ExodusInternational.org and ExodusFreedom.org back Online

network hubDear Friends,

It is our prayer that you had a terrific time with family and friends this Easter weekend. As we continue to remember the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ it will be our prayer that everyone’s relationship, regardless of where they are at, with Him will deepen and flourish.

With that said …

What happened to the Exodus websites over the weekend?

Last Friday both ExodusInternational.org and ExodusFreedom.org went down. As time has allowed for more investigation, we have learned from our web hosting company that there was server-side user error on their end. Apparently they “reclaimed” our server for another client by accident which completely wiped all our data. To compound the problem there wasn’t a recent backup. We are still in communication with our web hosting service about this. While our web host did not have a usable back up under our current level of service they did find a back up from our old level of service which we upgraded from last August. We had tried a redundant backup system on our end for a while but it was causing more problems than not. However, after the past four days, we have upgraded our backup services with our web host and will be researching and installing a redundant user side backup system of some sort in very short order. We will make sure a repeat of this lengthy downtime, and incomplete restoration, never happens again.

While there are serious issues we will be working with our web hosting company to resolve regarding their part in this catastrophic failure, I do appreciate the tech support that I have gotten over the past four days. They have been available and honest through the whole process … even at 4:30 am on Saturday. Again, we have some serious discussions on the horizon but I did want to mention that I personally appreciate their tech support team’s availability and honesty.

We have restored both websites with the August 2012 backup and here is a brief update for our website users on both (as of this post):

ExodusInternational.Org: Completely functional now but missing 7 months worth of blog posts, Exodus Association changes, edits to existing pages, and the Video FAQ section has to be rebuilt.

ExodusFreedom.Org: This website was completely overhauled after August of last year. The restored website looked great but only had old information. We have a temporary front page in place right now. There is a link on that page and you can click here to register online, safely and securely, for the conference. Rebuilding the Exodus Freedom Conference website is a top priority.

There is plenty more detail I could give on the restoration process to date and the long list of “to do’s” we have compiled to finish the restoration process but suffice it to say that while this accident seemed catastrophic last Friday, we are progressing much quicker than I had initially expected. We are also going to be crystal clear on a redundant backup plan very quickly. We do have quite a bit of work to do so your prayers would be greatly appreciated.

What did not happen

I have gotten a few messages and emails wondering if Exodus had been hacked. The simple answer is no. We have been given no reason to believe that our websites were hacked. I can assure you that there is zero evidence that any nefarious plot was executed against our websites :) .

Speaking of Safety and Security …

Those who give financial support to Exodus online and have registered online for the conference have nothing to worry about. All of our online giving and conference registration is done through PayPal, the world’s leading and most secure online payment processing company. While our giving pages and registration links went down with the websites, PayPal was never affected. We have restored access to both of these services on both websites. Please consider giving an online gift to Exodus by clicking here and if you want to register for the conference right now, you can! We have taken a significant financial hit as a result of this downtime so any help offered is greatly appreciated.

More …

Even though the Video FAQ section is currently down, we did not lose any of the Exodus Weekly Review Videos or the Question of the week Videos. Until we have the blog posts and the Video FAQ section rebuilt, you can find all of those videos (and a few more) on our Vimeo Channel. We also have a Twitter account @ExodusIntl and a vibrant Facebook Page community.

Thank you!

Finally, thank you so much for your prayers and messages of support. Thank you also for your patience and to all the people who have contacted me offering to help. It is just like God to turn what appears to be a serious discouragement into a flood of encouragement. It is obvious in this post that we still have a lot of ground to recover for this critical resource but we will do so empowered by God’s grace, uplifted by your prayers, and with the joy of knowing we are a part of something special here at Exodus.

Blessings,

Randy

Randy Thomas is the Executive Vice President of Exodus International. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and his personal blog. You may also email him at rthomas@exodusinternational.org.

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