I never ever imagined I’d be writing a post like this; one reason being I thought it only happened to big time bloggers.
HOW DID I KNOW I WAS HACKED?
Well…I woke up to an email from wordpress saying somebody had tried to access my account and I needed to change my password. I constantly receive spam emails like this and nothing ever comes of it, however, I thought I’d better look into it, I went to login and noticed that my site was completely down. Something about a 403 error (never ever seen this before!) Annoyingly I discovered this 5 minutes before I had to go to work and had to try and push it to the back of my mind which was near on impossible. I checked on it throughout the day hoping to see it magically reappear but it didn’t. Even when I logged into WordPress all my files were gone and I couldn’t access anything.
As soon as I got home, I contacted my host in every way I could, tried to call (couldn’t get through) and then logged in and saw somebody had raised a ticket a few days before but never emailed me (at this point I didn’t know what a ticket was, its simply a chat feed for them to contact you and for you to reply to them.) They had sent me a message full of tech website jargon basically; I’d say I’m quite good at website building etc since I dabbled a bit in university but they were talking PHD level jargon. Each reply I sent was along the lines of ‘I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE TELLING ME, PLEASE JUST HELP’ and they would just repeat themselves. It felt like they just had a robot at the other end of the computer sending out automatic replies. OH and the best line in their spiel was ‘we have shut down your site, we understand this is an inconvenience’ Erm you think? I battled with them for 2 days but got absolutely nowhere. They recommended that I contact a company they knew could help me wipe and clean my website and once that had been done all I had to do was let them know so they can put it back up. I was so desperate at this point that I contacted them, I knew it was going to cost me but I had no idea how much. The website they reccomended had an instant chat feature on their website and after all the trouble I’d been having getting a decent response, I needed help instantly! The guy on the other end seemed friendly enough, he told me I’ve come to the right place and how sorry he was that my site had been hacked and then he told me the price would be anything from £200-£500 depending on how many malicious files were in there and how long it would take them to clean it. As soon as I told him I couldn’t afford it, he said bye and went offline quicker than an ex boyfriend on msn circa 2005. So my immediate response was screw you. Screw you all. I’m going to have to start again. I’d have to take my domain, say goodbye to all my hard work and move on. To say I was devastated would be an understatement.
THEN ALONG CAME JENNIFERWL…
Although a large part of me was convinced and sort of prepared to start over, there was still that little part of me that couldn’t let go. I’d suddenly remembered that this had all happened to a blogger I follow on Instagram a few weeks ago. I’d never spoken to her directly but I needed some answers and she seemed really friendly so I messaged her explaining what had happened. She immediately responded with more sense and advice than my host did and recommended I speak to somebody at Lyrical Host who should be able to help me clean my site and get me back up and running at a way cheaper price. After being knocked back by my previous reccomendation I was a little sceptical but I was so desperate and Jennifer was the only one to make sense of the whole situation so far, I had nothing to lose.
WERE LYRICAL HOST LEGIT?
I emailed Lyrical Host explaining my situation and telling them Jennifer had reccomended me. Even though it was 10:30pm at night, past their opening hours, I had a response in minutes from Jenni. Jenni knew exactly what I was going through and was confident they could fix it. They not only said they could get my blog back up and running, they would be able to fix it in the future if it was to happen again as part of their hosting package. At this point I thought, amazing but how much will it cost me? She sent me a link to their pricing plans and my jaw instantly dropped. £10 A MONTH! That is all. Yes it may be a jump up from the 40 quid a year I was paying my host previously but Lyrical Host were able to offer me a lot more. The safety of my site, free resources and a whole blogging community. Plus, I knew my hosting before was way cheaper than it should of been when somebody I know in web design asked me how much I paid for my hosting after I told him I’d been hacked and his response was that it was crap cheap hosting and pretty much ‘no wonder this happened to you.’
It was so so easy to switch. They booked me in for a migration (their earliest slot wasn’t until August but they managed to open one up for me – another example of how great they are!) and come the day, they had it done within a few hours. I was guided through it and by the end of the day my blog was back up and running!
I’m honestly so so happy that this has happened because 1. It truely hit home how much my blog means to me. 2. I got to see how rubbish my previous hosts were and how hosting should be done. Put it this way, I’d pay Lyrical Host hundreds of pounds before paying my previous host another penny.
Thank you so much to everyone who put up with me during the past couple of weeks. My wonderful boyfriend for cheering me up with pizza and wine, my incredible friends for their encouraging words and Jennifer & Lyrical Host for helping me get my site back up and running!
If you ever find yourself in a similar predicament or think it’s time to rethink your host. Visit Lyrical Host for more information and if you decide to switch use my code ‘AYorkshireSoul10’ to get 10% off your first monthly payment.