Change of Webhost

One of the most recent challenges I had faced was to change the server of my personal blog. The old server was hosting more than just the blog but also other directories.

I bought the package around 10 years ago. It cost slightly over 200 bucks and had unlimited space and bandwidth. I wasn’t sure if the server was old or because the geographical location was far away, loading speed was slow. Anyway, since the renewal price was costly and rather redundant, I decided to give it up.

I didn’t expect it to be hassle-free but neither did I expect it to be so much more complicated.

Initially, it was the back-up of the blog. I had quite a minimum dealing with WordPress and it had always be a maze to me. Exporting and importing the contents alone wasn’t enough. I had to spend some extra time working on some errors.

Next, I had also my own database for some internet marketing and SEO stuff, which I wasn’t even sure was still working. I had to backup the database via phpMyAdmin and then create the new database and user via the Cpanel.

I also got to shift my non-profit website – Smoke For What. I felt lousy because I finally realised that I didn’t update the site properly previously and the database wasn’t connected – some features weren’t displayed for the past few years.

Overall, I got so stressed up more than I had anticipated. There were too many unforeseeable issues.

Websites were down

Some of my websites that are hosted in the same server as this blog were down for the past couple of days. I thought it was due to problems with either WordPress or the fact that the server was undergoing some “upgrades”.
I decided to take action just now and send a ticket to resolve the issue.
The “beautiful” reply was “An email was sent to [email] on January 22nd by our abuse team. In the message there was: “Your account [name] has been compromised and used to host infected files. For this reason we have blocked the web access to the site. Please use the FTP service to check and clean the files of your account. ” ”
I used my FTP to down all the files on the server, which took one or two hours because the server was based in Canada (if I didn’t remember wrongly) and that there were uncounted number of files for each copy of WordPress. Then, I used my antivirus to scan through the files to remove two infected files. I removed the entire folder of the WordPress copy on the server before dragging the scanned folder over. I replied the person before I rushed out. After returning home, I saw their reply that my websites were reinstated.
I actually paid an upfront cost for around ten years for this server, which was why it was considered dirt cheap. However, I didn’t expect the service to be like shit. My important sites are hosted in local Singapore server and thus I hardly ever access the server to make changes to my websites.
They could have done something to protect their server like installing antivirus software. Once they detect any infected files, they could quarantine or delete the files straightaway, and inform me of the paths of the infected files directly. It’s ridiculous for them to simply inform me that my account has been compromised and simply block it. Somehow, I didn’t even receive their email., you are a very bad webhost and I wouldn’t recommend your service to others. You’re just a webhosting company that collects the full payment and treat your poor customers as dirt.

Broke my Jogging Timing Record

EIP, my dread, finally started on Tuesday morning. Going down all the way to Bukit Batok ITE was killing half of my days that I was unable to do any other stuff. It was a test of my luck to see which secondary school students were going down in order to judge how tiring I would be by the end of each session. I was lucky that the Westwood Secondary school kids were very adorable. However, I made a great communication mistake and Zaki reached at 8am.

Zaki sent me back to campus to attend my department meeting, which started forty-five minutes earlier and the meeting was over soon upon reaching. Nevertheless, I got to enjoy the nasi lemak from my boss.

I had a payback of my lack of sleep due to gaming before I went to bed. Throughout the afternoon, I was never productive by nodding in front of my laptop. The worst thing was when I discovered that my smoking site did not work properly on my webhost even though everything was fine on both laptops I was using. It was disastrous to work with AJAX when debugging was needed.

Sometimes I did doubt my own principle. I always did my best to attend to all my friends but somehow it made me very unfocused. I had been observing friends who did not even glance at me when I stood beside them during their conversation with others, and indeed they were more successful than me.

