Print Story Ask HuSi: Hosting for WordPress Blog
By Gedvondur (Tue Jun 23, 2009 at 05:00:25 PM EST) Douchehost, Hacking, WordPress, Backups, Wife, Blog (all tags)
I need some hosting advice, especially when it comes to backups.

Weetabix, (my wife) moved her blog off of the ancient DiaryLand site and onto a brand new host about six months ago. It was a nice new design, all using WordPress on a host known for hosting WordPress. Let’s call them DoucheHost. DoucheHost even listed number one on’s web site of recommended hosts. We figured there would be no problem. And for a while, there wasn’t.
But one of the problems with WordPress is that it’s some damn popular blogging software. That means that malicious hackers loooove WordPress. Sensitive to this, Weetabix has been pretty good about keeping her site’s copy of WordPress up to the current code level. After the last update it ran for a little while and then *bam* down. Second time in a week. This time, however, DoucheHost tells us that the site’s been hacked. They claim to have fixed it, but no go. Weetabix points out to them that it’s still down.
At this point DoucheHost tells us that it’s not up because the hacker destroyed the database and WordPress configs. Right, that sucks major balls, but no problem Douchehost offers “complimentary backups” right? Sure. It was part of what sold us on the service, the once a week back up of the blog. Douchehost now tells us that for some reason, they don’t have a backup. Not for last week, not for any week. Oh, and that “backup” they are doing? They only do it when they feel like it, and not on every WordPress install. They give us bullshit reasons like “her blog was too big” and point at their terms of service as a shield. Well fuck you, Mr. Complimentary Backup. 
I even called Douchehost today to find out if we could PAY for a fucking regular backup. (Provided Weetabix still wants to go with these clowns) The answer I get is this: No. You can backup the WordPress data bases any time you want by exporting them and then FTPing them down to your own desktop. That’s it. That is DoucheHost’s data integrity plan for users. Fucking manual backups DON’T WORK because everybody forgets to do them. All of their claims of data integrity and backups seem to be predicated on the fact that they run RAID 5 or 10 on their storage array. Who knows if they even back their own systems up off-site. Assclowns. My wife is majorly upset, a condition I am not fond of seeing her in.  Her blog needs to be online again.
Here’s where you guys come in. I’ve called a number of these WordPress hosts and the story is always the same. They give you this utter bullshit line about complimentary backups and then proceed to say they won’t take ANY responsibility for doing it. Not even for money.
I need a decent, fast WordPress host. One that can automatically back up the data. I can’t say “money isn’t an issue” but I will say this doesn’t have to be some bullshit little $5 bucks a month host either. We need the staff of this host to be somewhere above pond scum when it comes to being helpful and sympathetic. 
Here’s what I can’t/won’t do. I can’t really host it at home, I don’t have static IP. On top of that I don’t want to learn Linux. I know that for some of you that seems crazy, but honestly I am not interested in self-hosting. Just like some guys don’t change their own oil, I don’t host my own websites. 
Hopefully you guys will have some ideas. I’m not sure what to do. 

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Ask HuSi: Hosting for WordPress Blog | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden)
Let's get some perspective here... by chuckles (1.33 / 6) #1 Tue Jun 23, 2009 at 05:34:47 PM EST
it's just a blog.

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
I'd do something client-side by clover kicker (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Jun 23, 2009 at 06:32:05 PM EST
'coz I'd never trust a hosting company.

Because my home server is a *nix box running 24/7 I'd probably cron a nightly job to wget the blog URL. This wouldn't get comments, don't know if that's a biggie.

There are win32 versions of wget and there's some kind of task scheduler in Windows these days. If you're a Mac guy you've got cron and I think the ftp is the BSD ftp-on-steroids one that also handles http.

Interesting idea by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Jun 23, 2009 at 07:19:43 PM EST
However, wget will not retrieve the data bases and WordPress configuration files.

I could do a client pull.....I have spare machines I could dedicate to the task.  Those machines could even be Linux-flavored if necessary.  Or BSD, or whatever is needed to get the task at hand done.  The problem is most of these hosts don't give you CL level access.  They just give you this thing called C-Panel which is easy-mode web-based config.


"...I almost puked like a pregnant StackyMcRacky." --MillMan
[ Parent ]
Cpanel is driven from the client side by stevew (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Jun 23, 2009 at 07:51:02 PM EST
Any url (or post data or cookie) it can send, you can send with wget (or curl etc).

I had to do this for somebody last year and found hundreds of ready to use scripts via google.

Try a query like this and you will even find DOS/Windows scheduled scripts.

