Nothing to see here.

…or there wouldn’t have been, if not for three of my new favorite people.

I killed my site yesterday.
With my WordPress account with GoDaddy set to expire on Aug. 21, I was in the midst of a last-minute domain and hosting transfer to Bluehost, getting a little cocky that I was about to be rid of my evil, evil provider.

With the ill-advised click of one button — CANCEL HOSTING ACCOUNT — my entire site, a year’s worth of writing and a halfhearted attempt at “artful design,” whose database had never once been backed up…GONE.
Never backed up.
And gone.

The harsh hilarity of accidentally deleting my website while at a conference for bloggers…has not escaped me. I’ve only had one panic attack in my life, but I’m pretty sure I was close to a second yesterday.

I called my first hero of the day, my friend Sean — who, in reality, is sort of my always hero of every day — who was just sitting down to lunch. We talked for a few minutes until I felt tears springin to my eyes and had to hang up.
Sweet and empathetic, possibly to a fault, Sean quickly lost his appetite and headed home to help me troubleshoot. Between his efforts and those of my hetero life partner, Marcy, a skeleton framework of my site was back up and running within the hour, and content from the past year quickly being recovered from RSS feeds and Google caches.

Tweets were flying, Marcy and Sean reaching out to their respective communities of developers, nerds and general good samaritans, and I was juuuuuuust…kind of sitting there. Feeling like a damn moron.
By the way, I hadn’t backed up my site. Did I mention that?

Sitting there, feeling like a damn moron, and cursing GoDaddy. Because I had called them, too, before the near panic attack set in. And they told me, of course we can restore your site. If you sign up for another hosting contract and pay us $150 to dig your data back out.
…Sirs and madams. I’m stupid and broke. I cannot and will not pay for this.

So it seemed all hope was lost.
“Thanks for nothing, @GoDaddy,” I tweeted. “What’s customer service?”
An hour later: “Sorry to hear about your troubles. I will have someone reach out to you shortly to discuss some options. ^J”

An hour after that, “^J”, my third new favorite person, called my cell phone. His name is Jordan, and he works in GoDaddy’s President’s Office. Also known as the “respond to people who are pissy on Twitter” office. It was 6 p.m. on a Saturday night, and for half an hour, he listened to me talk about what had happened, laughed at my self-deprecating jokes, put me on hold then told me that GoDaddy could give me back my database for $11.98.
Eleven. Ninety. Eight. For someone who wasn’t even their customer anymore.

Best $12 I ever spent.
By 8 p.m., my site was back up and running, like nothing had ever happened, my faith restored in customer service and humanity in general. And feeling…so loved and taken care of.


Lessons learned:

  • “How hard could it be?” are some of the most famous last words for a reason.
  • Don’t jump the gun and get all clicky on websites you don’t understand.
  • If you do something stupid, be humble about it — not defensive.
  • If you need help, ask for it.
  • If it’s offered to you, accept it.
  • If you’re dissatisfied with a business, tweet about it. (Well, don’t do it if you’re expecting something out of it…I really just wanted to scream out into the ether.)
  • I have the best friends ever. And not just because they’re better at WordPress than me.

And for God’s sake, back up your site.


7 Responses to “Nothing to see here.”

  1. Brian D Says:

    I’m glad everything worked out for you!! If this is the Sean and Marcy that I know and know of, I like them even more than I did a few minutes ago…Good friends are seriously priceless…

  2. Katie Ketelsen Says:

    Glad to have ya back chica.

    Don’t ever do that again.

  3. Mr. Apron Says:

    Um, dislike?  (Except for the lessons-learned bit.)

    P.S. I got all clicky on a website I didn’t understand once and my computer got a virus and I saw Russian chicks with purple hair doing things to each other with produce.  

  4. Anonymous Says:

    God damn. I was laying low over the weekend and missed this.

    I think you just survived something like a near death experience. Or the equivalent for someone as invested in their writing as I know you are.

    I never EXPECT friends to pitch in like that, but knowing Sean it utterly fails to SURPRISE me he did. Man’s got a backlog of good karma and the universe owes him a thing or two.

    Hope to meet Marcy one day or other, haven’t had the privilidge, but what little I’ve seen this seems in character.

    Likewise I haven’t met you, but you seem to be good at surrounding yourself with good people. Hang in there.

    Oh, and just so you know? Everyone who works with computers long enough eventually pulls one of those maneuvers that you hear about as horror stories and things you think to yourself “I’m never gonna be THAT person!”. These machines are complicated enough they just seem to invite disaster now and again. In other words, they bring out the humility test time and time again. You nailed it with the advice. Because — shh, big secret revealed — even the computer professionals shoot themselves in the foot big time at least once in their life. At that moment, it’s all about how good you were at surrounding yourself with good people and staying humble enough to ask for and receive the help. Everyone, even the smart ones, are THAT person at least once, usually more than once.

    And we all keep our fingers crossed that for us it is no more than that once, for us and everyone around us. This stress test is pretty shitty stuff.

  5. Aaron Aiken Says:

    Hey, glad to see that you were able to get everything back up and running!! I offer a service to my clients so that if this sort of thing would happen to them I can get their site back up and running. Thought I’d share it with you incase you’d be interested –

    Welcome back!

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Bluehost 🙂

  7. Marketing and our Messed Up Priorities: How We Got it Wrong with GoDaddy Says:

    […] Nothing to see here. ( […]

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