Why Domestic Geek Girl Was Missing For Weeks (AKA, Why GoDaddy and Blue Host Suck)

WARNING: This is a long, long, looooong rambling and ranting blog post. It’s quite literally the longest blog post I’ve written so far, and it’s just one giant fist shaking at the hosting providers that screwed me over and took my blog off the web for over a month. And the sad thing is.. this is the abridged version of the crap I’ve been dealing with this past month. I’ve omitted all the tedious details surrounding the countless phone calls to tech support and the tiny hitches in getting my blog back to normal.
What the most frustrating thing was? THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH MY WEBSITES AT ALL. This started with GoDaddy’s poor product, and ended with Blue Hosts incompetence. Just.. ugh… just let me share the whole frikkin’ story. Pull up a chair….

GoDaddy’s Overcrowded Shared Servers Cause My Website to Crash

This all started close to two months ago when I got an e-mail from GoDaddy saying I was reaching my resources limit on my websites (Domestic Geek Girl and Gingi Freeman Photography) and that my site was going to start operating and loading slowly soon.
Sure enough, the very day after receiving the warning e-mail, both of my sites started lagging… MAJORLY. I’m talking long load times, images not fully appearing, etc. etc.
So I thought, well, easy peasy! I’ll just upgrade my account. So I logged into my GoDaddy account and upgraded my resources to the next level. But the problem didn’t go away. In fact, it worsened. So I called GoDaddy, and they assured me it just took awhile for the upgrades to take effect. But days later, it was still lagging terribly. So I called again, and they instead recommended that I upgrade to the next level. Another upsell, but what could I do? So I upgraded my account again.
After my second upgrade, my site worsened even further. Not only were the load times agonizingly slow, but it got so bad that at times my websites would not load at all. I would just get a “Server Error” page or an “HTTP Status 503” page, for hours on end.
I began a long series of back and forth phone calls with GoDaddy’s tech support, trying to figure this mystery out. They kept insisting I upgrade my account to a business account (a plan suitable for large companies quadruple the size of my tiny blog and business), but after two upsells that clearly did not work, I just wasn’t buying the “throw more money at the problem” solution.
For literally about 4 weeks straight, I spent an average of 4 to 6 hours a week on tech support trying to troubleshoot the problem. The longer the time stretched on, the worse it got, to where my site was only up for a few hours per day. My average page views of 600 unique visitors a day plummeted down to less than 100 unique visitors per day as more and more people could not access my site. People kept e-mailing me noting that my site was down, or that they were unable to leave comments before the site crashed once again. It got so bad that the majority of the time I couldn’t log into my dashboard to update posts or even investigate my site.
When my site was accessible I did every single troubleshooting idea they threw at me: deleting all my plugins, changing my theme, reinstalling WordPress, resizing all of my images, optimizing my layout, changing the coding on my blog, etc. etc. etc… nothing helped.
After more research I realized my story sounded eerily similar to others who hosted through GoDaddy. They all identified the issue as one with the server – not with my blog. The HTTP Status 503 and Server Errors helped confirm that the trouble was on GoDaddy’s end. When I began inquiring into the shared server they had me on, they staunchly stood by the “our servers can do no wrong” stance, and began grasping at major straws in justifying why it was my blogs fault.
Maybe it was my internet connection? I pointed out that my page views and readers confirm that is not the case. Maybe it was my computer? Or WordPress? Or.. or.. or anything but their servers. Ugh!!!
After reading countless people reporting the exact same problems – and all pointing toward the issue being with GoDaddys overcrowded shared servers, (and their refusal to take responsibility), I started looking into drastic solutions. Every single person who shared a story eerily similar to mine, I learned that after switching service providers (Blue Host was recommended by many), all of their issues were fixed, immediately. No more lag, no more down time on their sites, no more crashing or freezing, etc. And since the websites were left completely intact and worked once the server was changed, it simply PROVES that the issue was with GoDaddy.
So even though finances were tight (especially during the holidays!) Jonathan and I finally decided that between my Gingi Freeman Photography website and my Domestic Geek Girl blog, I owed it to my clients and my blog sponsors to invest in, ya know, a working website. These two sites literally are my sole source of income. My sponsors were getting antsy with my page views plummeting, and I had about three potential wedding photography gigs walk once they couldn’t load my portfolio (and who knows how many more didn’t even bother to inquire!). So we dropped more money than we should have on Blue Host hosting and a website transfer.

