How GoDaddy Killed My Blog And Why You Should Stay Away From Them

Ded.

It was a beautiful sunny morning. I was munching on my breakfast, while browsing my RSS feeds for the day. I took a moment, and shared my breakfast photos on Snapchat. I decided to make a quick blog post about a random thought I just had.

I tried to log in to my blog, but it has been slower than usual over the past 2–3 days. I decided to take GoDaddy’s help on troubleshooting which recommended that I use a backup available on my managed WordPress hosting account.

Sounds pretty simple. I should just restore my blog to a previous working date, and everything should work just fine.

Except, it didn’t. It ended up killing my blog entirely.

My personal blog is hosted on GoDaddy’s managed WordPress hosting services. They promise faster hosting, no-nonsense WordPress management, and of course the icing on the cake — backups for thirty days.

On restoring my blog to a previous date I found out my blog stopped working. The front-end wouldn’t display any blog posts. I couldn’t log in to the backend either. I guessed it could be an issue with the plugins. I decided to disable all of them, but still nothing.

I instantly called up GoDaddy’s support team in India. That’s where things went really downhill. GoDaddy’s support in India is absolutely the worst kind of support possible. The person on the other end couldn’t figure out anything. I was on a call with him for at least 1.5 hours.

In the end he just asked me to check my database via phpMyAdmin, and find out why I can’t login.

On checking the database, I found the tables for posts and users weren’t there. A few other essential WordPress tables weren’t their either. I could find tables for my previous WordPress installations on GoDaddy intact. This is where Apple Watch admitted my heart rate was jumping.

I called up GoDaddy again. This time I was on a call for almost 2.5 hours. The lady on the other end couldn’t figure things out either. After all that time, she told me there’s nothing she can do.

So my personal blog was not only down, it was pretty much dead. All my posts were gone. I couldn’t log in to the backend to figure things out. It was driving me crazy on how essential tables in a database could evaporate like that.

I decided to give Twitter a shot. I reached out to GoDaddy’s support via Twitter DMs, and I received a response late at night that they will ask their ‘database team’ to find out what happened, and maybe try and fix it.

This morning I received an e-mail from GoDaddy. The e-mail claims that the tables in the database were probably corrupted, and therefore GoDaddy wasn’t backing them up. So these tables were probably corrupted since the last 30 days, and GoDaddy didn’t have a system in place to inform the customer.

It absolutely makes no sense. If the database was corrupted since the last 30 days, my posts shouldn’t be visible at all. My blog’s front end was working perfect well in the morning, I could see and read posts. If WordPress couldn’t find posts in the database, how do you expect them to display them on the blog? You’d say it was all cached but you can’t expect to see cached content from the entire blog, for more than a month.

Lessons Learned

  1. Keeping a backup is as essential as breathing. I have an old backup of my blog from 2013. Ever since I moved to a managed WordPress hosting account on GoDaddy, I stopped taking local backups since they promised to take automatic backups and make them easier to restore.
  2. Don’t rely on GoDaddy. This has been my first encounter with GoDaddy where things turned so bad. I’ve been hosting small websites, and getting all my domains from them since ages. But now I’m moving everything away from them.
  3. GoDaddy’s technical support staff in India is useless. Don’t waste time with them over the phone. I am sure a small web based ticket would have done the job, but they don’t even have that anymore.
  4. Customers don’t mean anything to GoDaddy. If I had to paraphrase the e-mail I received from GoDaddy this morning, it simply says that oops we made a boo-boo and you are fucked, but there’s nothing we can do about it. That’s all.
  5. Stay away from GoDaddy, you guys.

The Road Ahead

My personal blog didn’t make me any money. But personal blogs are like first crushes or first cars. There’s just so much sentimental value.

For starters, I’m getting a VPS and moving the blog there with my other websites. I’m going to use my backup from 2013, and Wayback Machine to get all my posts back. It going to be a lot of work so I’d rather outsource the mechanical aspects of it to Amazon Turk or something.

On the brighter side, I’m more kicked to revive the blog and post reguarly on it from now on.