Dragged Through the Wringer by GoDaddy

Let me set the stage for this little play.

For more than a decade I have recommended against using GoDaddy for any reason. Here is just one reason why.

A couple of months ago I took over management of a business website designed in WordPress (not just any WordPress, but Managed WordPress), which is designed for blogs and not particularly well-suited to high traffic commercial websites. Compounded by this pretty but VERY S … L … O … W … interface is GoDaddy’s overall piss-poor performance. In real-world numbers it comes down to this. Traceroute and Ping are two commands for gauging performance and bottlenecks from any one computer to any given IP address or website. A traceroute from my computer to any one of my websites is 22 milliseconds. This is pretty darned good. You really don’t get much better – ever. The traceroute from my computer to my client’s site on GoDaddy is 160 milliseconds. Almost Eight Times As Long. For the Internet, that is an eternity.

As you might imagine, trying to administer anything on my client’s website is painfully slow.

A month ago everything was working properly. Slow, but no errors. Today I went in to make some upgrades to the SEO and found seven webpages with galleries of images that were all broken. Every single image showed a ? instead of an image, which simply means it can’t find the image files. In looking at all the links to the images, they were all being called from a website in Hong Kong. That’s right – Hong Kong. Well, that’s pretty weird, but OK. All I need to do is get to the source code of each page and replace the bogus domain with the right one.

Sounds easy, but not if GoDaddy is involved. The source code is apparently housed within the database that’s buried in the guts of their server. Not where you or I can get to it easily. This, unfortunately required that I contact GoDaddy tech support, which is something I will avoid for the rest of my life, as it resulted in the following chat dialog over more than two hours of my life that I will never get back. I had to send “Arnold” a screenshot of the problem THREE TIMES, as he lost it and couldn’t find it. He also apparently could not duplicate the issue, even though I was able to duplicate it on 3 browsers here and another at my client’s office.

Screenshot of problem with URL circled

Screenshot of problem with URL circled



And all this is after a previous 30 minute chat session with a different tech I had to disconnect because I could not access their database manager with Firefox – because their server certificate shows up as not legit…






