Well, as some of you may have noticed by now our users forums are currently not available. Our ISP (Web.com, formerly Interland.com) at some point decided that our forums were “abusing” their server. They gave us no real explanations as to how our forums were abusing their system and for us this was the last straw. We have been hosted by Web.com/Interland for the past 10 years. When their system was up and running, it was smooth. When there were issues, the majority of the time it has been a battle between them and us. Mainly it was the layers of support needed to go through in order to get someone who actually could do more than just “reset the server”.
For reasons I won’t go into right now, our web site was initially developed in “ColdFusion”. ColdFusion, for those that don’t know, is a type of server side scripting engine that renders our pages. It is very similar to PHP or ASP. Back when we joined Interland the version of ColdFusion they had installed on their systems was version 4.5. Today, they STILL have version 4.5 even though ColdFusion has been sold twice and now belongs to Adobe and is at version 9. Interland never saw fit to upgrade its servers. They DID, however, see fit to upgrade to a new email system on the servers running ColdFusion. The older ColdFusion and newer email system didn’t play nice together and that broke any ability of our forums to send notification updates to our forum users.
A week ago we found our forums inaccessible. Digging around I found the permissions to the forums folder had been disabled. Thinking this was probably just a permissions setting that got flipped when they were doing some maintenance to our system, I went ahead myself and changed the permissions. A couple of days later I got an email from Web.com stating our forums had been flagged for “abuse”. I tried calling the abuse team and they pretty much said we needed to fix the old forum software, but they never would say exactly what it was that our forum was doing that was abusing the system. They did say it might just have been some hackers doing a DOS (denial of service) attack on our system…. not much we (Natara) can do about that since we don’t have access to exactly what it was that was being attacked. Anyway, Web.com didn’t seem to realize at the time that we had re-enabled access to the forums ourselves anyway.
Last night I noticed once again that I couldn’t get to the forums. Web.com this time had gone in and removed the forum folder all together. I’ve still not gotten any email notification of this second shutdown (but then again it may take another day or two since they are so efficient).
So now George, Rich, and I have decided enough is enough. Time to move on. Time to move to a different ISP. Time to upgrade the forums to something that is more modern and supports things like RSS feed and real email notifications. Time to get away from ColdFusion. Time to redesign the web site.
First things first though. We’ll leave the Natara.com web site up and running for as long as we have to on Web.com. Right now, with the BonsaiWM beta about to go full swing, we need some user forums so our users have a place to comment on features and bugs. I am in the process of converting our original forums over to a new system and hosting them temporarily on one of our other systems. Once that is up and running I’ll working on getting the web site moved also. The intention right now is to move over to a PHP system. Once that is done we’ll merge back in the forums to the main web site.
For now though, if you have support issues please email them to support until I get the new forums up and running. Keep an eye out here for news of when and where that’s going to be. I know there is a lot of useful information on the old forums, so I apologize for the inconvenience.