My goodness. It has been some time. I apologize for not being able to post anything for ages, and as I look at logs and stats for the first time in weeks, it’s wonderful that people are still able to pass by the site.
Much has happened in the past weeks. Work has always been a given. It has always been a work-at-day-write-at-night blogger’s challenge. But more than that, what has been insurmountable over the past weeks are the technical problems — and changes — that happened in this site. When you look at the site now, it’s not very obvious. But the programming that needed to be done behind the scenes was somewhat huge.
What brought about such challenges? The last straw(s): I had been attacked by hackers — and twice. I had asked for the help of my web hosting provider, Philwebservices. A number of sites under their service have been hacked. In fact, aside from RatedRalph.com, my two other work sites under them had been attacked.
Up to this day, I find it very sad how Philwebservices’ service (the editor in me is screaming– that sounds somewhat redundant!) has deteriorated over time. I used to have much admiration for the group’s services (and yes, even price). Unfortunately, they were not able to maintain reliability, as well as data security and integrity — and many other users and ex-users have expressed dissatisfaction. I do not mind occasional downtime. But for me, the greatest mortal sin is the loss of content. Philwebservices has lost a number of my posts (and together with them, your comments), all of which I am still trying to recover this day. This has been most painful. When you stay up late at night — almost to the point of getting sick because you want to post something — and your provider just loses information — it is heartbreaking. And what was even more heartbreaking was the poor communication throughout this ordeal. Emails were poorly and belatedly responded to. There was no empathy at all. There was even one email in which Philwebservices blamed its customers. Whether deliberate or not (as result of poor email writing), one could only guess.
In the past, Philwebservices had already lost a number of my posts because of their downtime. Of course, in all of these, I learned my lesson the hard way. We all have to back up. When you have a bad web provider, you really, really have to backup. I guess I was in denial about how bad their service was because the first two years were actually okay. I wanted to sue. I am not a prominent chef or culinary person, and perhaps, my posts may not have monetary value. But the damage they did to my two other sites have impact to business. They are lucky that I have not filed a complaint — at least, not yet. And what is sad is when you mention such things to them, they show by their tone of voice and how they phrase their words that they just don’t care enough. They don’t get it.
So one day, I decided to pull the plug. Enough. I pulled out three websites all at once. The funny thing, that was the only time Philwebservices called me up. Did they start caring? I don’t think so. There was no apology, no acceptance, and no sense of accountability. It was a last ditch effort not to do a customer recovery for the sake of serving the client, but a last ditch effort to protect income. Hence, to me, such actions, come across only as self-serving.
As I do a review of Philwebservices now, I say, I am relieved to be out. I’m sorry, but good riddance with a deep breath. But after the temporary relief comes the harder task of reconstructing this site — and two other sites I manage. I am now with a better provider, and one that I can trust more.
And so, like Julie Powell who did the Julie and Julia blog (which later became the movie), I give out my call to “anybody and everybody out there” to bear with me. The perennial optimist that I am, I do look forward to cooking and writing very soon, and there are a number of things in the pipeline. In the meantime, past recipes are still up. Only one post in this site seems to be unaffected by all the disruptions — my late Lola Entay’s Igado recipe for Igado. I find this very intriguing.
Happy Cooking! Whether the site is up or otherwise.