Transcript of my chat session with GoDaddy support


Arnold Mon, 05/23/16 01:14:49 pm America/Chicago
Thank you for chatting with us! How may I help you today? Start Time
Hello, My name is Arnold, I am with the Hosting Team. Your patience is appreciated as I may be assisting multiple customers. May I start with your name and the issue which you are currently experiencing? 01:15:05 pm
Me 01:16:14 pm
I was chatting with Tyler before about trying to edit the source code for some responsive galleries on our site that contain bogus / obsolete urls and therefore don’t load the images. He pointed me to the php admin site, but I can’t imagine that’s where the responsive gallery data is stored in a WordPress site.
Arnold 01:16:34 pm
I would be happy to check on that for you, give me just a few minutes to access your account and review the account you have provided for any issues that may occur later. while I do that, do you have any other questions on your account today?
Me 01:17:17 pm
No. I just need to do a global search and replace of all the pages for the two domain entries
Arnold 01:18:26 pm
Okay I see. Let me go ahead and check the previous notes.
Give me a second please.
Me 01:18:35 pm
Arnold 01:20:16 pm
Thank you. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
By the way what domain name are we talking about here. 01:21:07 pm
Me 01:21:26 pm
Arnold 01:21:33 pm
Stay on the chat please.
Me 01:22:00 pm
The galleries refer to images stored on http://hk.apexbpo.com – which does not exist
Arnold 01:22:45 pm
Okay, I will look into that.
Still checking. 01:26:42 pm
Me 01:26:56 pm
Arnold 01:27:06 pm
Hi, where did you get this link?
Me 01:27:17 pm
What link?
Arnold 01:27:26 pm
Me 01:28:58 pm
http://hkliquidationsllc.com/services/facility-shutdown/ Go to any question mark in the lower part of the page and hover your cursor on it. That’s the responsive gallery and the images are pointing to a non-existent domain. It was all fine a month ago and something turned it to snot recently. I haven’t touched it. I just tightened up security and deleted a couple of old logins this morning.
Arnold 01:29:37 pm
Could you please send me screen where I can see it.
Me 01:29:52 pm
This is true for every page under the Services tab.
Arnold 01:29:54 pm
Sorry I cant see the question mark.
Me 01:30:03 pm
Try Safari
Arnold 01:30:36 pm
Sorry, actually I don’t have safari.
I’m using either google chrome and mozilla firefox.
Me 08:31:20 pm
Question Marks.jpg
See the id=116] – that’s the shortcode for this particular gallery. 01:32:04 pm
Arnold 01:32:42 pm
Okay, thanks.
Have you tried to use different browser? 01:33:51 pm
Me 01:35:26 pm
I’ve tried it in both Safari and Chrome and it does the same thing for my clients on PCs. It also does it in Chrome. I just checked. I have 4 monitors running 3 different browsers at all times.
Arnold 01:36:13 pm
How about mozilla?
Me 01:36:57 pm
Firefox doesn’t show the gallery either. Can you see it in any browser?
Arnold 01:37:59 pm
Where I can see the gallery?
Is that under services? 01:38:09 pm
Me 01:38:34 pm
Services and any page below it. Just scroll down to above the contact form area
Arnold 01:41:00 pm
Could you send me screen shot please.
Me 01:41:32 pm
Did I not just send you a screen shot
Arnold 01:42:43 pm
No, I haven’t receive anything.
Me 01:43:22 pm
I can see it in the chat transcript window.
How about getting me someone farther up the food chain? I feel like you are wasting my time, my client’s money and your time.
Arnold 01:45:25 pm
I’m sorry to fell you that way, no worries. I’ll try my best to help you out with this . Please bear with me.
Could you send it again?
Me 08:45:48 pm
Question Marks_(1).jpg
I’m not doing this again. My client is paying me a pretty fair amount of money to waste my time dealing with you. We are about ready to pull the plug on this site and your ridiculously slow hosting. My servers are like greased lighting compared to yours. 01:46:45 pm
Arnold 01:48:23 pm
I understand where you coming from. No, worries all of your concern here will be heard and not taken for granted.
Please bear with me.
Still checking. 01:51:44 pm
Me 01:54:50 pm
Still waiting. This should not be that complicated. A simple search and replace across all the pages in a WordPress site is not a difficult process on most sites. I’ve been doing this for a pretty long time.
Arnold 01:55:32 pm
I understand if you going here in my end I don’t see any error on any question mark on it.
That’s why I’m also checking your database.
Me 01:55:53 pm
Just look at the screenshot
It’s pretty simple. 01:56:00 pm
Arnold 01:56:43 pm
I understand.
That you have that on your end. This test will identified if the problem is in your end. 01:57:19 pm
Me 09:00:05 pm
Arnold 02:03:02 pm
It tells you there’s something to do with the wp content.
Upload folder inside the wp-content.
Me 02:04:38 pm
Get me someone who knows what they are doing.
Arnold 02:07:36 pm
I understand that It will redirect to a different domain that why I give you an idea where you can check it.
I would suggest you to check files or database associated with the service page. 02:10:29 pm
Me 02:11:17 pm
Arnold, you are an idiot. Get me a supervisor
Arnold 02:15:40 pm
I understand the frustration even I’m going to transfer you to my supervisor they would also say the same thing.
Making changes on the codes or databases are not it our scope of work but we can help you how to navigate it. 02:16:35 pm
Are you still with me? 02:21:43 pm
Me 02:21:54 pm
Waiting for a supervisor
Arnold 02:26:42 pm
I’m still looking for available supervisor, but before I transfer I need some information. Do you have back files for your wordpress files?
Me 02:28:32 pm
There is no way to back them up given the way you store them. FTP access does not have those files as nearly as I can tell. Something at your end corrupted this site, which does not surprise me.
Arnold 02:30:46 pm
When did you see the website working?
Me 02:32:33 pm
The last time I worked on it. That would be 4/21
Arnold 02:35:21 pm
Give me one second.
Me 02:36:45 pm
Arnold 02:38:05 pm
Thank you so much. I’m now communicating with our tech lead how to work around with this.
Me 02:38:24 pm
Arnold 02:38:40 pm
Thank you so much. Please bear with me.
Still checking the dashboard. 02:45:34 pm
Me 02:46:35 pm
All I need is source code access to the responsive galleries so I can remove the bogus URLs that cause the images to not load.
Arnold 02:54:33 pm
Thank you for patiently waiting. I have the answer now coming from our tech lead. They mentioned that there’s a problem with the string connections on database. They told if your comfortable to check the database and files or do you want someone work this for you however there’s a fee on that.
Are you still with me? 03:00:49 pm
Me 03:01:02 pm
The problem I have with this is that this was not a problem the last time I looked at it, there was nothing wrong. Either your server corrupted the data or someone had their fingers in it. Either way I don’t think I should have to pay to fix it. Also, if you had anything resembling a normal unrestricted hosting platform I would be able to repair the code. I’ve been doing this since 1995. I’ve been building and hosting websites on Unix and Linux a very long time.
Arnold 03:03:34 pm
I understand. The server will not do anything on the website until there’s a changes made.
Me 03:04:18 pm
Nonsense. I’ve probably been doing this longer than you’ve been alive. I’ve seen failed updates take out entire server farms.
Arnold 03:07:48 pm
I understand. If there’s an failed update we would make that customer receive a notification. That’s the only options we could offer either help you navigate your database and files or have an expert service will do the work.
Me 03:13:50 pm
You do nothing but waste my time. The galleries should not even be in a database. That is total overkill. You only do it to make the sites non-user serviceable. I will make sure everyone hears about this.
Arnold 03:17:47 pm
I’m sorry that you feel that way.
Me 03:18:21 pm
You have wasted over 2 hours of my time today. I will make sure I let the world know how I feel about it.
Arnold 03:22:47 pm
I understand where you coming from and I know this problem is very frustrating at your part and to your client. I already provided you the options. Will there be anything else?
Me 03:23:41 pm
Definitely not.
End Time
Arnold 03:24:29 pm
Thank you for chatting with us. Have a great day.

Two hours and nine minutes (of just THIS chat session) of my life I will never get back.

I finally documented, then deleted all the responsive galleries in seven web pages. At least the errors are gone now. I will recreate the galleries in a few days.

Quite the little time-wasting fiasco.

For reference purposes only, I own almost 30 websites and host almost that many on a large shared Linux server that has excellent performance and reliability. I started building websites in 1995, writing code in a VI editor on a Unix platform. I have always used either Unix or Linux for hosting because I feel it is very simply a superior operating system with better security and performance. I am very particular about the hardware and software that I employ for every purpose.

If you are looking for a new home for your website, contact me. We are pretty competitive.

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