As I mentioned a few weeks back a deal was struck to sell Pocketables to me. It was my understanding that this would be done within the week, I have emails from CG saying there was no reason this shouldn’t be completed in a week, that was the expectation. As you know it went about 460% longer.
Some of this was Crowdgather making sure they didn’t get burned and getting control of Pocketables put me right in a server cluster of other properties. Some of this was Godaddy taking forever to release a domain. Some of this was just there aren’t that many people left at that company with passwords to a site that was purchased as part of a package deal to get an employee.
I mention this because I acted in good faith and if you do the math you’re going to see some actions were taken a little early.
You also may have read we had some issues. This is the tale of those issues.
I had administrative access on the WordPress install, no AWS console, no shell access. I could add/remove plugins. This was the extent of what I’ve been able to do with my access on Pocketables for the past several years. I mean there was also a backdoor shell/vulnerability in an unused theme, and an exploit sitting in the forums that could drop someone to a root shell, but these are things I’d reported to CG and told them to fix and never happened.
Ever wonder why we stopped promoting the forums? Yeah, I asked CG to fix those three or four years ago. Notice there were new posts but nobody ever was approved for membership? Part of it.
The old site had next to no disk space. I mean there was some, but the site’s 26 gigs and it was sharing with others. I couldn’t use most plugins that would handle this for free because most wanted to make a local backup of the site and then upload it in chunks. I needed something that would go one article at a time and just copy it elsewhere.
Seriously, database 800 megs, images 22 gigs, podcasts from back when most of the rest, free space 600 megs maybe. I could not back up anything locally.
Vaultpress seemed to be the only answer. This was part of Jetpack, which is the big WordPress plugin. I bought it to do the heavy lifting as I assumed CrowdGather was not going to be able to get their techs to move the site.
CG really wanted my hands off the server as it was floated for a while they would copy it off and hand the site to me where I would either take as is or walk away. Not sure if I reek of hacker or if I’m just really difficult to figure out my motivations, but I was held at arm’s length.
Vaultpress took three days to do the initial backup. During this time I located hosting and set up mini Pocketables which I had to host off of theitbaby’s DNS because I still didn’t own Pocketables at the end of the week it was supposed to be mine and Jetpack sort of requires a working domain name. CG knew I was copying the site, I wasn’t being underhanded about it, even posted about it.
Vaultpress and the new host went together like bread and colloidal silver, which is to say not a terribly lot went right. I mean, I now know a whole lot about what can go wrong and how long this should have taken, but at the end of a three day restore I was told there was an error and that was it. What error oh mighty restorer of sites? No, can’t tell me that? OK. Another email to support.
Their support is pretty useful, but 13 emails in over a week ended up getting under my skin as the old host does have a death date. I finally ended up downloading the 20something gig backup file to my computer, extracting the SQL folders, combining everything, uploading via SFTP to a temp folder, and imported the database in about seven minutes and suddenly there was Pocketables.
DNS finally released from Godaddy about a week back when we had the Paulkitables deal, downloaded some updates, copied things over, and here we are.
I’ve got emails into the people at CG asking for either the login info for the old forums shell so I can copy them, or for them to tar and gzip them and send them my way.
Spent today changing the DNS over. I used to work at an ISP, I should know DNS, but the registrar we’re using used terms I was not quite familiar with, or perhaps sleep deprivation got to me, not sure at this point. As a result I borked Pocketables for about forty minutes and some DNS records probably still exist out there with a TTL of a day.
In the meantime, squashing bugs, getting Vaultpress back up and running on this server, and hoping the DNS finally settles and everyone sees the new site. I’ve got a request in to CG to discontinue the Cloudflare protection as I just think that’s somehow going to interfere with things.
In the future, while I’d still use Vaultpress for the backup as that really worked for a site with no disk space, I’d just manually restore. Days to restore the images was excessive. Not sure what was up with that.
So yeah, you might know that the side project I started several years back, theITbaby, was mostly training for how to manage Pocketables, SEO, how to get things on track, what plugins do what and how they impact performance, etc. Disguised as a baby blog. Been a long road.