WELCOME TO THE NEWLY-TOTALLY-CRASHED WEBSITE OF
I've had a website since 1996 or so. Except now. Unless
you call this a website. Thank you Hostmonster! I can't access
my files from Hostmonster to put them over here on InMotion, because
apparently Hostmonster tech support does not actually know how to
get the shared server my website is/used to be on back
online.[update: See "More About Hostmonster" below.]
But, I have some email service now, I think.
In getting back online, I learned some new ssh and sshfs info.
Not easy to find, so I will provide some hints, because Hostmonster
uses as password system, and InMotion uses a public/private key
InMotion guides help you get ssh access via Putty. For command
line ssh access, we need a ~/.ssh/config file. And good news,
this file will help us use sftp [eg. in dolphin] and sshfs as well.
config is a text file and can contain multiple entries but for our
HostName [shared ip]
Now, what are these? Host is a name you make up, which is
convenient because then you can say, for instance: "ssh
inmotion" or for instance: "sshfs inmotion:/ ~/[local
Theoretically, one can use an actual HostName and let DNS resolve
it, but I found it easier and more reliable to put the shared ip no.
I don't know why they use port 2222, but that is what it says in the
Putty info, so that is the port I used.
We need to use the "authentication manager" to create a key and then
download it. This is the raw downloaded one, for putty it's
necessary to use the ppk one. Fortunately, there is also a ppk
converter, but it ends up with a "bin" extension, I don't know why,
so something like id_rsa.bin, which I then changed to ppk for my
The next issue to be aware of is that the server will object if the
id_rsa file has too many permissions after you download it.
But, not every effort to use it generates an error message. I
used dolphin to set the permissions to owner only (no read
privileges for group, etc.)
Lastly, getting to your directory is an issue. The "home"
directory is not accessible, so you will need to jump over it by
going to /home/[user_id].
More About Hostmonster
I was aware that at some point Hostmonster became affiliated and/or
acquired by Bluehost. I was not aware that about 4 years ago,
Hostmonster was acquired by Endurance International Group,
along with many of its highest profile competitors, such as
Hostgator, iPage and FatCow. See, Endurance
brands. Interestingly, Hostmonster is not listed as one
of the brands, but I point-blank asked a tech support person, who
acknowledged Hostmonster was purchased by Endurance about 4 years
ago and is also associated with Bluehost. I had
noticed a downward spiral in customer service (based on my
relatively limited contacts -- for the most part, websites tend to
"just work" and my experience with Hostmonster was for the most part
positive until recently). But, Endurance turns out to be a
venture capital driven organization (per its own website, with $33
million losses the last quarter. So, it's no particular
surprise the customer suffers the consequences. At the moment,
I have ssh access to what used to be my website, but none of the
cpanel tools work (such as phpMyAdmin and File Manager), the Backup
Pro system (which I also pay for) doesn't work and so a great deal
of my website is simply permanently missing. I'm particularly
concerned about my databases, which I can't access and which have a
lot of data that is important to me.
Another issue about Endurance is that it is based in India. I
chose Hostmonster some years back because it was based in Utah and
apparently some portions of the company still are based in
Utah. But, it seems that at least the chat support comes from
India (and mostly they don't properly respond to my issues and
questions, which is the more important issue. If my issues
were resolved properly, I wouldn't care if the techs were stationed
on the moon.)
More About InMotion
Not sure whether I made the right choice -- I picked InMotion
because it seemed like a smaller hosting company and was located in
Los Angeles. However, the servers and tech support are not
located in Los Angeles, they are located in Virginia, which I
learned after paying for the hosting. Secondly, there was an
ominous message when I contacted chat support about "outages" and
chat support was having 30 minute wait times -- longer than
Hostmonster. And, although the InMotion sales person was very
friendly and helpful, the chat tech support guy did not want to help
and mostly pointed me at help articles that I had already
read. There is a free "website transfer" option -- but, since
Hostmonster has made my cPanel tools completely inaccessible, I
can't use the website transfer. So, I needed help with things
such as Zone Editing. I'm sorry, but A records and Mx records
are above my pay grade. Initially, I just wanted to move my
email -- which I understand can be done via the correct Mx record
entries, but tech support at HOSTMONSTER screwed up and
changed my entire website DNS to the InMotion server. This
allowed my email to work once I also changed the ns server records
to point to InMotion. So, I am receiving my main email, but I
have a few other domains that are still screwed up. It's been
72 hours while Hostmonster refuses to fix my website/cPanel
access. Tech support just keeps telling me they are "working
on the server," which of course isn't true. I have ssh access
to the shared server, so I am in the process of moving my many
thousands of files (but it is time consuming). I can't follow
up with tech support at either Hostmonster or InMotion until I get
all the files moved, because I dread losing them altogether.
Worse than that, I still cannot access my databases. Hostmonster
apparently has no interest in troubleshooting and fixing my cPanel
tools. But, every time I talk to Hostmonster support, they
break something else, so I don't want any more "support assistance"
until I have rescued as much of my website as I can.
Positive for InMotion -- so far everything is working and website
access seems to be much faster than on the Hostmonster server.
Negative is that Hostmonster was offering the Spam Experts service
and InMotion is not. I have tried a lot of spam solutions and
I found Spam Experts to be really good -- tons of spam disappeared
altogether, but I am not aware of any of my "real" email being
blocked. I have contacted Spam Experts to see if they have a
Yes, it is really foolish that I don't maintain a full backup on my
own computer. In the 20 years I have had this website, I have
found that my website has been secure and professionally backed up,
while I have killed off many computers and lost far more data at my
end. So, yeah, I should have downloaded some occasional
backups to my site and I didn't. Shame on me, I guess.