Problems with SiteGround

I recently ditched all but one of my dedicated servers and decided to switch to shared hosting for all my PHP / WordPress sites. First I tried TMDHosting, had a serious issue, cancelled that, and then switched to SiteGround. I prepaid for 2 years. Might have been a big mistake.

Site disappeared

First, an entire site disappeared from their server. I had a copy in an old backup, but otherwise the site files and database had disappeared. Their support had nothing useful to say, and suggested it had to be my mistake. Possible, but highly unlikely that I accidentally deleted both the files and the database.

Sites offline

Yesterday I had an issue with permissions. There were 4 .well-known folders in my sites directory that were owned by root. I noticed because the letsencrypt installer didn’t work. Created a ticket, they fixed permissions on 1 of the 4 directories I had listed. I updated the ticket. They replied saying they’d fixed all 4. Many of my sites went down. 403 error.


I’m travelling in Seville. I was out. I turned around and went back to the apartment, jumped on live chat. They told me that somebody would reply to my ticket within 20 minutes and there was nothing else they could do. I logged in, checked permissions, found one site that worked, and fixed the problem.

Turns out that on several of my htdocs folders, the “other” r-x permissions had been removed. Evidently nginx was unable to access my sites. Today I see a reply to the ticket saying that they didn’t change anything, and they’re glad my sites work again. WTF?

What do I do now?

Two serious failures. The second caused real downtime, albeit a few minutes because I fixed it myself. Any recommendations on a good shared hosting provider? What do I do about my 2 year prepayment?

AutoEurope / Hertz Scam

Just returned the car I booked through AutoEurope, delivered by Hertz at CDG. They informed me that there would be a €60 charge. When I asked why, it turns out that they wrote in the small print on my voucher that there would be a €40 “airport surcharge” and then €3 per day tax.

Of course, nobody mentioned this when I picked up the car. It’s a blatant scam.

Avoid AutoEurope like the plague, and be especially careful if you see the name Dollar or Hertz anywhere on the rental. They clearly participate in this scam with their policy of charging “fees” only upon vehicle return.

Better 2FA on PayPal

I recently setup Two Factor Authentication on PayPal. It’s super annoying. Whenever I want to login I need to receive an SMS (which takes a few seconds at least to arrive) and type the code into the site. I need to get that SMS on my UK sim, which means I need to always have that SIM live and on me to login.

Well, not true. It’s not actually very safe as you can bypass 2FA with two security questions. Oh well…

Turns out, it’s possible to use an app instead. It’s not obvious that it’s possible for free, but it is. Install the Symantec VIP app (free) and then set it up. Simple. Just enabled, tested, and it works nicely. Definitely easier than waiting for an SMS.


Car hire in Colombo, Sri Lanka

If you’re looking to hire a car in Sri Lanka we had a great experience with Ocean Tours. At first we went to another place called something like carson. They told me on the phone they had a car for a price, when we arrived the next day it had apparently “gone”. We were given a choice of a much smaller car or a similar car for much more money.

Turns out Nirosh at Ocean Tours sorted us with a much better car, cheaper. We got a Mazda 3 for 20k a week. Bargain. Great car. Great service. I think it might have sweetened the deal that I told him I was standing in the car park of hist competitor and unless he gave me a price I was not coming to his office! Worked out great for us. The traffic was pretty mental though, best I could average was about 40km/h!

I think the air con with smoking in some bars has gotten the better of me, sore throat last couple of days, voice no longer working… 🙁

Composer has a new responsive design, now works even better on mobile, read all about it

Listening to a live orchestra next to the Thai paralympic team in their London 2012 shirts at Lumpini Park. Very civilised Sunday evening!

I slept, I finally slept! After 5 sleepless nights on the trot, last night I actually slept, oh sweet sleep how I missed you so…

In this timezone we survived 2012! Happy new year y’all. 🙂

Looking for somebody coming to Thailand in the next month or so. Any suggestions? Want to buy a laptop and have somebody bring it out… 🙂

Back from the wedding, very relaxed affair. Quick spot of fiddling and now we have wifi in Dan Sai, I’m all set for the next week… 🙂

Up before 7 and off on a 20km motorbike ride to a Thai wedding. Part of the wedding was at 6, we missed that bit! Will try to take pictures.

Turns out the bus was actually 12:30 not 12:00, we arrived 12:20, whoops! Another bus might take us most of the way, the adventure begins…

So it turns out the login page for Terminal 21’s free wifi (linked to your government issued id) is http, no SSL in sight. Oh temptation…

Can’t leave with my purchase until I sign atop “signature not required”! At some point I realise, why am I arguing? Gotta love Thailand! 🙂

Turns out downloading movies from streaming sites is actually viable. Maybe the inability to torrent is not as bad as I initially thought…

Arriving at Chatuchak weekend market, more than 8k stalls over 35 acres doing more than $1m USD each Saturday and Sunday, have I gone nuts?