Last week and today, I’ve been setting up databases for clients on a number of large hosts. I’m really amazed at the variety of upload speeds as I’m FTP’ing a big batch of files for each of them. Looks like the larger the company, the slower the service (these are all shared hosting situations).

Feeling even more pleased with Hostgator now. Even when I had shared hosting, FTP was never at a crawl like this one site I’m working on right now. I think 12 minutes is a bit too much to upload a fresh copy of WordPress!

I started off the day planning to get some work done on three projects.

The first one – I got nothing done. I’m still waiting on an answer about the menu from the designer. I could have worked on the rest of the page, but I want to make sure I’m clear about that menu first.

The second one – I had a couple of emails from the client about little tweaks. I didn’t hear back from the last reply, and I really don’t want to move forward the remaining templates until those little things are worked out because I’ll be repeating work.

The third one – a big Joomla project – I was cruising along on that one until about 12:15 when I tried to save a change in a component and Firefox said ‘no.’ Actually what it said was ‘cannot connect to server.’

Puzzling. Looking around a bit I discovered that I suddenly had no access at all to any of my sites or my clients’ sites at HostGator.

I got into chat with HostGator tech support and discovered that he could see all those sites. I checked my laptop – again, ‘cannot connect to server.’

I went down into the Basement of Large Spiders and rebooted the modem. Back upstairs in the office, I rebooted my computers. Still not able to connect. So I called Comcast and was told they’d check it out but it could be 72 hours before I got a response.

You’re kidding me, right? That’s not very Comcastic.

I got on Twitter and mentioned my problem. Five minutes later a Comcast rep contacted me and had me email my problem details to her.

In the meantime I submitted a ticket at HostGator and heard back about 15 minutes later. The problem turned out to be on their end, not Comcast’s (very unusual) and involved an IP address in their firewall.

So anyway, by about 2:10 this problem was resolved and I could get back to work – only I had a doctor’s appointment. I wound up not getting home until around 3:45 and then got sidetracked again and wound up writing up a quote rather working on one of those projects.

Sigh. I hope tomorrow is less eventful, but I kind of doubt it will be. I have a 2-hour meeting in the morning at 7:30, then I have to train a client in New York on the use of Contribute. Busy busy.

This week didn’t start off so well, but it ended much better.

Because I was frustrated by a situation with a project, I forced myself to learn how to do something that will be of great benefit to my business. I love learning new things and I was irritated enough to sit down and work my way through most of it in a day, focusing on that and nothing else.

Now I have this brand new skill, something that’s in demand by clients and I know how to do it myself. That feels very good.

A panic-inducing problem with reseller hosting this morning led me to two good results.

First, I learned that HostGator can restore an account from backup in minutes. Go HostGator!

Second,  I integrated my hosting account management software’s client side into my hosting website with a lot of styling effort. For several years, I’d spend many hours updating my custom templates whenever WHMCS came out with an update. It was frustrating and time-consuming.

This morning one of my clients pointed out that he had trouble submitting a support ticket. It was a templating problem, something I’d missed in the last WHMCS update. I turned on one of the default template sets and turned off my custom ones…

It’s no longer integrated, but the new support portal does look pretty good and it’s entirely functional. I made a few little changes and added links back to the main part of my website, but for the most part, I will never again have to touch these templates, even when a new release of the software comes out. So that’s a good thing too.

This morning I was greeted by not one, but two ‘account has been suspended due to nonpayment’ notices delivered to my inbox by WHMCS, the software that manages my hosting client accounts.

I went in to look – not only had they been suspended, they had been terminated – wiped off the server completely, and for no obvious reason. The accounts were in good standing and were months away from expiring.

Immediately I submitted a support ticket to WHMCS (it’s now been about 8 hours – where are you, WHMCS tech support? I still haven’t heard a word from you) and then another to HostGator who hosts my reseller account.

I also went in and disabled auto-suspension for every client hosting account, just in case. I checked to make sure no one else’s account had been terminated. I still don’t know what happened to WHMCS this morning to cause this event in the first place.

I got the first response from HostGator within 10 minutes. Within 15 minutes, I had submitted two restore requests to retrieve those terminated accounts from the most recent backup. And within 30 minutes my two accounts were back online.

So HostGator, thank you so much. You guys rock. WHMCS, not so much.