Over the last four or so months, The Observer’s website, www.theobserver.com, has experienced its share of unfortunate yet important moments. We’ve expanded the site to include as much new news, every day of the week, as possible.
But in that same timeframe, the site itself was hacked several times — or so we were led to believe.
Most recently, our site security certificate was even identified as a “dangerous website.” Many of you were likely unable to even visit it because of your phone or computer’s security settings.
We were completely misled by the company that once hosted the website, Hostmonster.
When the site was “hacked” for the fourth time in as many months, we decided to ask a website and WordPress expert to take a look at the site and to see if he could determine our vulnerabilities and why these so-called “hackers” were so easily able to gain access to the site, despite our having the highest level of security for a non-commercial website (a site where payments are not taken.)
While it ultimately wasn’t so shocking, the expert determined we had no vulnerabilities on the site, nor did we ever, and instead, the “issues” we were experiencing were instead being caused by our host, unethically. They cost our Google ranking, they caused our site to be identified the way a fake site designed to steal information would be.
Meanwhile, nothing was actually wrong. Instead, it was a ploy by the hosting company to induce us into purchasing unnecessary, expensive security that, in reality, didn’t do a damn thing.
So, the purpose of this story is multi-faceted.
We want our readers to be 100% confident a visit to theobserver.com is and always will be a safe visit. Your information was never, at any point, at risk. If it was, we have an obligation to tell you so, but we’re delighted to report that was never the case. If at any time there is a serious issue, we will always be up front with you.
If you’re ever in the market for a website, if you use Hostmonster to host the site, or to buy the domain name, you are begging for trouble — they may be the most unethical company we’ve ever had the displeasure of dealing with.
We are now hosted by a company called Fixed.net. They were recommended to us by the expert we dealt with — and we couldn’t be happier.
And lastly, we hope you will continue to rely on our website for the most recent and relevant news from the area. Our commitment to our readers has never been stronger.