So Long, Burton Hosting

What a sad day.

Back in July of 2002, Jaime and I had an idea to start a website called America’s Debate. We needed a host and I was clueless, so I reached into the hat and pulled out Burton Hosting.

Over the years, I established a relationship with Matthew at Burton. We had each other on our instant messengers, and chatted regularly about hosting and non-hosting related subjects. We were online friends.

Well, today Burton Hosting, to the best of my knowledge, is no more. Their site is down, and it took my sites with it.

Luckily, I have good backups and data loss was minimal, but still– when you do business with a company for over six years and they just disappear off the face of the planet, it is odd.

Anyway, we had a few stumbling blocks over the years, but Matthew was always reassuring and capable. The rough patches are by far outweighed by the years of mostly-smooth sailing.

A couple of years ago, Burton went downhill. Sharply downhill. Their forum disappeared. Matthew rarely signed in. Support tickets were ignored. The servers were blacklisted because they were apparently friendly to spammers. The service, in general, degraded to the point where it was non-existant.

At Christmas time, our email died. I submitted tickets that were instantly closed because Burton’s servers flagged their own servers as a source of spam. Their phone numbers were disconnected. Their email addresses bounced. Matthew’s SMS was no longer active. Hell, I even sent them a fax. Yes, a fax. In 2008. Anyway, Matthew’s personal email address finally got through. We had no mail for a few days until he got his butt in gear. His response to my many forms of contact was that he had thought he had fixed the problem.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that Burton’s ticket system was down, as was their billing system. My hunch is that they were bombarded by concerned customers, trying to get support and refunds, and so they intentionally shut it down.

Today, around 11:30 AM, Burton went dark. Nothing. No warning at all, besides the degrading service.

I scrambled to sign up with a new host, and then scrambled to move over my sites. I’m still not done, and this is a much-needed break after working for about 14 hours straight.

So anyway, thanks Burton Hosting for six and a half mostly-good years. It’s a shame you went out the way you did. But with they way things trailed off, I can’t say that Burton Hosting didn’t deserve it.

I hope that those who are impacted by Burton’s shutdown have good backups. If not, they should contact GNAX.net to see about paying a ransom for their data. They quoted me $60 plus shipping, but I know that would rise when they realized I had about 20 gigs of data. I passed. I can live without six hours of forum posts from the middle of the night, and a couple of months of blog posts.

That is all.