We Decided to Switch to Blue Host – And Then GoDaddy Deletes My Websites

After finalizing the transfer with Blue Host, I contacted GoDaddy to let them know we were jumping ship and would like a refund on the pointless resources upgrades I had invested in. The generally cheerful support staff turned a bit sour at this point, and with some short and curt words, they offered to refund and cancel all of our services. No biggie right? Except.. now my website was completely shut down, offline, and inaccessible. I didn’t realize they were offering to, ya know, DESTROY MY SITE along with the refund.
While undergoing a bit of a mini panic attack, Jonathan got on the phone with GoDaddy management and talked them into restoring my website. They usually charge $150 for this service, but since the jerkwad of a techie did it without fully explaining what was happening, (we thought he was just refunding our upgrades, not shutting down both websites) they comped the restoration for us. The bad news? It took about 3 days for the restoration to take effect. The bright side? My website was down so much of the time, I figured 3 more days wouldn’t be too hard to grind through.
So I got the notice that my site is back up (yay!) but when I visited it… about two weeks of blog posts were completely missing, along with another two weeks of images and comments. In the world of blogging (especially since I was saving all my backups on my GoDaddy account) this was simply disastrous. Depressing. Just.. just.. icky poo poo. Hours upon hours of work just GONE!
At first GoDaddy assured me with my hosting plan, they had been backing up my websites every day, so the content would be located and restored ASAP. At worst, I would be missing 1-2 days of posts. But as a couple more days dragged on, and after many more calls to GoDaddy, they suddenly changed their tune and concluded that the content was just gone forever and they have no idea what happened to it. One tech support guy even asked, “Are you sure you actually wrote the posts? Like, are you SURE posts are missing?” (Yeah… The not taking responsibility for their shit song and dance? That.)
So I finally decided to cut my losses and just proceed with the Blue Host site transfer, which I was told would take 2-3 days.

I Switch to Blue Host.. Who Then Proceeds to Screw Me Over

I informed Blue Host that I was ready to proceed with the website transfer and that some of the content was missing from my websites, but that I wanted the impartial posts that were missing content to be transferred at any rate. They put me in touch via e-mail with their “Migration Department” and we started the whole transfer process.
A few days later I get the “it’s all done” e-mail from the Blue Host migration team. All I had to do was check out the website and verify that everything was in working order and I’d be good to go!
So I head over to my sites aaaaaand…. Domestic Geek Girl wasn’t showing up AT ALL. And my Gingi Freeman Photography page had over 10,000 images missing. There were a couple of other small glitches in my WordPress account, but I looked the problems up in WordPress support forums and got them ironed out myself. All of the glitches I could trace back to errors the Blue Host team made in incorrectly installing my plugin and theme settings… which was surprising considering they pride themselves on hosting WordPress blogs. (You’d think they would, ya know, know how to properly install one.)
After informing Blue Host of the issues, all I get is, “You told us that GoDaddy deleted some of your content. We transferred everything that was there. If the images are missing, it’s GoDaddy’s fault, not ours. And your Domestic Geek Girl website is loading just fine for us, we don’t know what you’re talking about.”
After verifying with GoDaddy that my images were indeed intact on their server, and that my website was still down for EVERYONE, I launched another back and forth correspondence with Blue Host that was very very uncomfortably similar to my GoDaddy tech support song and dance. Exceeeeept… unlike GoDaddy’s prompt tech support via telephone, the Blue Host migration department simply REFUSED to correspond via phone and instead insisted they only correspond through e-mail. No freaking joke. And the response time to every one of my e-mails? Literally 24-48 hours. I KID YOU NOT.
Fast forward to about TWO AND A HALF WEEKS of this ridiculous e-mailing: The guy handling my case kept insisting that my blog was working just fine and dandy and in a flashback to GoDaddy, kept insisting that maybe it was my computer, or internet connection, or anything but their problem (even though it was not loading at all, for me or any of my readers), and he kept insisting that my 10,000 plus missing images were just gone, gone, gone (even though I could see them intact and whole on my GoDaddy account). He kept e-mailing me increasingly snide things like, “Let me explain. I cannot transfer images that don’t exist. Clearly.” Like.. dude… THEY CLEARLY EXIST. I’M LOOKING RIGHT AT THEM.
Finally, Jonathan called Blue Host and insisted he speak to the manager. (Multiple times I’d called demanding to speak to the people handling my site, but they kept insisting that they only correspond through e-mail and ushered me off the phone.) When Jonathan called, they tried to insist he needed to e-mail the Migration Department but he said no, that was unacceptable, he needed to talk to a manager NOW. Finally, they sent him to a manager in tech support.
Long story short, he verified that yes, Domestic Geek Girl was not loading, and yes, my images were intact on GoDaddy and had not been transferred over by the Blue Host team handling my account. In less than two hours, he fixed both of those things. He was so amazed at the simplicity of the “problem” that he even volunteered to report the guy handling my account, because the issue was so laughably simple and easily fixable.
Jonathan and I were debating on demanding a refund for the transfer.. I mean, my site WAS eventually transferred, but paying $100 for over 2 weeks of incompetence and countless hours getting the run around through e-mail only tech support?!
We were debating about the refund… That is, until I got an e-mail first thing in the morning from the Blue Host migration department.
The manager of the migration department, who CLEARLY did not hear about our call to tech support the night before, e-mailed me personally to very condescendingly say that he understands I am frustrated, but I just don’t understand how websites work. He assured me he “investigated the issue” and that my images were indeed gone forever and there was nothing they could do and that they were just going to end the ticket on my transfer and leave all my pages as-is. Like… are you freaking serious?! I’ll just cut and paste my response e-mail:
Yes, you are right, I am extremely frustrated with the service I have received. The three issues I have had are:
1) Literally over 50% of my image content (mostly from the month of April 2014) showing up as broken images, even though the intact files were clearly on my cPanel and on my GoDaddy server.
2) My Domestic Geek Girl not showing up AT ALL, two weeks after being told that it would only take “24-48 hours” to go live on the web.
3) The extremely slow response time on an issue that has dragged on for weeks now and has cost me financially during an extremely busy season, and the lack of customer service when I have burned hours of my limited time in an attempted to call and actually speak to the person handling (or rather, mishandling) my websites.
In response to my three issues:
1) After finding the missing files (that were easily located on my GoDaddy cPanel) my husband got on the phone with management last night, and all of the photos that you claimed did not exist were restored within an hour while he was on the phone (as you can see for yourself on my website).
2) Furthermore, my Domestic Geek Girl blog was restored. The site was completely down at the time we called to speak to a manager last night – despite the claims that it was “fully recovered and showing” on your end. Even the manager we talked to confirmed it was not showing on his end and fixed it within minutes. I really should have demanded to speak to management sooner. This has been an extremely unacceptable situation all around.
And finally, 3) My husband will be calling again today to speak to someone about the run around and long wait time on what was clearly an easily fixable problem. We are also going to pursue a refund on a service that cost me more in time and business than if I had just taken days off to manage the transfer myself.
At the moment, both of my sites are running and the images that were missing on Gingi Freeman Photography (all images from the month of April – literally over 10,000 images total) are now transferred and showing after the manager we spoke to got someone to work on the problem.
We’ll be making another phone call to discuss this with a manager further tonight.
Shortly after writing this e-mail, Jonathan called to demand a refund. After some run around, he finally got someone to access the history of e-mails I shared with the migration department (especially our last few e-mails) and see if they thought we were justified in demanding a refund. Needless to say, we were given a full refund.

My Websites Are Finally Back Online!

So anyway. This ranting blog post has gotten way too long. I’ll just wrap it up by saying: Now that my websites are fully transferred, all of the issues I had with GoDaddy are gone. Dissolved. No more. With all my plugins and themes and content restored, and my website loading quickly and effortlessly, it just confirms to me beyond the shadow of a doubt that the issue was GoDaddy’s overcrowded servers all along.
So am I thrilled with my switch to Blue Host? Yes and no. I love that my website it working and no longer lagging or crashing. But I hate, hate, HATE their customer service. The wait times on the phone are horrid, the refusing to correspond other than through e-mail is laughable and unacceptable, and the tech support is not very friendly.
On the other hand, GoDaddy has stellar customer support: Short wait times on calls, cheerful tech support, etc… but their product is absolute shite. Clearly their crashing overcrowded servers are a real issue, and one that they refuse to take any responsibility for. I would have loved to have stayed with them, but to do so would be condemning my website to a slow death, as my pageviews strangled down to a zero.
So at the moment, I’m using a working product with terrible support and incompetent staff. But at least it’s working. Now I just have the depressing task of rewriting a months worth of deleted posts and trying to build back up my pageviews and bring back my readers.
For those of you who noticed my blog was down and sent me letters of concern… I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU. Thank you for reading my blog and sticking by me. It means the world to me, truly! I’m determined to start the new year off on a positive note, and make my blog even better and I couldn’t do it without the people who take the time to listen to my random ramblings. So thank you, thank you, thank you!

