When HostGator Goes Chomp Chomp With Your Website

This is not a dissertation against HostGator. I love HostGator. I love my wife and kids as well, but sometimes we all do things that disappoint each other. And if we learn from those disappointments, or at least begin to understand how to avoid them, the next time we will know what to expect, movie2uhd or at the very least be able to avoid the next time.

This all began when I made a small tweak to the CSS of one of my websites. I have around 15 websites for commerce and know just enough about CSS to be dangerous, saintgenieswholesale and probably should not be messing with it, but generally I get away with it, and get the issue fixed without any disasters. And if disaster strikes, I always have a backup.

Awhile back this happened to me, and when I couldn’t fix the home page, I called HostGator. The tech (yes, they have real people that answer the phone)! Anyway, appmee the tech told me the easiest way to fix my mess, was just to pay them $15 to restore from the backup that they perform, and I would be back in business. Well, that was the best news I had received in months, or at least since moving my sites to HostGator. Before, when I would have issues, my current host would NEVER allow me to actually call and talk to a live human being. Their business model was strictly by email, and most of their techs were Russian even though they were a U.S. company. I don’t have anything against Russians, I actually love Russia having visited there, but their written English sometimes is a bit skewed, and they don’t always understand ours. Plus, Allthingschildcare these guys acted like we were really bothering them every time we emailed with an issue, and that we were actual morons. So we solved the problem, we moved to HostGator.

Back to the story…when I called HostGator to get the latest goof up fixed and restored, the tech informed me that my inodes were over the limit, and once they were over the limit, HostGator quit backing up the sites, and if I would read my agreement, they made it very plain in English that this was the case. When I mentioned that they restored one of the sites a week earlier from a backup, he informed me that once the overage was caught, and they quit doing backups, that the next time they did a backup they WIPED OUT all of the sites, since they did not do backups for people that were over the inodes limit. When he told me what the inodes limit was, I checked in my CPanel, and I was well within the limit. When I informed him of this, factualfacts he checked with support (I thought he was support) and support (2nd level) told him that we were over the hard drive space quota and backups were not performed on these sized accounts.

However, apparently they will wipe out all of your data for no fee.

So, then I decided to insure that my backups were in order. When I contacted HostGator to verify this, their support department informed me that the backups were eliminating the public_html directory in the backup. It appears to be due to the fact that your cpbackup-exclude.conf file has public_html listed in it so when full cPanel backups are generated it is excluding your accounts public_html directory.

After some conversation with one of HostGator’s techs he was very adamant about the fact that they not only avoid backing up large accounts, but that if I didn’t manage all of the backup process etc; myself, that I was in fact asking for a problem that would set me back years in business since the websites were responsible for my income. And, if a hard drive on the server that I was hosted on failed, animeyoko I would be out of business if I were relying on HostGator to host the backup file, so I better be hosting the backup file on my own network, with a copy on a remote server as well. We currently use an offsite hosting service for our software code and backups, so this was a no brainer and easy issue to solve. And saving a copy of the CPanel backup to my own hard drive was fairly easy once I set up a Cron Job that would do this automatically each week. (actually I do this twice a week)

So, this story has a happy ending, and some important life lessons that if you fail to plan for these lessons, you can surely plan on failing…


1. Make sure that YOU perform (or at least verify) the backups.

Yes, you can leave this up to a competent IT person, but if it fails, they are going to say, “I’m really sorry” and go find another job. You on the other hand, will be out of business, crosstrainer-kaufen competing with them for a job….

2. Make sure that YOU have a copy of the backup in a safe place, as well as a second copy in an offsite facility.

Today you can store a Terrabyte for less than $100 a month, so there are no excuses. One time our offices (in an office building) were broken into, and EVERY computer stolen. We purchased new computers and our offsite backups were restored, and we were back in business by early afternoon.

3. Verify the Backups.

You don’t want to find out that your disaster recovery did not work after the fact, so test and verify your backup procedure. Most competitant ISP’s should be able to do this for you. And with people like HostGator, there is no fee if it is your backup. Make a minor change in one of your sites, do a backup, then go back to the site after restore and insure it took place. Even though you are backing up every week or so, every other month, I would check this procedure to make sure it works properly.


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