So where do I start?…
Firstly, I want apologise for being M.I.A. Sorry to all of you who have visited my blog over the last few months, only to be greeted by a website under maintenance or one looking like its been designed by a 5 year old (i.e. all of the in-between stages). Sorry to those who’ve kindly invited me to places I’ve not been able to write about. Trust me, I’ve been wanting to and I’ve missed this like crazy!
Back in January I was excited for a new year and wanted to give my blog a makeover. I had heard that wordpress.org allows more control over your website. With me being a newbie to all of this, I thought I could just pick a beautiful ready made theme and that my images and posts would magically fit. This was not the case and my website looked very out of shape, especially my images, so I hired a freelancer via www.freelancer.com to simply make my content fit my new template.
To cut a very long and complicated story short, because I don’t want to bore you with details, a 2 day project ended up taking 3 weeks. Damages had been done to my blog to the point of not being able to edit my posts, 2 months worth of content had been permanently deleted and the layout I had hired the freelancer for was yet to be fixed.
My plan was to have my blog fixed before I went on holiday to Dubai in March so that I could start blogging again. Instead the situation escalated and I had no choice but to raise a dispute via www.freelancer.com. This was after I was given an ultimatum by the freelancer to pay for incomplete work and on top of that pay extra to fix the damages.
Following this, I received a personal e-mail by the freelancer threatening me with legal actions for not paying for the unfinished work and that he was going to tarnish my name online if I didn’t pay.
Do you think this is bad? It just gets better
1 day later, my website was down.
I mean completely broken down and inaccessible, even by myself. I couldn’t enter my own blog as my username wasn’t being recognised and for all I could tell, it simply didn’t exist anymore. Thanks to a pro we found that my website had been hacked (obviously) and malicious content had been uploaded a few days prior, before the dispute was even raised, causing the breakdown of my blog.
All of the above had to be dealt with during my holiday. The holiday that I had booked to escape stress and to just relax after a tough quarter at work. All I needed to do was unwind.
I was devastated to find that my blog had been ruined. My blog is my hobby and baby that I’ve created. I work on this on my own spare time despite my long hours because I love it. So for someone to give himself the right to wipe away something that I’ve spent over a year building up, is still beyond me.
I will not name the freelancer as this matter has since been settled and an agreement has been made. However, I strongly advise against using freelancer.com. Not because of the fact that I found this freelancer through their site, but that they did nothing about the situation to protect future users from experiencing the same thing I did. Their own terms and conditions state that they take appropriate actions against illegal activity, yet the freelancer is free to continue business on their site today. This makes me question how many other cases similar to mine they’ve chosen to completely disregard, despite proof being handed on a plate to them. One word of advice to those who choose this site – if the freelancer has any indication of uncompleted work, which is stated on their profile, then stay away.
My blog was recovered, but you can imagine at what state. Everything had to be wiped and started from scratch. I could have gone back to my old wordpress.com template but then these months of headache would have been all for nothing. So I was adamant on getting my website to look the way I wanted and now I can say it was worth the wait thanks to Greg Dougherty. My blog finally looks the way I had pictured it and my faith in freelancers has been restored. I would very much recommend him to anyone. Thank you Greg for the amazing work! Last but not least, thanks to my Clique/Family who always have my back. My website has had more of a facelift than a makeover.
Moral of the story: DO NOT underestimate the work that goes into switching from wordpress.com to org. If I can give any advice to those who are starting a blog, start with wordpress.org to begin with. Trust me it will save you a lot of headache in the future once you want to improve your blog. With regards to the freelancer situation, it was bad luck. To avoid this I’d advise to try and get somebody you know personally, or by direct recommendation. Online ratings can be very deceiving. Here is a good tick list I found for those looking for a freelancer to make sure you pick the right one. You live and you learn.
This year so far has been one hell of a roller coaster with a few knock downs but also plenty of highs that I’ve been wanting to share with you for some time now. Watch my blog getting filled back up in no time with travels and food. I look forward to a brighter 2nd half of the year.
I’m so happy to be back, missed you all!