Hopefully you visit the blog enough to know that there have been problems lately. To cut to the chase, the source of the problem has been GoDaddy and I have no problem throwing them under the bus. I caution you to carefully consider ever using any of their proprietary software-as-a-service products. This is my tale of panic, disgust, and wasted time and money, all thanks to GoDaddy!
The story goes something like this; back in 2007 when I started this blog I went with GoDaddy because of their reputation and simple blogging platform. Turns out it was a big mistake and hopefully my horror story serves as a cautionary tale to others who blindly believe they have control of their content in the cloud.
From 2007 until June 2014 things went just fine with their blogging platform. Sure it was graphically inferior to just about anything out there, but it worked and was easy to use. Unfortunately, at some point GoDaddy determined that it wasn’t a money maker and decided to essentially cancel the service with no regard to its users.
Of course they say that emails were sent out regarding the decision, but as any GoDaddy customer knows – hardly a day goes by without at least one spam email from GoDaddy. So when did I finally receive an email that actually caught my attention (i.e. didn’t look like their normal spam) and caused my to wonder “what’s going on?” The day after the service was totally terminated, of course, when I received an email about the cancelation of my blog.
I the blog has over 1200 posts, which conservatively amounts to an investment of $250k-500k of my time. Sure, it is a labor of love because I am a golf nut, but don’t you think I would have immediately taken action if any of GoDaddy’s “warning” emails had even remotely suggested to me a potential problem was on the horizon that could result in the loss of all this effort? Of course I would have, who would risk losing 7.5 years of work!
Hours on the phone with GoDaddy customer support ensued. It was becoming clear after exhausting every channel possible there was a very real possibility that their actions and policies may result in me losing all 7.5 years of content. Everyone I spoke with at GoDaddy was incredibly nice and seemed to understand the ridiculousness of the situation, but in the end they couldn’t, or wouldn’t, do a damn thing. They need to learn how to empower their employees, not sit on their hands and apologize!
Eventually I was able to get an export of all the posts, which is essentially the equivalent of a text file of each post; no graphics, no formatting, basically a hodgepodge of crap. Then I found a guy who has attempted to make sense of the hodgepodge of crap and get it into a new blogging platform. We still have a lot of problems to work through and it is likely to take 12 months to get things back to how they were at the beginning of June. What a great use of time and money; thank you GoDaddy, where should I send the bill?
The main problem now has to do with the 2400+ images. Get this, GoDaddy would not provide us access to the image directory so we could easily download them because their great proprietary system mixes user content together. In other words, there may be someone else’s images in the same directory as my images. Sounds like that architecture was well thought out!
So there are likely to be days that images in old posts don’t show up, but we are trying to work through the problems. If you happen to be an expert with WordPress and image URL allocation then PLEASE EMAIL ME.
Another problem associated with the “hodgepodge of crap” handed to me by GoDaddy is that the categories are all gone. For example, you can no longer view all the putter posts by simply clicking on the “putters” category. You will have to use the “search” feature.
The hundreds of people that received the posts by email will have to sign-up again, as soon as I figure out how to provide this option in WordPress; likewise with the RSS feed.
I had roughly 24 hours from the cancellation email until the blog was gone and I had no access to the data. Very well thought out GoDaddy! Fortunately I was able to scrape the website and make it available at Golf-Patents-OLD-SITE.
So, please bear with me as I try to get everything ironed out; as I have no doubt that within a year the blog will be better than ever.
PS – I am now open to taking advertising on the blog to offset some of the costs associated with this GoDaddy debacle. Please reach out to me if you are interested in reaching an audience of only hardcore golf gearheads.