the nick of time, on 1st July, Go Daddy, our host provider for the last three years screws us up. The site goes unresponsive.

On 30th, while we were preparing a mailer, Ghoshal-da, our manager found out that he was not able to access the website. There were trailing folder names that did not existed. e.g., that was automatically put in by the host (load balancing? - someone knowledgeable may help me out). The issue was not that big since throughout my debugging session I did not see any of this.

I started noticing significant problems on 1st. The FTP connection kept dropping off every now and then. And I kept seeing first hand of what Ghoshal-da had reported earlier. I start reducing the load from the website - as much as possible. Our website is heavy on PHP and fetches content from other places like blogger, twitter, soundcloud, etc. We still pushed through with the plans and made the songs public.

I also wrote this to Sudipto and Ghoshal-da -

Our hosting space on Go Daddy expires in October. Personally, I have started to dislike Go Daddy for many reasons.

Even mild traffic on our website screws up the load times as we have seen in the last few days. In the last one day we have seen 150 page hits. I have written about this to Go Daddy customer care.

The FTP connection of late falls off due to no reason when I use a third-party (reliable) FTP clients. In the last two days I was forced to use their own FTP interface.

While there is still time till October, I want us to shift to some other reputable server after that.

Now, I must mention that the maximum traffic we get may be of the order of 300 people on such days. Usually its not more than 3-5 visits per day. Paltry, huh! Not for Go Daddy. Their rattling grandfather's clock era hardware cannot even support such small spikes. So, they punish us (not the human, intentional one) which may be described better by the mail I wrote to their customer support.

My site is hosted on your servers (Linux, Economy). Even with very less traffic like that of occasional 150 (peak) people visiting our site, our site is terribly, terribly slow. The server response time is really horrible. It often results in 502 and once or twice has even resulted in 404!

Please look into the matter and fix this issue.

They were taking too long to reply. So I tried using an intermediate cache from CloudFlare. Of course this meant that I configure my domain to point at their nameservers - which I did. I tried switching to their 4GH plan, too, but sadly they don't support auto-migration from legacy systems to new system. Around 6.30 PM IST, when we had almost decided to shift our host, Go Daddy support team writes me back

It appears that at this time, your domain is pointed to another hosting provider. (Of course, I had it set to a cloud based cache, which at least let the visitor look at a broken site rather than blank screen). If you are having issues with your hosting account, you will want to contact your hosting provider. (That was you, but you you would of course not know)

However, if you would like to use your GoDaddy hosting account, you will need to update your nameservers. As your domain is not registered through us (Thankfully, that's why it was still working), you will need to contact your registrar for directions on how to modify your nameservers. Please point your domain to the following nameservers so that it resolves to the hosting that you have with us.

At this point I was so frustrated that I started taking backups of everything that was on the server. So I posted this on our twitter :!/darkprojectband/status/87137689903697920

Our hosting provider is not supporting us! While we migrate, for listening and for HQ copy.

I called up Sudipto and we made all the arrangements to migrate to a new hosting provider. The only problem was that I did not have an alternate in my mind. So, I sought for help on Facebook. Here's the conversation I had with my friends.

We decided to go with HostGator. Provisionally, for a month. By midnight we had completely migrated.

Go Daddy must go. Their shared hosting is not recommended. Not by me, not by any of my friends, not by the experts.


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