I have never spent so much time on the phone with a website hosting company in all my life. I think I banked 6 hours in total over the course of 5 days on the phone. A minimum of an hour and fifteen minutes per call…
I am certain that all of the frequent users of the David F. Rooney Legacy Paper have been wondering what is going on!?
I too, have been asking myself that very question. I have a vague understanding of what goes on beyond the walls of a Word Press site. I understand the basics; posting, blogs, etc but when it comes to tech support or coding, then you lost me. Not many everyday people know all of those details unless they are naturally savvy to it or are educated in that world.
When I was gifted The Current, I inherited a very large mess. Now, when it comes to content, that is not the case, we all miss and love David, but when it comes to the actual hardware of the website (links, plugins, subscribers etc) it was extremely problematic.
I looked into the history of how often Rooney would be dealing with site crashes and Malware and it turns out he did frequently. I too was having the very same problems. We have a site manager that has been working with me on this project and Corey has also discovered a few major issues. Corey has dedicated 150 hours of volunteer time to help keep this legacy paper going, and understands what The Current was about and more importantly, who it represents; our community.
It turns out we were hacked. who would want to hack a website about hyper local small town news in the middle of the mountains? Well, who knows. It could be a bot or just random ol’ hackers trying to make a buck by accessing the database and taking email information. Either way, they suck. Kick rocks, I say.
Apparently, that was a major issue for our snowy white bearded friend. Rooney had several hundred subscribers on The Current. Many of you would have access to be able to comment. Well after 10 years it turns out the many emails that were linked to the website that had either outdated passwords or inactive accounts were acting as an “open window” so to speak and allowing easy access for the hacker to create a fun Malware problem for Rooney, and now me. The only way to remove that issue was to remove the subscribers.
So with that said, those of you who liked to comment via the old school way, is no longer. It was the reason that the site was crashing so frequently. It turns out, by having subscribers on the WP site, the server (Current server) is harbouring all of that information, and then the hackers access it. If I am understanding that correctly. I appreciate you like the old way, but it is costing me money out of my pocket, and while I am a believer in good karma comes around, I am out roughly $2,000 and if I can mitigate any further spending, then I would prefer that.
Now there are only two people who have access to The Current. Corey will be implementing a Facebook comment section below the story (update: Comment section has been installed in all articles! -Corey). I understand that some people hate Facebook, and to be honest, I do too. I completely agree with that sentiment, but unfortunately that is the way the world is when it comes to social media and online commenting. Also, with Facebook, I do not have to hold the weight of the comments, they do. So it keeps the site safe from hackers from accessing it via subscribers list.
I am looking into upgrading the server/firewall but that costs roughly $700 for the upgrade. I have roughly $203.00. So I am working on it. I know it is frustrating when the site is down, (Trust me, I almost threw my laptop into the river) and that people start to give up, but This is technically “year one” and a lot of bumps, and potholes have come my way to keep this alive. My wife keeps reminding me that even though Rooney had it running for 9-years, it truly is year-1 all over again and it is going to be problematic while kinks are worked out. I am not even going to remotely promise you that the site won’t crash again! One good thing is the site does crash at times because of an overload of visitors! A positive problem to have!
The good news is that I have been called a “stubborn son of a bitch” and that bodes well for those that love the Current. I am not done fighting for it, and If I do go down it will be in a blaze of glory….
So for all you Ol’ Dogs or “Crusty Curmudgeons” (Mo!) ….you may need to learn some new tricks!