Well wouldn't you know it, just when everything seems to be all set up and ready to roll... my sub-domain pointer for this site breaks !! A serious web host problem !!

After spending many hours over the last three weeks dealing with the support people at my web host company and trying to fix it, I finally gave up and moved this site to a new folder where I can have a properly working sub-domain pointer... sigh !!

What is really amazing is that even the web host support people can't seem to fix it, or maybe they can fix it if I can ever figure out how to get them to see the true nature of the problem.

The way this fiasco went down might be of use to others because there is no warning in place to tell you that this can happen, at least not on the control panel for my hosting package, which is provided by a well known company that has been around for years and years and with an excellent track record. For now let's leave the identity of this company hidden as I'm not sure if i want to trash talk them "just yet", and likewise I'm not ready to advertise them either at this point.


Anyway, here is the story:

Before this happened I had the sub-domain "lowd" pointing to my hosting root like in this picture, then the .htaccess directives in the root would forward this to the sub-folder "lowd" where this site used to be contained.


Then one day I was messing around with my hosting control panel and got curious about what I could do with the Ruby on Rails "application builder thingie". The first thing it does is ask you to name your application, so just to try it out I put in a name to test: "lowd" like in this picture, and click the button to go ahead and create the application.


The resulting application entry looks like this, I should have realized there was going to be a conflict here as it now shows the same url that I was using to point to this website when it was in the "lowd" folder.


Ok so this looks a bit odd and I'm worried about conflicts here so I go back to check on my pointers, yeap, my pointer has been changed automatically and now points to this new test application, nooooooo !!

So I run back to the Ruby on Rails settings and quickly delete the application, then back to my pointer settings and edit the "lowd" sub-domain pointer back to what it was before like so.


Ok so now as far as I can tell everything should go back to normal just as if nothing ever happened right? I wait for a while to make sure my pointer settings have time to resolve across the Internet, then I go ahead and test my link and get this !! Again noooooooooooo !!!!!!

There is no warning or confirmation on the Ruby on Rails create application form telling me that this would take over my sub-domain "lowd" and render it un-usable as a sub-domain name ever again ??!!

As stated earlier I finally got fed up and just moved this entire site into a different folder, and no choice but to leave behind some broken links as the old sub-domain pointer STILL gets the 404 as shown above, somehow that sub-domain name "lowd" is now permanently set in the server configuration somewhere as a name that cannot be used as a regular pointer, the weird thing is that it is technically in fact pointing to the root folder, BUT it is not allowed to automatically bring up the default "index.htm" residing in that folder, nor is it allowed to be handled by any directives in the .htaccess file.

The most amazing thing about all this is that when I call my hosting company for support it's as if they have never heard of such a thing, I explain to them exactly how it happened and everything I did to make it happen then put it back to how it was. I was certain that they would say something like "Oh yes, here lets just fix that real quick, ok it's all fixed, enjoy your hosting package, etc... etc...". Instead they tell me it must be something in my files and not from when I used an existing sub-domain name as a Ruby on Rails application name? So I delete all my files and just put default dummy files in place like when my hosting package was brand new, it STILL doesn't work, in fact I have spent countless hours trying to fix it myself but it has become clear that I don't have access to where the problem is and they need to fix it on their end or it will just stay broken until I move EVERYTHING to a new server and hosting company.

I still have an on-going support case for this and I'm supposed to keep calling to try "one more thing" then "one more other thing", but I am so fed up with spending hours and hours trying to explain to yet another support technician how all this happened and where the obvious problem is, so I will probably just leave it broken as I have already started this site over in a new folder and would much rather spend my time using this site for what it was meant for "publishing" rather then fighting to have it set up like it used to be.

Other then the above crap my web host company is great, the responsiveness of my sites on this server is much better then any of the freebie or cheapo hosting plans out there (I have tried many!).

And for those of you who want to play with Ruby on Rails on your hosting plan? Here is the warning you should read before touching it...