So, once again I have an all new site! I was quite happy with my previous site, having spent weeks learning Drupal and getting it looking exactly how I wanted it. So it is with great sadness that I have constructed this make-shift site using a free site builder. The main reason for this latest move is my unhappiness with my hosting company. After multiple incidents where they would shut down my account under the guise of protecting everyone from it's security issues, I decided enough was enough. Security is something which is dear to my heart, so keeping things up to date is not something I would ignore without good cause. There were always updates of one kind of another required in Wordpress which got to be an absolute pain, so that's why I went down the Drupal route for the last site. Drupal itself seemed fairly stable with updates only being published every few months at most. It was always the third party modules which were going to be trouble as these can be updated every few weeks. I managed to whittle my install of third party modules to the bare minimum so there was always going to be less to go wrong, as well as less to keep updated. One of my favourite modules was a full site backup tool, which is very useful when updates are to be installed. A couple of my modules were always slow to be updated by the developer, so I was often a little behind with patching those. However, the policy of my host seemed to be that if they discovered even the slightest hint of an app or module out of date, they would lock down the account completely and force me to upgrade. Annoying at best. An email to let me know that they were unhappy would have at least prompted me to take a quick backup of content before attempting to update but no warnings were ever sent... Their idea of protecting me was to instantly remove all of my pages with PHP code in them, which pretty much means all of them! I managed to recover the site a few times using Filezilla and trying to determine which files were missing and from where, and these were not always as up to date as they should have been. My backup module was a simple way to take a full site copy, including content, so that was the main method I began using for backup duties, leaving Filezilla for emergencies only. So, we come to the last time my host decided to protect my site by killing it... Once again, I had to contact them to have my site re-instated but this time, the site itself was completely dead. All I had to do was log onto the site, update what was required, then use the last backup to re-instate my content. Easy? Should have been, except the best I could get out of the site was a server error message, usually indicative of a PHP code issue. The host's support were next to useless, insisting I just re-upload the entire site from scratch. Apart from taking an age, I knew that, having relied on the module for backup duties, any files-based backup I could upload would be the best part of a year out of date. Another brilliant suggestion they came up with was to buy an extension to my already expensive package which included security and backups... I'm starting to think these regular headaches were not an accident! Instead of going through this pain (and awaiting the next incident), I decided to just go off and start something simple with another host, one which includes regular backups as part of the service.
Let's hope this experience is a far better one. Watch this space.