One of my first posts on this blog was in praise of Hostgator and their services. Many Many moons ago I had switched my hosting over to Hostgator and I was in love with them. They were helpful and and support request was resolved in hours.
Well I hate to say the honeymoon has ended. Now this hasn’t happened over night. Their support had steadily declined for the past few years with support requests taking longer and longer. Response times to questions could be measured in days. Then came the nickel and diming of simple tasks that in my mind should be part of the service, and used to be so. Then came this latest incident that was the final straw that has broken this camels back.
I have a site ( or should I say had, but don’t want to spoil the ending) that was doing quite well. Even though I haven’t done a new post in a year it had great traffic and was earning me a nice income from ads. Well a little Over 2 weeks ago one if my posts got picked up and linked to by a much larger site and the post went viral,for a bit. I was jazzed, but with great traffic comes trolls and the site was hacked.
I noticed because like shutting of a faucet my ad revenue dropped big time. I immediately noticed Hostgator that the site had been compromised and requested a restoral from back up. This was most likely with in 6 hours of the hack. After a few hour of no response yet I went to live chat and he escalated the support request to some other team. I got an email at that point that they were investigating and to not touch any of the files.
Two days later a get an email stating their scans were complete and malicious files have been removed, thanks and have a nice day. But wait the site is still missing and showing the hack message?? So I respond that what about restoring my site ( I happen to know that they are backing the space up weekly as it is and they re-write over it each time). I also explain how I’m losing revenue and followers every hour the site is down. No response.
I would send a new reply every day and not get a response. I even went back on live chat and that dude said it is still under investigation and that these types can take weeks. Weeks? Mean while my SEO juice is going to hell and I’m not making my money. So time goes on and each day I sen a “what the hell is going on id like a status update” message, in nicer terms of course, and still no replies.
Thank you for contacting Hostgator Security and I do apologize for the delay in our response to this issue. I also apologize for any misunderstanding or misinformation regarding our cleaning policy. At this time I have reviewed the account and I am not seeing any backups we may use to restore the site with. Our current backups of the account only contain the defaced content. The attackers appear to have replaced all of the files so it is simply not a case of removing the defacement and the whole site will need to be restored from a backup. If you do have a backup of the account you wish for us to restore we can do so without a restore fee.
Oh thank you for waiving the restore fee and if you would have done this at the time I made the request I know you would have had a good back up. Now site is gone unless I can find one of my older backups.
Yes I take responsibility for not doing my own back ups (practice what I preach) but it does not excuse Hostgator for providing, excuse my language, very piss poor support.
UPDATE 1: I got ahold of their ‘restore dept’ and so far was able to get the database restored. So with a clean install of wordpress I now at least have all my posts, just without the plugins and all the images. Its a start.
Want to see me ranting? Watch the video