Dear readers and well-wishers,
We inform you of the horrible experience that we suffered from our website host, Ohio-based IX Web Hosting, causing the latest disruption of islam-watch.org, a leading ex-Muslims-run website for the critical scrutiny of Islam.
We transferred the site to this host on October 1, 2008. While signing up with them, all their packages looked extremely attractive to me (not an expert): everything they offered unlimited for a very reasonable price.
However, it did not take long to be at the receiving end of the attractive goody they offered. First problem started when I had some higher traffic one day (~3 times that of normal, ~12,000 unique visitors). That caused overloading their server already and they shut us out for a couple of days.
Second time, there was another overloading, because of overloading from spamming when I was away traveling and could not take care of it. They should have a mechanism to shut out such spammers; instead, they shut the site for a couple of days and restored it after I cleaned up the spasms.
Overloading again for a third time, the latest, for a reason, which looked exactly normal, according to our web-expert; there's nothing unusual. While they shut down the site, they also closed our access to the database, preventing us from looking into, and resolving, the issue.
And then suddenly they cancelled our account, deleting everything, giving us no notice or warning. They denied us a back-up for the contents. Of course, they would not refund us either for remaining the 1.3 years of 2.0 year contract we signed with them. Because, we have overloaded with server three times, none out of our intentional fault or mistake.
Most of all, at the very first time of overloading, we wanted to move the site elsewhere; and when asked for refund of the money paid, they allowed some extra privilege, whatever that may mean. They would not return the moeny, whatsoever. And now we here with this devastating situation.
It was going to be devastating for us that we did not save anything locally of the entire content loaded to the site since we hosted with them nine months ago. We invested tremendous amount of effort in uploading 700–800 articles and other contents during this period, as well as thousands of hours spent in their meticulous editing.
Nonetheless, it is our sheer luck that ~15-30 min before they suspended our site, I had given my computer a command to download the whole site. Despite they suspended and deleted the content, as they claimed, my computer was able to download the content for at least three hours after the suspension, allowing us to download 60% of the content---also thanks to very good speed of the internet connection. The new site that we launched on June 1, and its contents were completely unloadable. This, however, means that they lied to us: otherwise how could my computer continue downloading the contents at least three more ours after they told me everything was gone. This also raises suspicion that the issue was something more than overloading. They couldn't just delete everything on that excuse. It's criminal to 'annihilate an website out of existence' for whose hosting we have paid for another 1.3 years.
We believe our experience will make those, contemplating or hosting their sites with this company, more cautious not to suffer the same fate.
We feel that "islam-watch.org" has been playing a critical intellectual battle against radical Islamists. Its annihilation would have been a great loss in this seminal battle of our time. We would not let that happen and we promise to come back from whatever set-backs we suffer.
And thanks for your patience during this interruption.