Drupal and Me

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Finally….I get my own domain.

Actually, I’ve had it for some time now, but I’ve been sitting on it without any idea what to do with it. Now, I’ve moved it to my new Media Temple account and I’ve done an installation of Drupal. I came across Drupal at first on the Performancing site, and I’m intrigued at the mix of forum/blogs that it allows you to create.

So, as a long time WordPress aficionado, I’m crossing into uncharted territory with this labyrinthine content management system.

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Dreamhost & The PR Nightmare

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I notice that Dreamhost is still having trouble bouncing back from their recent network troubles.

Reading the comments in their blog post, I was surprised by the number of people who were sticking up for the company on the strength of a couple of blog posts issued after the disaster. Some folks seem oblivious to the fact that downtime of the sort Dreamhost has suffered recently is actually unacceptable.

I wonder if some of these people are blog kiddies who don’t appreciate the importance of uptime for a business website. Who ignore the issues of lost revenue and reputation an online business can face. Dreamhost didn’t deal with these issues in their blog post. Apparently belated openness will soothe the complaining customers!

Dreamhost Dropping Negative Comments

The reason I’m writing this post is because I tried to post a comment on the blog today and received a message that I’d triggered a spam filter. Bizarre? You bet. No profanity in my post at all, no links, nothing that I can think would trigger a spam filter.

Anyway, I’ve decided to repost my entire comment here, lest Dreamhost conveniently delete it from their filters instead of allowing free speech on the blog:

I’m surprised at the immaturity of some of the people posting here. Attacking Karen for expressing her point of view is wrong – she has perfectly valid points.

While I applaud Dreamhost for their blog updates, they’ve conveniently sidestepped the issue of compensation for business customers who’ve lost income through this downtime (and my sites were hit hard).

And yes, there’s a veiled admission of incompetence in this post that doesn’t give much confidence in how the network will be rebuilt! There’s a group of DH users running around with rose-tinted specs on when it comes to this!

And you can make all the claims you like about ‘getting what you pay for’, but when I signed up I didn’t see any warnings on the front door saying “Not suitable for business users” or “Unreliable uptime – non-critical sites only”.

I do hope you get the problems ironed out once and for all, but like others I’m shoping around.

Update: I actually forgot to post this a couple of weeks ago, but checking for my comment as detailed above I notice the Happy Dreamhost Sneaky Comment Deleting Team have sneakily deleted my comment. So much for opening conversation in the blogosphere between customers and suppliers!

What would Mr Steve Rubel have to say about that?

Dreamhost Update

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Well, it’s only fair to report that my problems with Dreamhost have now been resolved. Not entirely to my satisfaction, but at least the site’s live again.

There still wasn’t much information forthcoming about the reported exploit in WordPress, so I deleted all the remote files at Dreamhost and re-uploaded WordPress. Disabled any plugins that might have included email functionality, etc, etc and changed the passwords.

To make sure I wasn’t violating any terms of service or whatever, I emailed the support guys and told them what I’d done. I asked them to leave the site live to see if the problem would manifest itself again.

Dreamhost support responded to say that they were happy with this course of action and would leave the site alone to see if this happened again. They also advised that after any perceived security breach I should change my access passwords, which I’ve done.

So I’m happy for the moment….

Dreamhost Hosting Sucks – Big Time

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Pissed off this evening. Well, for the past three evenings, ever since the underwhelming Dreamhost shut down the Scribble Designs website. I came home from work to receive the following message:

Your script found at /server-path/index.php (your WordPress installation) has been exploited and was being used to send out spam emails through our system. We have disabled the script to help prevent our servers from being used for this purpose, as it is adversely affecting the stability of our mail system. Please do not re-enable it until the security hole has been fixed (you can go to http://www.wordpress.org for upgrade instructions). We thank you for your attention to this matter.

That’s my business website, fools! Why’d you shut it down? WordPress doesn’t generate email spam, does it?

Well, it doesn’t bloody seem to. I googled for a solution, hit the support forum and the WordPress Codex. Nothing.

I emailed back, asking for an in-depth answer. Why my website? What led you to diagnose this problem and pinpoint my website? Was a plugin at fault? What response did I get:

You’ll need to contact the authors of wordrpess for more information on patching the software. We do not provide support for third party scripts.

Don’t provide support for third party scripts??? You just offer a one-click install of the damned thing. You’re reknowned as a WordPress/blog hosting company. The guys at WordPress actually recommend DreamHost. They know WordPress well enough to diagnose a blog as a source of spam, but not well enough to advise of a solution. Hmmmm.

Oh yeah, and I’m sure Matt Mullenweg loves to wade in and intervene in individual support calls. Hi Matt! I’m having this problem with Dreamhost…..

So, as of right now, I’m a web designer without a website, all thanks to those lovable chimps at Dreamhost! No straight answers. No fault resolution. Oh, and did I mention that their servers are running at a snail’s pace at the moment?

Do I get my money back when I decide to move to another – better – host? I’ll keep you posted.