[ Parent ]
Hmmm by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Jun 23, 2009 at 09:37:32 PM EST
That's extremely interesting.  I will have to look into it.  Thanks so much!


"...I almost puked like a pregnant StackyMcRacky." --MillMan
[ Parent ]
it's definitely a blunt instrument by clover kicker (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Jun 23, 2009 at 08:45:46 PM EST
There must be nicer ways to do it, and I'm sure there are more windows-y ways to automatically snarf web pages.

Since I've got a server sitting there already doing backups, every problem looks like a cron job to me.

I see wordpress can export an RSS feed of comments, you could even get a really crude comment backup.

[ Parent ]
Ya by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Jun 23, 2009 at 09:36:32 PM EST
I need a database way of doing it.  The web stuff will save the information, but makes it impossible to restore it without copy-pasting.

I agree, a cron job would be great, perhaps with rsync.  But I don't think DoucheHost will let us do that.


"...I almost puked like a pregnant StackyMcRacky." --MillMan
[ Parent ]
they do give CLI access through SSH by clock (4.00 / 1) #11 Wed Jun 24, 2009 at 08:10:19 AM EST
and you can do rsync with them.  i back my stuff up locally from my site when i'm in the mood.  when i had an "always on" machine i did cron it and that was fine.  then again, i've been developing on shitty platforms for so long that i never trust that a public facing server is safe, backed up, or reliable in any fashion when it comes to my data.

i don't think that you'll find another host with a better policy, but i haven't shopped in a long time.

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
I'd never have gone with DoucheHost. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 2) #8 Tue Jun 23, 2009 at 10:37:44 PM EST
Their service has *always* been a washout.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Find a host that will run cron jobs by hulver (4.00 / 2) #9 Wed Jun 24, 2009 at 04:49:00 AM EST
What I do with HuSi is a couple of cron jobs.

One dumps out the database to a rsyncable gzipped file.

The database is copied to a 7 day rolling backup file (dated 2009-06-24, etc one per day).

The other rsyncs all the config files, user files, web files and database backups to an account.

Took about an hour to set up. Has saved my bacon a few times.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

(Comment Deleted) by xth (2.00 / 0) #10 Wed Jun 24, 2009 at 05:52:09 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by xth

[ Parent ]
Same here by nstenz (2.00 / 0) #12 Wed Jun 24, 2009 at 09:54:03 AM EST
Even super-shitty shared hosting for work lets us run cron jobs, which can do practically anything we could do over SSH.  Other than the ability to actually test things first, it seems to work fine- mysql dump to a file, zip up the entire directory structure minus the backups/ directory, and download the zip the next day.

Unfortunately, aforementioned host does not allow rsync, so the backups have to be pulled down over SFTP.  (rsync isn't encrypted anyway, so unless you're doing it over SSH, your stuff could be intercepted...)

I've learned quite well that no shared hosting service is going to make backups for you that are guaranteed to be usable.  You either make them yourself, or you just don't really have backups.  I've been through 4 web hosting companies in the past 10 years or so.  Dreamhost is the only company I've used that hasn't hosed my site with no backup to restore from- probably because they keep most of your files on a file server farm, not the physical machine hosting your site (slower, but more reliable when it's set up well).  Reliability of the hosts' hardware seems to be the determining factor for whether you're going to lose your stuff or not.

As for having wget use CPanel to get backups, that won't work with really shitty companies who disable the CPanel backup feature because "it puts too much load on our servers".  The cron trick usually works there, though.  If you're with one of those companies, ditch them- now.  Their "infrastructure" is so shitty they won't even give you a way to save a copy of your stuff easily.  Generally if they have backups disabled, they will do you a favor by letting you pay them to make some for you, maybe monthly (probably using the CPanel interface that's disabled for you).

Backups are still too hard.  Mozy and Carbonite have it right.  Unfortunately, you're screwed on machines that aren't yours unless you have the cooperation of the owners and they actually know what they're doing.  For < $10/month, most of them don't care.

[ Parent ]
OMG by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Jun 24, 2009 at 10:32:16 AM EST
Wife finally let you out of the dungeon?

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Walk-by HuSi reading is my M.O. by nstenz (4.00 / 1) #15 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 12:31:06 PM EST
...with the occasional comment when I think I might be useful for something.

Did you know she hates it when I read things over her shoulder?

[ Parent ]
Nope. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #16 Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 04:37:07 PM EST
Sounds familiar to me though.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
That's pretty much what I do. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #14 Wed Jun 24, 2009 at 02:35:08 PM EST
I actually have cron (well, launchd) jobs running on my Macbook that rsync the sites to the laptop every couple of hours.

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
Ask HuSi: Hosting for WordPress Blog | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden)