I don't ever post on forums, but today was possibly one of the most stressful days of my life, and I need to better understand what happened and what I could have done differently.
So, I am not a trained web developer. I work for a very small family business, and we purchased a number of websites that are hosted with GoDaddy about two years ago.
Earlier this week, I started looking into staging options to revamp our WordPress sites and learned that GoDaddy offered a staging environment as part of our Managed WordPress hosting plan. Our whole team became very excited and started looking at moving all of our sites into this plan in order to stage and work on them.
After just a few days, our staged site was of course nowhere near ready to be launched, but we were running into some challenges. I was unable to update a few plugins on both our live and staged environment of this particular website. After a little bit of research, I decided this could be because the site was timing out before the update was completed.
I called GoDaddy and they increased the timeout value on our live site. After this adjustment, I was able to update the two plugins that were causing problems. Yay!! However, we were still experiencing the same issue on the staged version of the site. Not wanting to wait on the phone again, I messaged their chat support.
A few minutes later, I explained what I was looking for to the representative. He had to reach out to another support team at GoDaddy to look into the error I received when trying to do the update. While I was waiting, our test environment was suddenly down. I checked our live site and, to my horror, our stage site had been moved into production.
I quickly messaged the support rep and was told not to worry and that they were still working on things. Eventually, I was told everything was fixed. However, everything was very much not fixed. Our main site (after at least 20 minutes of showing our completely unfinished stage environment) was now completely down. I waited for awhile for it to get up and running again. When it didn't, I called another representative.
This rep said that whoever had put our stage environment into production changed the IP address and never pointed to it. He corrected the error and said that our site would be up again in a few hours, but he couldn't tell me which version of the site it would be.
A few anxious minutes later, the site was live again, but It was the staged version of the site. We quickly took it down and called another rep at GoDaddy. This representative was perhaps even more unhelpful and unsympathetic of what we just went through. He told us to upload a backup file. However, all of our backup files we had saved online were wiped out by the sync of the two different environments.
He finally ended up restoring our site to a version from an entire month ago and let us to our own devices after that. Eventually, we were able to load a version of our site from just two days ago, but we lost all of our content updates from an entire day.
So in conclusion, we had hours where our site was down or our staging environment was visible to our customers, my original problem that I fixed was no longer fixed, and through all of this no one at GoDaddy seemed very concerned about what we were going through.
I understand now the value of keeping my own local backup files, but is there anything else I should have done differently?
Here are the screenshots of my chat log with a GoDaddy representative (name crossed out):
Again, I am not a developer, and I understand that I probably could have approached or handled this situation much differently if I had the knowledge. I'm posting this to discover if I'm just that incompetent or if someone at GoDaddy really screwed up - in which case I'm considering switching hosts ASAP.
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Hey there @User187341 (wonderful handle btw)
Thanks for participating in the community! I wouldn't say you're incompetent by any stretch of the imagination. I would say you're maybe not as well informed as you should be but that's easily remedied.
A good rule of thumb on backups is to have three of them: one stored locally on your machine (update it every two weeks to 1 month), a cloud backup (needs to happen daily), and, usually, the hosting company will maintain a backup in case of catastrophe. However, DO NOT RELY ON THE HOSTING COMPANY'S BACKUP. There have been instances, rare as they may be, where the hosting company had no viable backup. That's why you have two more. 😉
I, personally, have mixed feelings on the Managed WordPress offerings that GoDaddy or any other hosting company provides. None that I've used have done anything but limit my ability to use and build the site I want on WordPress.
That's not saying it's a bad platform, though. In my humble opinion, it's WordPress with training wheels so you don't completely mess everything up. (Which, as you've seen, can be a bit of a mixed bag.) Once you have a clue as to how to use WordPress, I firmly believe you should be on a Linux hosting platform so you have complete control.
The Managed WordPress platform here has some great features. It's especially newbie friendly and gives you a lot of cool things to play with, but it does come with its own set of issues. I know a lot of the people that work on that platform, though, and they do their absolute best to make it better every single day.
This sounds like it was just one of those random perfect storm moments where everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I know how frustrating it can be to call in for help and get attitude as well.
My suggestion is to move your sites back to cPanel. You can develop a site with no issue on a subdomain and then use Installatron to clone it over when complete.
I don't know if this info helps at all but I hope it does.
Once your issue is resolved,
please be sure to come back and click accept for the solution