Sometimes, websites break or need tweaking which isn’t usually too much of an issue as long as regular backups are made. I found this out the hard way but since my previous mistake, Ninja Hedgehog is backed-up regularly and automatically. This means that in theory, I should be able to have Ninja Hedgehog back up and running very quickly should it all go tits-up.
Websites generally consist of two main components; the website files and the website database. The files are what you see (themes, images, layouts etc) and the database is the backend, which links everything up and stores all of the actual website information (like all of the posts on Ninja Hedgehog).
On Saturday evening, I had to make some tweaks to the Ninja Hedgehog database. Ironically, the tweaks weren’t absolutely necessary and generally speaking, I don’t like messing around with the database too much as you can really cock things up if you’re not careful and whilst it’s relatively easy to restore a previous backup, it’s still a bit of a pain in the arse.
I made my changes by downloading the database and amending it with a text editor. When it comes to uploading a new database, it should be a simple case of opening a file browser, selecting the new database and selecting ‘upload’. I did this and the database started to upload, but it seemed to be taking too long. After what seemed like an eternity, I received a server error. It’s not the end of the world, so I set about trying to upload the database again.
I waited patiently…
And then… the same server error. Bollocks.
I checked the Ninja Hedgehog website and all that was where it should be was an error message about not being able to connect to the database. Ninja Hedgehog was down.
I tried to upload that damn database again for several hours, even using another PC over a different internet connection in case it was a problem on my side, but this didn’t make a blind bit of difference.
Every now and again, the database would partially upload, so the Ninja Hedgehog website was there, albeit missing bits and pieces, not displaying properly and on one occasion, only displaying stuff from 2012. I was beginning to get really pissed off because after 5 hours, this wasn’t a laughing matter.
Eventually, in the early hours of Sunday morning, I managed to get around the problem by creating a brand-new database to upload the backup to and then by faffing around, re-entering the new database details so that the Ninja Hedgehog website would connect to the it in it’s new location. Still, at least Ninja Hedgehog was back up and running.
I’d emailed 123 Reg (the Ninja Hedgehog host and domain registrar) frantically whilst trying to get the Ninja Website up and running, and found that they’d replied at 07:00. Credit where credit’s due, 123 Reg are quick at responding to support requests.
I’d asked why I couldn’t upload my database and whether or not there were any problems on their part which hadn’t been publicised on their support website. This is the response I received:
It is possible that a temporary issue has appeared on our platform that was solved by our system engineers that are currently monitoring the platform.
If we can be of any further help with regard to this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.
I’m no technical expert, but I’m absolutely certain that a temporary issue had appeared on their platform. I know this because it fucking happened and I spent 5 hours on Saturday night/Sunday morning trying to fix the Ninja Hedgehog website!! 123 Reg didn’t even apologise in their response, but perhaps that’s because it’s only possible that a temporary issue had appeared? Perhaps that’s the reason why 123 Reg didn’t respond to my tweets or Facebook message?
So, if you possibly noticed that the Ninja Hedgehog website was temporarily unavailable on Saturday night/Sunday morning, I apologise on behalf of myself and of 123 Reg.
Before writing this article, I went to the 123 Reg website as I had to check a few bits and couldn’t help but laugh when I was met with an error message, asking that I please come back later. Fortunately, his was only a temporary issue.
If you ask whether I’d recommend 123 Reg as a web host and domain registrar, then I possibly would, but only because they respond to support requests quite quickly.