Restokin is back!

Hi guys! We’re back! After a week of down-time, we have finally managed to get the blog up and running.

So, what happened? Well, on Sunday, we were trying to fix a small problem where my blog didn’t show up at all on Google searches. While trying to fix this small problem (which we never did manage to fix), we created a bigger problem. Deathwing took his revenge out on my blog server…. We managed to have a failure when trying to update our server’s operating system. This caused our whole server to fall victim to the cataclysm, where it crashed and became unresponsive (taking down this site, Mike’s blog, and our guild forums). This made it impossible to recover any of the backups of the sites that were stored on that same server, and they were lost to the malestrom. In trying to get everything back up, they decommissioned the entire piece of hardware our server was stored on because the operating system error made it unrecoverable and they wanted to move us to their new system, anyway (or maybe Deathwing told them to do that).

Lost data & reposting: In trying to find backups stored on our actual computers, we were able to restore a 2 week old version of our guild forums. However, Illidan laughed at us for being unprepared, as we weren’t able to find a backup for Restokin.com that had all the necessary files to do a restore from, except for the one from May of 2011. So, we have been spamming your feed readers today with all the old posts for the last few months, rather than losing them completely. We made sure to restore all the posts from our Voices of the Community series, Garnaph, & Shakk. We restored most of my posts over that time period,  except for the ones that really aren’t relevant at all (ie. things like “patch 4.2 hits today!” or 6 month old recruitment posts, lol). Some of them may be slightly out of order, and some of the links will be broken, and that’s mostly just due to the fact that we had to restort to ducttaping my blog back together again. Thank you Mike and Barolas for helping with getting the posts restored (keep in mind that all the comments from said posts are lost – I blame Deathwing). I re-posted the resto healing guide v 4.3, but the leveling guide is still the 4.0 version that I’ll update tomorrow. If you used to be on my blogroll, but are no longer there, please let me know so I can add you again.

Moving forward: The kind of problem we had today will likely never happen again, as we have learned several lessons and made several changes. We are on a new piece of hardware at our hosting site now. We are also under a newer server operating system that has a lot more features. We also added a more expensive service and maintenance contract with our hosting provider that will allow us to more easily backup and restore the entire server image. So in the event of another (unlikely) catastrophic failure, it would reduce our downtime from a week down to like 1 day at most if we happened to have a similar problem in the future.

The changes to our hosting plan has increased the costs associated with this site by about 150%, from an already pretty expensive plan on my graduate student budget. So, to be able to keep bringing you content until I graduate from school and get a real paying job, we have added a “donate” button to the site for the first time since I started the blog almost 3 years ago now. This prevents us from needing to find sponsorships or put adds on the site, which I have never wanted to do. You are under no obligation to donate, and we’ll keep bringing you the best druid-related content that we can. However, if you would like to contribute to our efforts, please feel free to do so. Any donations you give will only go towards hosting and blog-related costs, so that maybe we can keep our server hamsters happy.

That said, I’m really happy to have my blog up and running. I missed you guys! Lets hope they release some Mists of Pandaria info soon so we have more fun stuff to talk about!

Update: Google searches still aren’t working for this site. For some reason, google bot just refuses to detect this site and the error messages aren’t specific enough for us to figure out how to fix it. If you have some idea of why google bot would have problems finding the blog, please let us know so we can remedy the situation.

10 Comments

  1. Posted February 12, 2012 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    Whoo hoo! Glad you’re out of the woods :)

  2. Cromahr
    Posted February 12, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Glad to see you’re back! I tried getting to the site a few times last week and couldn’t… worried that you had abandoned the blog. Good to have you back!

    • Lissanna
      Posted February 12, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      Nah, I’d never just close up shop without a word. I’m glad to be back!

  3. scaresome
    Posted February 13, 2012 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    zomg, welcome back … how many times I’ve checked in this past week looking … and hoping …

    • Lissanna
      Posted February 13, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      sorry for whatever stress I may have caused (I checked multiple times a day even when I knew it wasn’t possible for the site to be up yet, lol).

  4. Posted February 13, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Glad you’re back. You should have put the donate button up there a LONG time ago. I’m sure there’s a few of us that would be willing to help out.

    • Lissanna
      Posted February 14, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Thanks!

  5. Vir
    Posted February 16, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Have you tried using Google Webmaster Tools (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/)? You can create and submit a site map to Google and see if that helps. It will also let you know if there is a reason why it is not indexing your site.

    • Posted February 16, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I have had Restokin and sever other websites I manage associated with Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics for several years now. Something changed with the GoogleBot on or around January 17th and since then it has been hit or miss, mostly miss with several of our domains.

      Actually if Google or our Host would have admitted to these issues prior to us trying to fix the issue Restokin and the few others we run would not have gone down in the first place. I am no longer using Google Search engine because I find their lack of transparency over these type of issues the last straw. I now will use http://www.duckduckgo.com because it uses ssl for searching and also does not track or bubble their users.

      I checked our servers, and with our host and with GoDaddy where the domains were registered and at no level are any of us blocking any traffic from google. Many other diagnostic tools that emulate GoogleBot have no problem accessing any of our sites. So it is actually a problem with the “holier than thou art” supposed Tech Guru/Gods of Google. Or if it is not they are not saying anything other than “it does not work” from the automated Google Fetch. The site preview and a few other utilities can see the sites and their content just not the indexing GoogleBot.

    • Posted February 16, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

      Also sorry for the short rant, it is a very very frustrating thing for us at the moment and we greatly appreciate any assistance/input anyone is willing to give. I just spent all of last week and last weekend going around in circles over this.