W.O.L.F. Sector
Worlds Of Lesbian Fiction

News Archive for September 2023

Friday, September 22, 2023

The Site is Down (Sort of)

Written by Kodi Wolf at 10:30 PM

The site is experiencing major technical difficulties.

Sometime on September 18 or 19, 2023, my hosting provider (HostGator) decided to migrate my VPS (virtual private server) to a new server without informing me and in the process broke PHP, which is what provides all of the functionality on my site.

The first two techs tried to say the problem was a scripting error on my part and that they couldn't help me, but after two days of insisting it was a server error (and troubleshooting the problem myself to prove it couldn't be a scripting error and was specifically related to pages with the .php extension), I finally got the support ticket escalated high enough to get a tech who investigated the problem properly and was able to inform me about the server migration I'd been unaware of and also how and why PHP stopped working.

They told me they can't put it back the way it was and my only options are to either wipe the server and install new versions of the system software (CentOS and WHM) and then reload my content, knowing it will probably break my very old aMember membership software (used on my paid member site for my original fiction), causing me to have to re-purchase it at about $150, so I can get the latest version (though HostGator offered to kindly waive the $75 charge for the reload and data retention service as a courtesy, but they also mentioned the server only has 768MB of RAM and they don't offer anything below 2GB nowadays because CentOS and WHM are resource hogs, so my site still might not work well or at all)...

...or I can purchase a new VPS with 2GB of RAM and migrate my content to that, since all the software will already be updated, which will cost about $400 upfront for a year's worth of hosting, which is actually a good deal compared to my current price of $600 a year ($50/mo), but after 12 months, that price will go up to $90/mo ($1,080/yr), which is almost double my current price, and I will still have to put out the $150 for the updated membership software because the old/current one won't run with the newer PHP (at least that's what I was told years ago when I looked into upgrading it after they put out a new prettier version).

Either way, I'm still looking at a lot of work to get everything up and running again. But for the past few years, I've been slowly working on a complete redesign of the paid site (which I planned to use for my fan fiction site, too) to make it mobile-friendly, so the prospect of putting a bunch of time and effort into patching up the old pages when I was planning on scrapping them anyway doesn't really make a lot of sense to me.

But that means I have to get the new design finished and fully tested while both of my sites remain out of commission.

I'm still in the process of trying to decide what the best course of action is. I'm not even sure I want to continue with HostGator after all this crap, but then that means hours of research into finding another host (particularly one that doesn't care about sexual content) and there's no guarantee my new choice would be any better.

Regardless of all that, at least HTML is still currently working (as of September 22, 2023 when I'm writing this), so I was able to create a clumsy workaround to get the index pages working for my main paid stories, root domain, and fan fiction sites, since I don't know which URLs people have bookmarked, but it's way too much work to do this for all the chapter and information pages right now, but it's the best I could do to at least let my members and other visitors know what's going on.

However, as of right now, none of my sites' pages work because they're all PHP, which means if you attempt to click on any of the links on the index pages, they won't work.

I currently have no access to the backend membership software because it too runs on PHP. This means I can't easily email my members to let them know what's going on because I can't access the mailing list feature from my membership software. (I could send emails manually and individually from my Yahoo or Gmail accounts, but that would be an insane time sink, not to mention Yahoo and Gmail have limits on how many emails you can send in a day.)

Thankfully, I have a fairly recent backup of the member database, so I should be able to recreate it when I get there (or figure out an alternative).

To be clear, I haven't been hacked and there has been no data breach.

If you're a member and you don't have the most recent copy of the story or stories you paid for, just email me at REMOVEmail4kkw-wolfTHESEsector@PARTSyahoo.NOWcom with the name and email address you used for your membership and once I verify it against my member list, I will send you all the files you're entitled to in your choice of PDF, ePub, and/or MOBI. (Unfortunately, I can't offer the same for my fan fiction at this time.)

As I said above, I'm still in the process of trying to figure out what to do. I'm even considering just setting up a mailing list of my current members and using private Google docs to provide updates to my stories.

Of course, that requires getting a P.O. Box ($176/yr for the tiniest box), since I'm not comfortable showing my home address at the bottom of every email, which is required by free mailing list sites like MailChimp, when by law I shouldn't have to, since my emails aren't promotional, they're transactional as I fulfill my members' expectations to be informed when they have more content available or why they don't.

Unfortunately, that doesn't allow new people to find me or become a member. There's also my Patreon, but I don't post anything there because of their license terms (though I could post links to Google docs, which would avoid that issue).

And I've looked at hosting on websites like Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify, since they can all handle payment processing, but their Terms of Use all state that sexual content is forbidden, so that's not an option.

I'm also super stressed about other life stuff that's happening, so this was really not good timing.

But rest assured, I'm still writing every day and I will figure out how to get updates to my members one way or another... eventually.

On the bright side, while my fan fiction site is not tops on my priority list, if I can get PHP working again, that site should be relatively easy to fix because all I'll have to do is replace the .html file with the original .php file and it should all go back to how it was before. It's the membership site that's going to be a headache.

With that in mind, please be patient as I try to sort this mess out.

Take care.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Bought the New Server

Written by Kodi Wolf at 3:00 PM

Yeah, so after weighing my options, I broke down and bought the new server.

I'm currently in the process of having my sites migrated to the new server. Here's hoping it goes smoothly.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

The Sites Have Been Migrated

Written by Kodi Wolf at 10:00 PM

My sites have been successfully migrated to the new server with no major hiccups (just a few small ones, like losing FTP, but I'll deal).

Everything seems to be working, for the most part. Due to most of my links being http instead of https, some things refuse to load, like my stylesheets for my signup pages, so the text is black on a black background (unless you highlight it by selecting it, it's basically invisible).

On the bright side, my membership software seems to be working well enough. It's still protecting my member pages, but it's refusing to show the member account page and when you log in, it takes you to a page that says it can't load the page, but if you go back, you'll be logged in and be able to access your content (at least, that's how it's working for me). And logging out seems to work just fine.

As I said in a previous post, if you can't access your member content, please let me know, and I'll send it to you in one format or another (likely PDF, ePub, or MOBI).

This has also kind of lit a fire under my ass to get the new mobile-friendly site design finished. I've actually gotten quite a bit done in just the past couple days since the migration completed. I've still got a long road ahead of me, but I'm making progress, which is better than not.