Back to Basics


So, you might have noticed that things around here have changed. It has been a stressful month dealing with the blog, especially since there was that big GoDaddy/WordPress exploit going around. Yep, good ol’ Brooke vs. the World got hit on 3 separate occasions with that virus, and it provided a super headache for me each time.

What the virus did was inject a line of code into every php file on my hosting account. The code would then try to redirect visitors to a malware site if they weren’t sufficiently protected, and that is just not cool. So, each time I happened upon this issue, I had to clean all the files (luckily I found this script), reinstall everything, change all passwords, and even create a new database just to be uber-safe after the 2nd time. It seemed to be predominantly Godaddy-based sites (hosted on Linux servers), so I was already thinking about switching hosts (but there’s a headache with that, too, right?!).

However, I got over the apprehension of switching hosts when I got hit a third time and just couldn’t get the support I was looking for from Godaddy. I received emails telling me I had “vulnerabilities” on my website, but when contacted they couldn’t tell me what those vulnerabilities had been. Then, there was this article about why you should probably think about switching web hosts if using Godaddy that further opened my eyes.

Oh, and let’s not forget a few months ago when they shut down my blog’s database without telling me first. Yeah, good stuff there. I was down for a while until I could prove that I had deleted a resource-hogging plugin. Look, fair enough, but the situation could have been made easier had they just asked me to delete it in the first place, without shutting me down. And then I heard the story about a girl who had her account disabled by them because she was logging into her account from other countries. Well, that’s because she was traveling, but apparently it was a security threat. She ended up losing all of her content in the end.

This was just too much. After nearly 6 years of using Godaddy (I had used them for my ring business back in the day) I switched to Hostgator. Yeah, they may not be any better, but I do like the fact that they pay for tattoo ad space on people. Nice.

Along with the move, I decided to give the site an overhaul. My blog was feeling cluttered, so I wanted to go clean, white and simpleback to basics if you will. I found this cute little theme and started to move in.

Before the move, I was using image galleries hosted on my server, but when all of the issues arose, I had to comb through all the folders to make sure no exploit file was hiding. There were quite a few folders, and that took tons of time… not to mention the fact that it is a pain when switching web hosts. With that in mind, I created a Flickr account for all my photos so that they could be hosted in an external location (I’m currently in the process of uploading photos). This also lessened the amount of pages on my website, making it a bit simpler in that way, too.

There’s still a little bit to do with the site, but I think the new theme is kind of cool even if it does lack all those fun colors from before. After all, it should be about the content, right?


About Brooke

Brooke is a passionate traveler who has a love for any country that ends in -stan, languages she'll never be able to speak, and cannoli. She is the creator of Aroamas travel perfume sticks and the female travel focused Her Packing List website. Follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.


We can hang out every day. No, really! Get BvtW updates via email:

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9 Responses to Back to Basics

  1. Annie Leroux May 25, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    Simple is good.
    Glad it is all finally fixed.
    Hopefully no more problems and good to have you back!

  2. Matthew Kyhnn May 25, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    The theme looks excellent Brooke. Sorry for your headaches in getting switches over, but it looks brilliant – clean, easy to navigate, and … slick!

  3. Stephanie May 25, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

    Welcome to hostgator! I’ve been using them from the start and although we’ve had a couple of issues their tech support is super helpful. And they’ve never given my site a terrible virus so that’s plus.

  4. Richard May 26, 2010 at 2:36 am #

    I dig the new template and can’t wait to see what else is coming. And love your content (as always)

  5. Shannon OD May 26, 2010 at 5:48 am #

    So sorry to hear about the issues – I also have been scurrying and headaching by cleaning every single file on the blog – luckily a friend is hosting it on his server because I just don’t trust GoDaddy – they kept telling me it was a WordPress issue – like you, they have lost my business forever.

    Anyway, love the simplicity, Flickr is amazing and integrates seamlessly, so you should have no major issues there! Look forward to reading your posts again! :-)

  6. Bethany May 26, 2010 at 5:58 am #

    Hi Brooke! I think it looks awesome! It’s going to be great! Although I want to let you know that when I clicked on your galleries, the photos never loaded, but the descriptions did.

    Not sure if it should be working at this point but I just wanted to let you know.
    I personally think WP needs to do something to help out galleries/photos. I can’t get a real gallery on my site, no matter what i try. What a pain!

    • Brooke May 26, 2010 at 9:29 am #

      I’m going to link that page to the flickr galleries once I get them uploaded. I’m not even going to worry about showing galleries on my site. It really is too much trouble and not too important to me :)

  7. Griffin Stewart May 26, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    Just wanted to say I am enjoying following along. I have been subscribing for a couple months now and am enjoying the content. I also showed my wife your site and she enjoyes reading your women travel tips;-)
    Sorry to hear about your hosting issues, but I do love this new template. Might implement it on one of my websites soon. Looking foreward to following along on your journey.

  8. Poi May 27, 2010 at 2:10 am #

    I like the simple layout!

    We got hit by that virus a couple of times as well and it was not fun at all. We are still with GoDaddy at the moment but were close to switching. It seemed if we got the right member of staff on the phone they would sort our problems out straight away but some members off staff just seemed as though they couldn’t be bothered to help.

    I hope you get on ok with hostgator.

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