What Happened to the DWC Over the Past Few Days?

You might’ve been dismayed to find that The Doctor Who Companion has been down for a few days. There was a good reason for this, honestly, and that reason is… An accident, not by anyone working at the DWC or indeed any readers. It was all down to the hosts.

The crash happened a year after we first announced the DWC. “Coming Soon: The Doctor Who Companion” was published on 20th February 2016, and Andy and I were proud to see that we’re still here, 12 months later. Then, of course, we weren’t here anymore.

What’s more, we couldn’t even log in!

We were resigned to contacting the host site – the logo and defunct control panel of which you might’ve seen in place of the DWC homepage. They took ages to do anything, and meant Andy was awake at 1am trying to restore the site a few nights in a row. Nightmare.

This morning, we found out that, during a recent audit, our back-up account was accidentally flagged for deletion. No, really. All back-up history was lost. We’ve now been assured that the data on our server is safe, though we apparently have quite different interpretations of the phrase, “this has not impacted your website.”

You might still be having problems and have found this page some other ingenious way. Indeed, the homepage wasn’t even working for me this morning. So try going on it again, and clicking CTRL and F5. This tells your browser to look for new files. This should work if the site is running in some format. This may also work if you’ve visited the HTTP site instead of the HTTPS one (yes, that’s still an annoying issue which we’re working on. The former doesn’t automatically get updated, while the HTTPS one does, and we can’t figure a way around it yet).

Okay, so what should you do if something like this happens again?

First of all, thank you for all the readers and contributors who flagged the issue, and thank you, too, for sticking with us. You’re a loyal bunch, and we really appreciate that.

Your first port of call might be Facebook or Twitter; if we can’t log into the DWC, we’ll let readers know about problems there. Thanks, too, for those contacting us via Disqus – knowing we had fans waiting for our return really validates what we’re doing.

If nothing works, please bear with us. We’ll be working to restore everything back to normal asap.

But let’s put all those troubles behind us (fingers crossed – please, everyone, cross your fingers!). We’re in the middle of Big Finish Week, so keep an eye out for reviews, news, and features as usual.

And don’t forget to download Mary’s Story, an audio adventure from Big Finish free exclusively for readers of The Doctor Who Companion! You’ve only got until 26th February to download it – but then can enjoy it at your leisure.

Onwards and upwards, friends.

  • TimeChaser

    It can’t be easy sometimes to know the site, your baby and pride and joy, is in the hands of others who at any moment can go “Oops!” and cause all manner of catastrophe to happen. Glad to see things were sorted out. Take an MMH (Mental Health Holiday) for your troubles. 😉

    • Philip

      Yeah, you’re right there! It’s a real headache, and you find tiny things annoying you – like the site running slow at the moment! Why?!

      • daft

        Ah, websites and hoster trouble. If there is a way to burst a blood vessel unnecessarily.

        • Philip

          Too true! A few sleepless nights too, but at least we’re back… for now…

          • TheLazyWomble

            we knew you’d find your way back- powered by the mental energy of so many Time Lords

  • Sorry to see your woes as of late. If you are looking into a new hosting provider in future, may I recommend checking out Namecheap to see if it’s right for you? I’ve had my domain registered with them for a few years now and they have been fantastic with their service.

    • Philip

      Thanks, Time Lord – appreciate your recommendation. We’ll definitely look into that one 🙂

  • Dr. Moo

    It’s back now at least!
    But iirc this isn’t the first time this issue has hit The DWC, thus I highly doubt it’ll be the last. May want to search for a new hosting site?
    But we’re back now and we can get back into enjoying the quality articles produced here!
    (P.S. Mary’s Story was really good, thanks for letting me get it free.)

    • Philip

      Hey Moo. Yeah, it’s a real concern, and we are looking for a new host… but we’re signed up for a little while, so we’l have to see what we can do. Are there any hosts you recommend?

      • FrancoPabloDiablo

        If you are looking for a new host can I recommend one from the Sto starliner Titanic. I hear they are pretty reliable and not at all prone to murdering you. They surely couldn’t be any worse than your current host! 🙂

        • Philip

          I have shares in their rivals, so I simply can’t. I get the feeling their future is somewhat… limited. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!!

      • TheLazyWomble

        A new host? Have you considered The Invisible Enemy?

  • TheLazyWomble

    It’s good to have you back, fells.

    • Philip

      Thanks Womble – good to be back!

  • bar is in-console-able

    Oh thank God you’re back. I go into hospital for a fortnight and come out to find you’d all disappeared. was it something I said? search as i mighti could find no trace. checking out Brian of Morbius i found a link from there worked. The world is once more a good and happy place.

    • Philip

      Sorry to hear you’ve had to go to hospital, bar – how’re you feeling now? (It is, by the way, lovely to hear you missed us!)

      • bar is in-console-able

        doped up on pain meds, v grateful to the wonderful talented caring funny skilled dedicated lovely people of the RVI spinal ward. Your pic of Matt S above is similar to my pose and scream when smashing a vertebra on a taboggan. Home, fused, regaining mobility if not marbles.
        Of course I missed you, and will need you as I try to pace my recovery and not do too much. please disengage the randomiser from your webdriver 😉
        whatever happens, we will track you down – we will always find you.

        • TheLazyWomble

          I think it speaks volumes about the affection in which this site is held that we will track them down if they go missing. I, for one, did not entertain (even for a second) the notion of finding an alternative. TDWC is my “Doctor Who” home.

          • bar is in-console-able

            this exactly.

          • Philip

            That means much more than you know. Thank you. A huge privilege to be your go-to DW home 🙂

        • Philip

          Crikey bar – that sounds horrible! Get some rest, read some great books, and stick on Doctor Who! How long is the recovery period? Thanks, as ever, for your support – it means a great deal.

          • bar is in-console-able

            8 – 12 (co-incidentally my 2 fav Doctors) weeks; rest, read, watch DW, and loiter around the best, most intersting, slightly eccentric and occasionally inaccessible website the WHO family has ever produced. thank you 🙂

  • Ben

    Good to see things are back to normal 🙂 And thanks for the Big Finish freebie!

  • Ranger

    I’ve just re-discovered you! Even yesterday I was just getting the host gator page. Life was starting to look grim. But unless there is a statement from you guys that you are closing down for good, I know to stay true, keep trying and eventually you will come back. Rather like the Doctor in fact. Hope Andy has caught up on his sleep.

    Blimey Bar, you don’t do things by half do you? Take care of yourself mate (by which I mean let others take care of you, none of this “I feel a bit better, I’ll do some dusting” malarkey) and hope you get through it with as little trouble as possible.

    • bar is in-console-able

      Thank You Ranger 🙂 What’s dusting? Actually it’s v frustrating as I get a little better – thank God for the DWC and its community!

      • Ranger

        I can imagine, but don’t force it – pretend you are the Queen of Sheba and everyone is paying homage to you 🙂

        • bar is in-console-able

          So wanted to go on NHS march this Sat. making a banner for friends to carry instead! v grateful to those who got me into Big Finish – i can listen on my phone without disturbing anyone. unless i suddenly lol. which hurts…

          • The Lazy Womble

            you could have got some friends to push you in your bed and got sponsors