Bluefur’s bad business practices cost my first website dearly in data loss. As a website host, Bluefur.com held the precious content from my content management system (CMS) in their hands, mishandled, and destroyed part of it under the guise that everything was hunky-dory or would be.
I will admit that I was naive. What I am about to say will sound even more naive. I thought BlueFur.com and I were friends, partners. I thought they would look out for me and my best interests. Maybe it was because I was using their Managed Blog Service. Maybe it was because of our long association and that I had paid every bill on time and in full. I thought they would look out for me as well as themselves to the utmost of their ability. “The best result will come where everyone in the group [is] doing what’s best for himself and the group”, Russell Crowe, A Beautiful Mind. I thought this was the case with our business arrangement. You can speculate on and look to BlueFur: Web Hosting Review, Bad Conduct, Content Wiped Out: Part 2 (and the bullet points in that post) for the answers to these assumptions.
I have read in many business text books and magazines that a business should anticipate the needs of their clients before they ever present themselves. That building a good reputation and strong customer loyalty are the keys to success and how such practices are not just good business but great business. I do not know why this wholly random, unrelated thought from business school just occurred to me out of the blue. Very strange.
When I look back on this experience with BlueFur.com, I wonder why:
- I was not told a suspension was imminent and that I should backup my entire site on my hard drive immediately. Mr. Y said he had been monitoring my website. Why couldn’t he have simply sent me an email and given me a heads up?
- my /public_html folder was empty of content in the zip link they provided?
- I was later told they had all of the site on their server, not a backup or a partial copy.
- I was not allowed FTP access (via IP) to copy the site files myself during the suspension.
- BlueFur.com could not burn all of my site files onto a blank DVD and mail them to me.
- BlueFur.com could not have transferred my site files to my new cPanel themselves.
- certain questions were never answered, responded to or acknowledged.
- I was told my site would be restored to the way it was before suspension and then a major portion of it never was.
- when I asked about the restoration of this portion of my site (670 images), my subsequent, numerous emails were ignored by both Blurfur.com Support and Ms. X.
As you can see in BlueFur: Web Hosting Review, Bad Conduct, Content Wiped Out: Part 2, I did all that I could think of, even going so far as to emailing John Chow. He’s always been helpful when it comes to weblog questions. Everything was fruitless. In the end, paying for the BlueFur Xdev dedicated server was the only viable solution to bring my site back to life or so I thought. I was a neophyte, between a rock and a hard place.
Takeshi Kitano, Outrage
Because of my site’s suspension by Bluefur.com and its subsequent downtime:
- My site lost 670 modified pictures (uploaded continuously since the site began) inserted throughout 404 posts. This resulted in lackluster, barebones past posts in its archive. Because the 670 pictures were not available, when Google and other sites linked to those images and posts, unique visitors looking for them (in their associated posts) did not find them, did not stay long (increasing my bounce rate), did not sign up for my RSS Feed, click on ads, other posts or make comments.
- All of the websites paying for links within my site’s posts and archives canceled.
- A large percentage of the posts that were edited a few days before the suspension, around 40 Film Reviews, were restored to their previous versions (before they were edited) after the suspension was lifted.
- The site’s’s Technorati Rating dropped from around 40 to 36.
- Numerous opportunities were lost. Since my site was off-line, I could not show certain people that I did in fact run a film website.
- Time. Instead of writing new content and posts, I have to replace 11+ months of media deleted during the course of my suspension.
Coming up Next
The final part of this series, what I learned from my experience with Bluefur.com but first, a question:
- Have you ever experienced a data loss or anything like this on your site?