So! I’m officially back now! Is my blog loading quickly for you? Please let me know!

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Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

22 thoughts on “Why Domestic Geek Girl Was Missing For Weeks (AKA, Why GoDaddy and Blue Host Suck)

  • 21 December, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Looks good on my iPad :). Glad you’re back!!

    • 21 December, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      Whew! Good, I’m glad! I get so nervous now when I load my website.. like.. I hold my breath until it’s back up. Haha.. ^_^

  • 21 December, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    You know the worst part about this blog post? You didn’t even mention half of the ridiculous things they said to us. What really drove me over the edge was being flat out lied to by the migration team. I can handle a little run-around from a mega corporation, that’s to be expected, but a straight lie to my face? And to think that we’re too stupid to check it out? Just wow…

    • 21 December, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Yeah, I kept looking at the word count in the comments, and seeing the number climb, and thinking, “I just CAN’T include every detail of this fiasco without writing a novel!!!” lol… it was INSANE. And from TWO different companies?! What are the odds?!?!?!

  • 21 December, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Well, I actually read through the entire post because I have relationships with both of these companies. I find it particularly infuriating that it sounds like they gave your husband more respect than they gave you. I am not a fan of “online only” customer service. Sometimes it works, but other times you need 2 people on the phone, looking at screens. I’m thankful to read this because if it should happen to me, I won’t buy the line that it is my website rather than their server! Thanks for stopping by my sight… I’ll follow you everywhere:)

    • 22 December, 2014 at 1:14 am

      I was wondering if anyone was going to read through this behemoth of a blog post, haha. And trust me, this is just a FRACTION of the problems and snags we ran into during this whole fiasco. And YES, they totally respected my husband far more than they respected me. That irritates me to no end!
      Thank you for visiting, I hope we can keep in touch! I look forward to following your future posts!!

  • 21 December, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Holy cow! Yes, it’s loading fast for me.
    I cannot handle tech issues. I used HostGator for my blog and photography website. They share servers with BlueHost in Provo, UT. Very overcrowded servers.
    Things were ok until they weren’t. Everything crashed and it broke my heart and I lost a weekend. The customer service is dreadful. The servers are all overcrowded with them too!
    Luckily a friend of mine owns a hosting/repair company so I called him and he helped me and my website has been working and 300% faster for months now.

    • 22 December, 2014 at 1:13 am

      Whew, I am so glad it’s loading fast!
      Ohhhh, you have a photography website? Please share the link, I’d love to check it out! I’m a photography junky, haha!
      You are lucky you just lost a weekend during your crash! I was in internet addict agony with the site being down for weeks! lol
      Thank you for stopping by my blog! I simply love yours and really look forward to following you!!

  • 22 December, 2014 at 3:26 am

    Wow, that is INSANE. And I thought *I* had bad tech experiences. I have GoDaddy too but so far haven’t had major issues *knock on wood*. Sorry to hear that. Tech problems is one of the major reasons I get tempted to quit blogging; I feel like I just don’t know enough to solve them myself (but somehow do so, thankfully!). Hope you’re free from more glitches!

    • 22 December, 2014 at 4:44 am

      Yeah, I seriously contemplated taking a break from blogging.. then I realized that was just crazy talk. I’d go insane without a blog! hehe! So happy you stopped by my page!! I hope GoDaddy keeps working perfectly for you! Like I said, I would have loved to stay with them, but they just wouldn’t fess up to the problem being on their end, and wouldn’t even switch me to another server to test out my theory! Ugh! Anyhoo, thanks for the well wishes!

