PC Memoirs is back! Read on if you are interested in finding out how PC Memoirs disappeared and came back from the dead. It might help some other imountain customers who lost their websites without warning.
Sometime in February 2013 my blog went offline and it didn’t come back. At first I thought, it’s just a temporary thing – probably some problem at imountain hosting. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. My blog simply disappeared from the Internet! When I tried to open the imountain website, I began to worry – because it wasn’t there either. I really should have seen the signs, because my blog was offline frequently in the weeks prior to this, and support requests were not answered. I should have created a backup and moved my blog to another service immediately; but instead, I waited. Big mistake!
All the good things imountain did for their clients was undone by this one action: they simply turned off their servers! No warning and no time for clients to do something about it. You could argue it’s my own fault, because I didn’t create a backup of my site. Well, it’s true! I was disappointed and angry. I lost all my files, and a little bit of income.
It wasn’t difficult to set up a new blog: all it takes is setting up a new hosting service and installing a free wordpress template. But I had no motivation to start from scratch. I had about 500 articles on imountain’s servers and I didn’t keep copies. Another mistake! So I just gave up…
Sometime in mid-April, one of my friends suggested I go to archive.org, an Internet archive, where over 300 billion pages are stored in the “wayback machine” (It turns out I wrote about this site way back in 2010 – I totally forgot about it). All I had to do is type the name of my domain and see how many snapshots were taken over the years. I was lucky, because the last snapshot was taken in January 2013! I found my site! It was right there, the way it looked before! It’s like a whole site has been copied and placed in a virtual museum. I could access most of my articles (not all of the pages have been stored, so I had to accept that some of the material was gone forever). But if I could re-publish two thirds of my previous material, I’d be happy!
I downloaded the site using the httrack tool and began to re-publish all articles, one by one. It’ll take some time to publish 300-400 articles, but I’ll happily do it. This is after all, a reflection of 4 years of hard work.
At the time of writing, I have already published more than 100 articles! Small success!
So, for any ex-imountain customers who may have lost their websites, blogs, details, links, etc: This is your chance! Go to www.archive.org and see if your website was recorded. There is a good chance you can recover most, if not all of your files (depending on what type of website you used to run). Then download the site using a website copying tool and store it on your PC. You can publish the material on your new website.
Lessons learned: Always back up, and don’t trust your hosting provider!