I reached home at around 6pm. I slacked for some time and finally left my house for a jog after taking my medicine. It was another challenge to my limit for I could easily sleep like a bear at that moment. I started off weak and felt like sleeping at certain points of time. By the time I reached the big T-junction separating Marina Barrage and Marina South Pier, I was exhausted. Nevertheless, I was impressed with my final timing.

On the Tuesday evening, the place was not even half as crowded as the weekends. There were more groups of youngsters around. The usual huge green snake kite departed soon before darkness embarked. I started lying down to rest. The time tickled fast and before I could doze off, it was near 8pm. I made my way down and did some stretching longer than ever, distracted by a mini bus which I suspected was from MediaCorp.

When I started to take off, I was glad to see bus 400 stopping at the bus-stop. My second race against the bus was granted but I was not given advance start off as long as the previous time. Before I reached the T-junction, the bus had already beaten me. I did not give up and kept my pace constant at the exhausting speed. My effort had a payoff for I managed to overtake the alighted passengers inside the small tunnel as they were walking towards the MRT station. I was quite proud of myself.

I could not keep up with the pace after turning away from the entrance to MRT, but managed to push myself furthermore. In the end, I checked my timing and was very amazed with myself for I broke my own record by taking less than 19 minutes.


Changing File Permission on Web Server

My “Current Online Users” counter was working fine until I switched webhosts.

I remembered clearly I needed to change the permission of the text file on the server before it could work for I was not using SQL database. However, no matter what I tried, even to the extent of changing the permission for the folder, the counter refused to work.

I asked around my friends but none of the programmers was familiar with writing and reading a text file using PHP. I tried to google for solutions but it did not help, until I found on “” the line “PHP does not recognise the permissions setting for the file until you restart the server”. It stunned me for quite a moment. I was not using a dedicated server and I was not running the website on my personal server or computer, and it would be troublesome to get the server reset; moreover, I could not confirm it would work.

It actually took me a few days from assuming the servers were problematic to suspecting my FTP application was buggy, and finally to the urge to try debugging. My knowledge of the script was too shallow to spot any problem; moreover, I supposed there could not be a mistake since I had been using the same script for years. I started by adding codes into the different files for prompting. The last thing I did was to do a trial and error to remove a space/tab between a “3” and “000”, which aroused my suspicious. It finally worked.

I concluded that changing file permission was an immediate effect, which did not require restarting of the server. However, it might not always be the case for some extremely lousy servers that could or could not have existed.


Irwin’s New Golf Clubs

I woke up with a very terrible sore throat on Monday morning, which almost tore my throat apart. After swallowing saliva for some time, I recovered with itchiness left on my throat.

New task awaited me and the thought of working with Photoshop on the super duper tortoise-like laptop was a complete turn off.

I had to take lor mee for lunch since the Chinese mixed vegetable rice would not be nice without the curry as gravy.

I left work earlier and rushed home to get changed before meeting Irwin at Queenstown. Since his bus was taking a long time, I went into the NTUC supermarket to have a quick shopping, buying a packet of red bean buns and two bottles of isotonic drinks, which I had not seen before; they tasted like 100-plus but the label was 7-up.

I waited at the golf driving range after that. Irwin came along with his personal golf clubs and I was quite excited. Nevertheless, my entire body was weak somehow and together with the irritating itchiness on my throat, I did not have good game. We only finished two baskets of golf balls, which was slightly more than two hundreds of them.

We could not decide on what to eat and if it was not for my throat, I would have decided on one of the fast food restaurants. Anyway, Irwin suggested to go home first to check out if his brother was home so that he could borrow the car and fetch me at my house for dinner.

In the end, the dinner was called off and I finished the remaining of the buns for dinner.

Some payment issues from my current webhost boiled me up so much that I almost wanted to dedicate a few days to write a long essay to curse them. Luckily that they had a live chat system on their website and the staff attended to me and all problems seemed to be solved. I was handling it so professionally in very fine tone that Mike appraised me that I was a good client.

This night, I started sneezing and I knew it was the continued symptom of the sore throat.