December 21st, 2011 Add Your Comments Bookmark and Share

A little over a year ago I bought my first ever website, it’s something I will never ever do again. For the princely sum of £1000 it’s been nothing but hassle, grief and more hassle.

It all started off quite rosey and with a few tweaks to the existing content and a general clean up I eventually doubled up on the traffic the website was receiving and more than quadrupled the “good” traffic from search engines. I saw some affiliate conversions and was a happy boy. I had all these big plans but they were all on the assumption of having a solid website as a base. It didn’t take long for some cracks to start to appear though.

The first signs something wasn’t right was when I got an e-mail from the host I’d moved the domain onto telling me that the domain was consuming massive resources. It made no sense for a site which was getting at most 50 visitors a day but I put it down to a dodgy script somewhere and moved it onto its own hosting account. This didn’t work, within a week I was noticing how slow the site was and even complained to Bluehost about it, their response was that they have a policy of throttling the CPU for sites that eat resources, that’ll be my domain then!

This was only the start of the problems. How many times have you ever had a website attacked or exploited? If the answer is none then it would be the same as mine as well, until I bought this domain that was. Within 2 months it had been hacked twice and over the last 12 months I’ve lost count of the number of times it’s been put on the Google malicious code black list. It gets really boring clearing out shitty iframe inserts. Eventually I gave up and swapped out the theme to one I knew I had greater control off and removed every single plugin the previous owner had added and only put back what I needed, I spent a whole day making sure the permissions were right and everything was “good to go”. This worked and it’s been clean since but when I think of the amount of time I’ve wasted on this it gets me fucking annoyed. The hacking didn’t end there though, in order to get better value from the hosting I added 2 other domains onto it as add-ons. Within a month they’d both been hacked, despite never being touched in the last EIGHT years. I own 4 bluehost accounts and this one was the only one I’d ever had trouble with. I run sites that get in excess of 2000 unique visitors a day on Bluehost and have never had a problem. The extra domains on this problem account were also incredibly slow to the point where they were useless and I’ve since moved them to a different host. The throttling effects every domain under that account. All this is hassle and non productive work, it’s eating up my time when I have much better things to be doing.

But the story still doesn’t end there. No matter what host I move the domain I bought to it will always get penalised. I have no idea what sort of dodgy neighbourhoods the site has been submitted too but it’s getting anywhere between 1000 and 5000 server requests an HOUR (from the raw log). Remember this is a site that thanks to speed penalties is now averaging less than 20 visitors a day. There’s nothing I can do about it either, these are straight forward requests on the server from multiple IPs, lots are bots trying to login to wordpress, many are from attempted requests to post content using the xml-rpc protocol but it’s worked to render that domain totally useless. Even if I move it off the WordPress platform it’s just going to be generating thousands of errors and hosts will go apeshit about it, I wouldn’t blame them one bit.

To be honest the only possible use for that domain is as a redirect for traffic to a related domain. Unfortunately I don’t own or am planning on owning any more poker websites so from now on it’s going to be left to rot as a parked domain. Like I said I’ve never seen anything even remotely like this from any website I’ve ever setup. And that endeth my experience of buying websites, from now on I’ll stick to building my own.