The GoDaddy adventure...
September 04, 2007

So, the site is hosted with GoDaddy. They're a pretty good host, but I finally had my first problem with them. I worked through it and still like them as a host because I'm understanding and realistic, but I thought I'd share the story so you get a feel for the work that sometimes goes on behind the scenes to keep the site running and growing.

Anyway, I had decided that I wanted to allow video files on the site. Coding the pages to do that was the easy part. I created a form and set things up so that the files would place themselves in the appropriate new folder on the server. Most of that went pretty smoothly, as expected. However, there was one minor thing that annoyed me: files larger than 8MB caused a timeout and a "This page cannot be displayed" error.

Well, I decided to see if I could fix that. Eventually, it became clear that the problem was what more expert designers will have already guessed: the php.ini file on the server indicates that files larger than 8MB aren't allowed. To fix this problem, I decided to try using a .htaccess file to override some of the php.ini file settings. That didn't work out so well.

I decided to try calling my host next, to see if they wanted to up my limit for me. They didn't, but they said I could do it myself. "You can create a custom php.ini file and change the setting!" they told me.

That sounded almost too good to be true. The problem was that I wasn't sure about what to put into the file. I read online that the wrong contents can be a big deal. I found out the location of the default file using phpinfo() and it was revealed that its location was outside my area of access, in a folder I can't touch. So I read some online and talked to espiga and decided to try SSH. After downloading Putty and finding my IP address for the server, though, it became clear that since the server is shared, I can't log in (even though GoDaddy had pages on how to use Putty).

So I was back to square one, mostly. However, a fileget() script allowed me to finally get the contents of the file and I was able to parse them in a meaningful way. Finally, I had a php.ini file I could trust. I uploaded it onto the server, delighted... only to find that the php.ini file wasn't recognized as the configuration path. According to all of the tech support I got, it should've been recognized immediately.

Irriated, I called my host a few times, and they basically told me that it was a coding issue, that they can't help me with my custom scripts. I made clear to them that I don't care about my page loads, that they're doing fine (and they are). I told them that I simply wanted the path to the php.ini file changed.

"Well, we can't help you with that," they said. "We can't provide that sort of support, we can just make sure the servers are working like they're supposed to, which they are."

They had a point, but blaming it on my coding didn't sit well with me. Sure, my coding isn't always perfect, but this clearly wasn't a coding issue. It wound up being a situation where I knew as much as any of the people I was able to talk to on the phone. They e-mailed me messages full of things I knew and everything.

Then I got a brain storm. While accessing the control panel, I noticed that there were two configuration options. I updated to the other configuration option on their server and VOILA! Everything works perfectly. It turns out that the option they told me I could and should use was only available to me if I selected a certain hosting configuration.

They could've saved me 6 hours if they just put the clues together. Anyway, at least I always got on the phone with someone within 30 seconds of calling, and they were local American support staff and very courteous (even when giving me flawed info). So I still like GoDaddy. This was just... frustrating.

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joseph_valencia joseph_valencia - September 04, 2007 (08:32 PM)
It's nice that you got to talk to a local person. A lot of companies these days hire people from India to do their tech support, and they charge a fee for "premium" (non-Indian) tech support.
carcinogen_crush carcinogen_crush - September 05, 2007 (08:33 AM)
Mad coding skills = winner.

Getting the run-around = loss.

But if everything turned out well, then all the better, right? So you're going to be hosting videos now?
honestgamer honestgamer - September 05, 2007 (01:18 PM)
We now host videos up to 30MB in size, in .wmv, .mov or .avi format. They should be 320x240 or 320x180 when possible. WMV files will resize just fine to that size. WMV is also the preferred format.

Anyway, having US customer support is a huge win for GoDaddy. They're one of the biggest, most successful hosts now, basically the Wal-Mart of hosts in that they have a good balance between price, features and support. You can find cheaper hosts with horrible support, or you can pay a very reasonable price each month and get great support and dependability. I remain a GoDaddy fan.
overdrive overdrive - September 05, 2007 (03:48 PM)
Is GoDaddy the one that's had in the past that really hot, slutty-looking chick dancing in one or two of their commercials? Candice what's her name from WWE?

If so, can you hook me up with her? As a staff member of this site, I'm essentially part of the GoDaddy family, as is she, so I feel it's my right to at least get her for a night....or hour....whatever works out best for her time schedule.
Felix_Arabia Felix_Arabia - September 05, 2007 (04:13 PM)
You're not a family member until you have an HG email, and last time I checked, OD, you don't have one . . . I do.
honestgamer honestgamer - September 05, 2007 (04:57 PM)
That's the host, Overdrive, yes. :)

They actually have a link near the bottom of the main page of the site that you can click to go to a web site about the GoDaddy girls, with pictures. They have a lot of hot female athletes promoting them around North America. Pretty exciting.
overdrive overdrive - September 05, 2007 (08:46 PM)
Have to check it out. I knew Danica Patrick was with them. As a sidenote, she's really, really cutely hot in person.

The IndyCar league has one of their events at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which is about 15 minutes from where I live. As a local sports reporter, I get credentials to Mid-Ohio events and during a special IndyCar "test the course and do interviews" day, I was in the media room during an interview with her. It took a lot of self-control not to wind up with a jail sentence and/or restraining order.

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