So Flavor Boulevard went out of existence for about 10 days. It just disappeared. First of all (it wasn’t my fault but I will apologize because that’s how my culture works), my apologies to anyone who tried to visit Flavor Boulevard (and thank you for checking back to read this now 🙂 ). Secondly, I’ll explain. Thirdly, I’ll complain. And finally (I haven’t decided between devil Mai and angelic Mai yet, so maybe there’s no “finally”), I’ll make a voodoo doll of whoever caused this to happen.
My site got DDoS.
That sounds like a disease, doesn’t it? It happened like that too. One beautiful night after work I decided to update my blog, and dah dee dee dee dah I typed in the url and “Oops Google could not find flavorboulevard.com”. This had happened from time to time and usually it came back on within the hour, so I waited a bit… nothing changed… I started to worry… I emailed Web Hosting Pad (WHP) who was my webhost at the time and they said, in so many words about violation of terms and whatnot, that my account has been suspended. That explained why my primary site pmaitruong.com and the two subdomains disappeared too. I said okay why and what can I do to get the suspension off. They said your site has DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack and I’m forever suspended.
It’s like you went for a regular checkup and bam you’re told that you got Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, and the doctor basically kicked you and your confused face and your whatever-name disease out of his office with a Wikipedia link to your whatever-name disease. (That’s exactly what the tech support person at WHP did by the way, they gave me the Wikipedia link to DDoS when I asked them what to do…)
I scrambled. Then from a couple of panic and confused hours searching the internet and message exchanging with friends (thank you for all of the messages! They were helpful in many ways! 😉 ), I gathered two things:
- DDoS is caused by blockheads who weren’t love by the parents and simply take it out on other people for absolutely no good reason. Bullies. Sites that get DDoS get floods of fake traffic that exceeds the limit your webhost gives you, this is damaging to the host because it slows down their whole system, so their solution is to block your account. Nobody benefits from this, not even the attacker. Only the site gets hurt.
- There’s no simple solution once you get DDoS and your site is on a shared server (which is what most amateur blogs like mine are on). The only solution is to change host.
So I did. As my friend Tyler put it, the problem was cyber-bullying, and the solution was to move your house to a better, hopefully more gated neighborhood and hope for the best. Pretty passive I know, but there was nothing else I could do on my end when I couldn’t access my cpanel, and WHP tech support insisted on upgrading to VPS hosting (which is for e-business: dedicated IP address, more bandwidth, all that jazz that costs a lot).
With that we move on to Part III: The Complaint
Switching host is a pain.
There are companies that will do it for $160/site, and I can understand why after 9 days doing it myself. Getting the files from WHP was the first problem: the guy said that I have 4GB of files so I’d need to delete either my gt-cache or my uploads in the content if I want the backup to be generated without problem. Another “what!” moment. Deleting gt-cache will cause 404 errors. Deleting uploads means no more pictures on Flavor Boulevard. Yeah.. I don’t think so 😐 . I insisted on giving me the full backup. He said you might get corrupted file. I said whatev, just do the backup please. I got the backup. It’s fine.
Then I spent 4 days uploading the files to the new host. FTP-ing was SO SLOW. But there was a very nice tech support guy at the new host that made things a bit more pleasant.
I asked specifically for his help every time I went to chat support. Unfortunately the guy’s weekend started just as my files finished uploading, so I went through the rest of the process with other people. Some were friendlier than others, but in general I got what I needed. I’ll spare you the details here (yeah like I haven’t said enough jargons already, thank you for reading this far down by the way! 😉 ).
Part IV: The Voodoo Doll
Devil Mai wants to say many nasty things here but Little Mom has taught me to be nice and proper and not to wish bad things to people, so I’ll refrain.
To be honest I’m not that angry actually. Mishaps happen. I doubt anybody targeted me specifically. (I don’t think I made enemies with any tech-savvy people, did I 😛 ). I was first scared of losing my blogs. They mean a lot to me. They hold memories and made me friendships. Well, mostly memories because I have a pretty poor memory, I need this space to store the feelings and names and bits of culture I’ve encountered in the past 4 years.
Somewhat exaggerated, but I felt at a loss like a parent with a sick child. I now somewhat understand why my mom didn’t sleep for 10 days to watch me when I had a bad fever.
And then I learned A LOT from this. All those web jargons. The proper procedure to host switching. Things that webhosts don’t always tell you unless you ask. The different places that have a hand on your domains. Tech support is much nicer when you transfer to them than when you leave them (of course!).
So… you DDoS attacker: I’ll make you a voodoo doll and smear THICK GOOEY WARM DARK chocolate sauce ALL OVER its face and wish you bon appetit.
Dear Flavor Boulevard, I’ll take more proper care of you from now on. Don’t get sick again. Love, Mai.