In about 24 minutes I’m supposed to get a phone call from the owner of the site. This will be the first time I’ve talked to him. We’ll go over what needs to happen with Pocketables. As readers of the blog know we’ve had what I consider three years of circling the drain in terms of software. We’ve got ancient forum software, nobody with access to the forums, nonstop hacking attempts, an ancient hardened WordPress site that crashes on 30% of the updates.
We did a lot of work the past few years making the site better, only to have the site start rejecting the plugins that helped it. We got hacked because I held off on updates as long as possible because they crash the site 30% of the time. Reporting that the site was hacked took about a two days before I got a response.
In the past year we’ve had stretches of workweeks where the site was down every two hours for one reason or another.
And before helpful suggestions come in on what we could do, no, we don’t have access to do it. Half the people here are completely capable of building a WP install from compiling the OS it’s running on from source all the way to configuring apache and WordPress. We don’t have this access on Pocketables. No shell, no sftp, no motorcars, not a single security.
When Pocketables crashes it’s dead. I send a note, it gets taken care of when someone has a chance. While we’ve had brief periods of amazing tech support and directed effort, they’ve been followed by all the contacts I have with the company that owns the site leaving or being laid off. I’m not sure exactly which. Assuming the latter.
While I’m not claiming that all of this has lead to Pocketable’s downfall, it’s lead to not doing anything with the site beyond the minimal updates required to keep the place running because it most likely will crash. We used to have caching plugins, they crashed the site. We used to have backups, they crashed the site. We used to have image optimization and webp, it crashed the site. These were never fixed, just removed.
I’m proposing today that CG sell/give me the site. It’ll die if I leave (unless the other authors want to stick around,) and die if I stay and it keeps going the way it’s going. I can’t tell you how disheartening it is to log in, be greeted with a recent comments list that has refused to update in five months (yes, I have no idea when people comment,) see the list of how many pieces of tracker code we have embedded, and realize that there’s no fix coming, or if there is it will be a short amount of directed effort and I’ll still be left with a website that’s susceptible to long periods of downtime while waiting on a tech support contact I don’t even know the name of.
Eh, we’ll see. I have no idea why we were kept other than vague commentary by people about me fixing SEO later on down the line (yes, I can do it… )
I’ve also had a couple of phone calls with other Android sites in case I manage to somehow lose the site / anger the owners so much he shuts it down (can’t imagine I would, but never know). Should anything happen you can find where people went at pocketables.tech. I don’t think anything’s going to happen. Also don’t think this post or the site would remain up.
It’s been an interesting trip regardless. Hope it turns out ok.