The day in which MESYM.com almost disappeared…

This is the story of how today MESYM’s website almost got completely deleted…

Our website went down last night 11 pm for maintenance work (we’re carrying out upgrades which will make the website faster), everything was supposed to be finished in just few hours. This is standard procedures for websites: do the upgrades at night, so the impact is lower.

However I woke up this morning, the website was still down, and I found an email from my hosting provider:

“Hello,

There has problem to migrate your domain name to the new server.
I have restored the backup file at the original server but failed to connect your wordpress database.
Can you login to cpanel account and connect the user to the database.”

After which I logged in to check the database, only to find out that half of the tables had disappeared! The data in the website had been deleted!

(Have you ever had that moment in your life, when you see yourself since a child, your whole life before your eyes in just one second? I had that moment then…)

Luckily for my hosting provider, and more importantly for ourselves, I had made a backup of the database before the migration, just in case… so it took few hours of extra work, but we managed to re-import the database and fix it.

Whew… luckily I did that backup… otherwise, MESYM.com with all its content would have disappeared…

And after the database was fixed, I had to wait hours until the new system would be in place, which should have happened last night. That’s why mesym.com was not available today. However, when I compare this to deleting the whole website, I think I got a real good deal!

Thinking aloud: why did this happen?

A website migration from one server to another involves a series of steps, which should always be followed:

  • first migrate the website to the new server before deleting it from the current server
  • make a backup of everything before starting, just in case

These 2 operations, as basic as they are, were not done, they first deleted the website from server A, migration to server B failed, and they couldn’t restore the website again in A. The logic is so simple, yet it failed. And that makes me wonder why.

I think the answer lies in the way businesses are carried out in our global age of maximizing profit at any cost: at the expense of quality. Employ people with low pay to tackle all these tasks, which means employing inexperienced people.

I will complain to my hosting provider, but still, will my complaint make any difference? Even though this was a human error, the problem is not the person who did it, but the system in place which puts somebody without knowledge to handle a job for which he / she is not suited. And unluckily I doubt the system will change at all… still I will make my complaint (and maybe ask for a discount! ;))

Moral of the story

NEVER trust your Hosting Provider!

Anyway, the website is back up and running fine! Cheers for that! 🙂

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Connecting the green dots

MESYM.com is a crowd-sourced platform and a living database for environmental movements in Malaysia. There are many good actions being done out there. Our goal is to bring them together. We connect the green dots.