At 22:45 New Zealand time last evening, I tried to access my website and received a ‘504 Gateway Timeout Error’. Subsequent attempts returned the same error.
At 01:28 this morning, I again attempted to access my website and to my surprise, it came only partially back on-line with posts / widgets through September 20, 2014.
I phoned my web hosting service, Bluehost. After some research, the first line support person informed me that there were problems with the server that my website is hosted on, that technical support was looking into it, and that he would initiate a restore of my blog as soon as the problem was sorted. I went back to sleep confident that the problem would be resolved
I woke up this morning at 07:00, accessed my site, and noted that the problem had still not been resolved.
I phoned Bluehost again. The first time, I was disconnected and sent straight to a survey to ‘rate’ Bluehost’s service. I rated it poorly and left a voice message explaining why.
On a subsequent attempt, first line support informed me that technical support was still looking into the problem and had not provided any updates to first line support within the last four hours. I was advised to check back again at 12:00
At 0915, I tweeted @bluehost stating that I wanted my site back and asking for an ETA.
At 0940, @help.bluehost.com tweeted back ‘There isn’t an ETA for when backups will be available’.
Since there is nothing I can do about it, I am going for a hike in lovely Franz Josef, New Zealand.
Hopefully, when I return, my website will be restored and I can share a post about week one of the South Island road trip in New Zealand.
**Updated 19:30 same day**
Unfortunately, my website and the others mentioned in this post have yet to be fully restored. Back up servers remain down.
I have had two additional calls with BlueHost Support and have been told that while BlueHost has an automated Back-Up Pro service their terms of service (#17) do not guarantee backups and it is my responsibility to store back-ups locally. The language in its Back-Up Pro product fact sheet minimizes the importance of local back-ups. I am sadder but wiser now.
If Blue Host is unable to restore the back-up files, I am out of luck.
I have been working with Grant, a very capable level two supervisor who has explained how I can monitor when the back-up servers are on-line and how I can do a restore if back-up files are available. It may take a few days to a week to bring the back up server back on line. Fingers crossed that there will be back up files waiting for me when the servers are restored.
Not the best news today. At least I was able to enjoy the beauty of Franz Josef
**Update 2300 following day **
The good news. Back-up files were available and on the second attempt, Bluehost was able to restore all of my data through 18 January.
The bad news. My theme was corrupted in the restore and I had to recreate it in addition to recreating five posts that could not be recovered. Still, most of my blog was better than no blog at all, so this is a great improvement over yesterday.
I will be looking into cloud storage providers for storing a secondary back-up of my site and providing final impressions/feedback to Bluehost.
Comments received on this and the four other ‘lost posts’ could not be recovered as part of my manual restore.