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When Hosting Goes Wrong

Posted 8/9/2019

What happens when your hosting company drops a ball so big, so devastating, that it wipes out all your work and you have to start again? Well, thats what happened to me.

TsoHost LogoTsoHost LogoI have been doing websites for 20 years or more. I started with old NTL webspace, moved to Virgin, bought my own domain, moved over to that, then moved hosting serveral times since.

One thing I have found is writing your own websites takes a lot of time and effort. I have rewritten my websites so many times, it is something I hoped I wouldn't have to do again, especially from scratch.

I didnt want to start again, but this is what happened using Tsohost.

As I sit here writing this blog while I cook a lovely roast beef dinner, I have this morning rewritten my second site. Luckily it was only one page, but it still writing, putting in the links, hoping they are right (scripts do not show until you upload the site) then when you think its finished, press upload then the next part begins. Checking the site online, on mobiles, asking friends to check. Then you find out this is not aligned properly, header does not show how you wanted it to, font is too small. Then its the fav.icon to do, sitemap, checking links. Yes to most people, most of this gogglygook!! A lot is still to me.

By this point I have had two sites to rewrite. One is my portal site, the other is this site, my blog site. I was left unable to add any new blogs, update the site, or anything unless I either paid someone to take over the coding, or I start again, which I basically had to do.

My third site, GothWitch, is now basically stale. Its seventy plus pages that, with everything going on, I do not know at this point if I will ever be able to update. I am lucky I had backup copies of my websites. What I did not have was backup copies from within the builder. You do those when you are going to totally rebuild your site (which I did in 2015) or moving hosting (which I also did in 2015 and had no intention of changing again as everything seemd ok)

So, going back to 2015, after a lot of searching, trying free hosting companies, researching reviews, trying different builders, I finally moved seemlessly to a hosting company called Dataflame. The builder was fab, intuitive, and easy! For four years I have enjoyed great hosting. The only problem I (and others effected) was at one point the licence for the web builder had expired. it took them three or four weeks but it was renewed and we all continued on our merry way.

Last year, we had an email stating we were getting taking over by Tsohosts but everything would stay the same, same level of support, etc. we could choose to stay on Dataflame packages or move to Tsohosts. I stayed as I liked my package. We had our stuff migrated over to Tsohosts. Everything continued as before.

We get to this year, a couple of months ago, another email. This time we would undergo another mogration to new Tsohost servers. again everything would stay the same. I checked the information, nothing to effect me, only if you had databases etc which I had not.

The migration went smoothly. My sites apperaed to have no downtime that I saw. Recived the email stating migration had gone smoothly, please update my name servers. So I did.

At the time I was preparing to do another updated cancer blog, so I changed my nameservers, went into my hosting account to write my blog and.....

Where the hell is my site builder!!???

I went round and round, it had gone. Let the fun begin. I contacted support. What builder? The builder on my account, the Presence Builder, the Parallels Presence Web Builder, yes thats P.R.E.S.E.N.C.E. yes it was on my account! I have 3 websites built with it, yes I will hold....

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 minutes later. "Sorry, we can't find it!"

Yes! Cos you have removed it! Eventually, after nearly an hour getting nowhere, and demanding to speak to a senior supervisior, I finally got sense off someone. It had been removed as it would not work on the new servers.


My complaint would be forward to their Legal and Complaints Department. I waited...

Initial complaint to TsohostInitial complaint to Tsohost

And waited...

Within two hours of contacting them, I had already found another hosting company with the same builder. On the 8th August, I contacted them again. I said I needed access to the builder for my backups or they were to supply me with the backups I needed. I told them that no way was I prepared to loose over twenty years of work. Their reply was they would look into getting the required backups.

I had an amazing follow up response from Tsohost...

"Unfortunately we can not get the backups from the old server as it is already turned off and set for decommission. It will not be possible to turn it on"

Who the hell disables the backup systems two weeks after a huge company migration?????????? Jeez!

They also stated that they contacted us all two months prior to inform us of the migration. Yeah, but at no point did they warn us that things like the builder would be removed! I had already gone through two or three migratiosn, why should this be any different? I also know that there would be many more like me effected.

I looked at Twitter.. Oh hell, what an absolute mess Tsohost were in in!  Their migration had gone far from smoothly. Things had been a mess for a while. I had noticed recently often going to my website, it wouldn't load, was very slow, or even getting an error my site couldnt be found. It was like it had gone to sleep, and needed waking up! Things were starting to click. It was turning into an ongoing catastrophe! Everything that could have possibly go wrong had gone wrong. On further investigatioin came across this!

(link to original post)

Tsohost woesTsohost woesSo I took to vent my anger on Twitter with my fellow Tsohost customers. But I did go a tad futher. I threatened legal action. I had twenty years of work there. They had given me no warning of the removal of the builder, which was an intergral part of my account.

I had just, two months earlier, paid for another year hosting with them. They also had a strict "no refund" policy. So I went down the only route that was open to me, legal.

I got fed up of their sorry but tough attitude, I mean, who disables backups two weeks after what turned out to be a disasterous migration?

I decided that twenty years was too much to loose. This comes at a time I am battling incurable secondary breast cancer of the bone, undergoing now permanent chemotherapy treatment. I knew now I would have to fight two battles, cancer and tsohost.

My support messages now included the fact that I would not leave this go, and I asked, several times, for the full contact details to send legal papers to. I even have free 30 mins legal advice through my union. I got details to contact that to. All this was aslo blazened across my twitter feeds.I also informed them of my medical position. I gave them fair warning.

It finally took until the 15th August for Tsohost to offer me a full refund. I would have to cancel my hosting, and they would give me a full refund for that years hosting. I took it. I cancelled as instructed, followed their instructions and waited for my refund. I got it. I was so glad to be gone. I wasnt happy though they took my websites straight down. Another thing to note!

HostingUK LogoHostingUK LogoSo off I trotted over to HostingUK. I decided, as I wasnt very well at the time, to use their migration service.

Now, I am going to be very honest here. Things did not go perfectly. In fact at the time, I did reconcider if I had made the right choice.

First off, when they imported my websites, one of the sites ( had the wrong website upload, dispite me explaining which folder to use. The support email was not responded to. I eventually went in to try and swop the site to the correct folder, which, after a few mishaps, I managed. Then it transpired that I was given the wrong nameserver details. 

Add to this problem I had already cancelled my account at Tsohost, my sites were basically taken straight offline, then, updating DNS can take 24-48 hours to propigate. To add then that I had to change my nameservers again to the correct ones, and THEN add to all this Virgin media (my ISP) can take 3-4 days to update thier DNS, and I needed that done twice, my sites ended being offline for nearly a week. That was heartbreaking.

So, where am I now? Still with HostingUK. Now things are all set up, so far no more problems. I have paid for two years hosting. I am enjoying thier upgraded web builder. I have noticed a significant improvement to loading speed, my webite updates are immediate, and so far no apparent downtime or page not found errors.

Final judgement I still hold in reserve. So far, the migration could have been a whole lot better, but up to now, running my sites has been excellent. Would I recommend? Yes, with a tiny bit of reservation, as time goes by, hopefully things will improve.

They still have to show me their support is better than I have seen so far.

Best thing right now? I can blog again!

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