They were noticing that it was taking longer and longer for their site to load, and they were thinking that it was probably the way the front end of the site was put together. So we ran some tests on it, and discovered that there were several things that were keeping the site from being optimized. Once we had raised their score from barely passing to an A , the site responded a lot better.
For a day or two.
Then they reported that the site was getting slower, and slower…so we got their permission to perform a thorough analysis on their server and their databases, to get to the root of the problem. (No pun intended). So, we did as anyone should and called the host company.
And we waited. Once we had gotten to someone with any pull, they’d put us on hold only to come back and tell us (in a slightly panicky voice): “Um, yeah there’s something going on with the server node being overloaded…I’ll have to get back to you.”
And then we would wait days.
They host(ed) their site with a well-known website host that chances are you’ve already seen their advertising. It’s a good company and a good product, but not for this client and certainly not in this instance.
So we started digging. We noticed that someone…or something was hijacking their comments. This was odd to them, since they were running a spam-defeating technology and hadn’t noticed any comments on the site. What they didn’t know, was that their particular version of this software was suspect for their CMS of choice. (They used the default Drupal captcha). But sure enough, there was row after row of malicious content. Links to boner pills. Women to date. Princes in Nigeria…all sorts of code injected into their database!
The site had become some spammer’s dream. Someone else was paying for hosting (the client). Someone else was paying for the support on the server nodes when they became overwhelmed (the host). Neither was any good for either of them, and certainly not good for us.
More than three hundred pages of 30 posts per page were deleted. The server was flushed, and minutes later all of the comments showed up again! I’ve had Trojans and viruses attempt to “fight me” before, but nothing on a website. By “fighting” I mean take away the tools I need to stop it. The server refreshed and the comments…in all their erection Pill glory…were still there. Back. Again.
Son of a *****!
With some quick work to disable the cache, and some PHP editing to disable the module, I was able to stop the database from being filled. (Think you can use that feature to repopulate this database? I don’t think so…comment you out…save. Sucker!)
After fighting off the SQL injection and finding all sorts of nasty side effects, the site would not resolve on that host. It was time to move.
Time to take them to Liquid Web.
Tucknologies is a part of the Liquid Web Incubator project, and we proudly receive their support. We also proudly recommend them to anyone. And here’s why:
Hosting companies offer pretty similar products, and their price points are relatively similar. What you get with Liquid Web that you don’t get with other providers is their support. It. Is. Awesome. You get a live person, who is responsive and helpful…and gets the job done.
Spend a few hours on the phone with “Proceed Father,” “Mr. Blue Host,” or “Host Reptile” and you’ll know what hell is. No answers, run-arounds and a waste of time. Spend 4 minutes with Heroic Support and you’ll experience Web Nirvana. Your problem is fixed, or you know how to fix it. As a technology company, I can’t have my clients down without answers as to why. I never have to worry about that with Liquid Web.
If there is an attack on the site, I’ll know about it. I love receiving pro-active updates as to what they are seeing and what they will do about it. If you have technologies that may be suspect, they’ll let you know. Once we were informed that a certain vulnerability in Wordpress was detected, and that they took care of it. (Who does that?) Their code is hardened. They are always on the watch out for something unexpected.
Your ticket stays active and they stay attentive throughout the process. When we called the other host companies, we’d always have to TELL AND RE-TELL THE SAME STORY. With Liquid Web, they have notes. They are aware, and this gives us the warm-fuzzies. Having the muscle that the Heroic Support provides means we as an organization is stronger.
I was a believer in Liquid Web’s product before we became part of their program. Every experience I have had since then has just reinforced that decision. All hosts are (somewhat) capable, but only one host is good enough for our clients.