In case you were wondering why my website looks different… Well, I wrote (actually coded from scratch) my original website about 12 years ago, before platforms such as Blogger or WordPress even existed. Over the years the look of the website changed, but the underlying code stayed for the most part untouched. Rewriting an old codebase is a pain in the neck in the best of times; doing it while I’m in the middle of a photography season, working a full-time job and teaching a class is just plain suicidal. To make the long story short, my old trusty website was just too cumbersome to manage and I had to put it out to pasture.
I would have migrated a long time ago, but because my old website is all custom-coded, there was no easy way to migrate content to WordPress. Finally, last night I decided to bite the bullet and spent 3 hours writing a script to move data into WordPress’ MySQL database. I’m still tweaking things here and there, but for the most part content migrated with no glitches and looks better than ever before.
After more than a week of phone calls, threats, emails and a consultation with an attorney, I finally got US2.net to admit that they screwed up. Somehow their billing department thought that I hadn`t paid my invoices in months (which they admitted was a mistake on their part due to a new billing system). So, without letting me know and without giving me a chance to backup my data, they deleted all of my websites and databases. Today I managed to get in touch with their Windows support manager and he told me that they found my website in their backups, but not my database and promised to do everything he can to get my site up and running today. Given their track record, I have my doubts, but I`ll keep my fingers crossed just in case. If I don`t get a copy of my database so that I could restore it to this new site, I`ll most likely take US2 to court. Meanwhile, I am going to move on and try to at least re-post photographs that used to be in my blog. Also, I lost all the client feedback/testimonials from the last 5 years. I am going to try to contact my clients and ask them to re-submit their feedback. So, if you are or at some point were my client, I would really really appreciate if you could go the the “Testimonals” section of this website (About -> Testimonials or click here) and submit your feedback. Thank you for everyone`s patience.
My website has been down since Wednesday, December 3rd and it seems like my hosting company does not really know what`s going on. When I originally created the first version of this website, it was hosted by Stargate Inc, a local Pittsburgh company. About a year ago, Stargate sold its shared web hosting to a British company, UK2 (US2 in the United States). Ever since US2 took over, I`ve had one problem after another, but this one takes the cake. Apparently, my domain name has expired and no one bothered to notify me of that fact. I renewed the domain name on Friday, December 5th and called US2 to let them know. They said that the site will be back up in 2-4 hours. 6 hours later I called again and the tech support person did not know what was going on, so they escalated my support ticket. A few hours later I got an email from US2 saying that they cannot even find a record of my website on any of their servers. I am currently in the process of migrating my website to a new hosting company (GoDaddy.com) and to a new domain (www.wideopenlens.com). Until migration is complete, the blog on this site will not be active and none of the database-driven functions (photograph descriptions, client testimonials, etc…) will be working. I apologize for any inconvenience and will try to get everything working ASAP. Thank you for your patience, Dmitriy