  • 22 December, 2014 at 6:48 am

    I read the entire post and I felt just as frustrated as you did by the end of it.. although relieved, just like you were because finally things came through in the end! Welcome back. 🙂 Hope you do multiple backups now. More backups is always better and don’t trust cloud servers. Hahaha I sound like one of those people.. I forgot the term.

    BH was actually my first host when I got my domain and right from the bat it did not start as a happy story. When term(?)/time(?) under their wing has expired, I immediately moved out and looked elsewhere to be hosted. It was not a smooth process moving out too! More like a big pain in the butt. Never had any experience w/ GD because from the beginning I knew they’re a stinky company. Heard of that controversy about their CEO an elephant? Whatever that was about.. surely it was enough to make me stay away from them, welll.. something about their website and rates were shady to begin with it.

    My unsolicited (lol) advice is.. but only when you have enough time to move things and re-sort all over again: Move to better hosts. There are way cheaper (without sacrificing quality) webhost and domain providers out there, with excellent customer service. Reading that you were charged a hundred bucks or more multiple times to fix something THEY caused is unbelievable and ridiculous! Don’t let these two, esp your current host now, be a cause of stress.

    • 22 December, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      Ohhhh, you better believe it girl, I am backing up my site like nobodies business now! lol! It is the most demoralizing thing on the planet trying to rewrite out all of my old posts and reupload all of my old photos. *sobs sobs*

      If you don’t mind me asking, who do you use as a server / hosting provider now? I am looking around for a new provider once my year is up with Blue Host, because (obviously) I HATE HATE HATE their customer service. Not only are the wait times to talk to an actual person rediculously long (average of 30-45 minute wait time, with flat ringing – no call back option, no music to break the monotony of the ringing, etc.) but once you talk to a live person, they are not too friendly or helpful. And the e-mail only thing was an absolute JOKE!

      I heard HostGator is a good company.. but I’m not too familiar with many others… any advice??! Thanks for your kind words.. it is REALLY NICE to be back!!

      • 23 December, 2014 at 5:55 am

        Hi Gingi, I sent you an email about this because it’s pretty long hahaha (from the email address you use in Disqus when you posted a comment in my blog) 🙂 hope it’ll be helpful

        • 23 December, 2014 at 1:31 pm

          Going to check it out right now!! You rock! ^_^

  • 22 December, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Forgive me for just skimming the whole blog…I was well aware of stuff as it happened. Might I suggest you add a “Donate” button to your site, so people can, if they want to, help defray your costs. You offer up entertainment, instruction & all kinds of goodies. Hoping all goes well from here in out!

    • 22 December, 2014 at 10:01 pm

      Blogging is my hobby.. I don’t like asking people to pay for what I am willing to pay for myself. I kind of feel the same way about mission trips, haha.. It’s like, if I wouldn’t pay for it myself, I won’t ask someone else to do it.

  • 28 December, 2014 at 6:04 am

    So glad you’re back…I had no idea what was going on. I thought something was wrong with my tablet. I’m sorry you had to go through so much unnecessary drama. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    • 29 December, 2014 at 12:50 am

      Yeah, it was frustrating hearing how it wasn’t working for so many, and then having to argue with the GoDaddy people over how it wasn’t just my computer!! So frustrating! I’m happy to be back.. Merry Christmas and new years to you too!

  • 31 December, 2014 at 12:43 am

    Ah! That sounds SO frustrating. I have heard of issues like yours with GoDaddy. I’m with Webhostinghub. I hope I don’t run into any problems in the future. I’m glad you figured it all out though. I love your site and I love your photography. Your cosplay looks like so much fun. I have a friend who is into it and I know she would love this site too. I will definitely recommend it! Look forward to following!

    • 31 December, 2014 at 1:21 am

      Thanks for stopping by my blog! Yeah, I’m hearing so many GoDaddy horror stories coming out of the wood works after posting this, it’s insane! Wish I knew it all beforehand! Grrrr! Yes, please keep in touch! I look forward to following your blog!

  • 14 July, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    I received an email the other telling me I had almost used up all my resources on my GoDaddy Linux shared hosting plan and that I need to upgrade. I checked my account and everything was fine – I have used less than 10% of my resources.

    Are they lying to me just to try and upsell me?

    • 14 July, 2015 at 6:19 pm

      I’d say so… JUMP SHIP. Those folks stink to high heaven….

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