Website is dead and Sonic refuses to help

Web hosting discussion, programming, and shared and dedicated servers.
16 posts Page 1 of 2
by tikvah » Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:32 pm
Okay, this is ridiculous.

For several days now (I had to stop working on the issue over the holiday), my website returns this error on all pages:

Screen Shot 2021-03-27 at 4.55.14 PM.png
Screen Shot 2021-03-27 at 4.55.14 PM.png (28.42 KiB) Viewed 6350 times


I knew that Sonic support would tell me they are not responsible and, surprise, that's exactly what happened.

"It looks like we have active personal hosting set up for this domain, and we aren't seeing any issues on our side. It seems that this is an issue relating to the way the actual website itself was uploaded or configured. We aren't able to help in depth with website configuration, only with making sure your site has a place to be hosted." Andrew L.

I didn't do a thing to the website and I only update through Wordpress, which Sonic provides. I can't recall when I last posted, changed a post, or updated software. It wasn't that long ago (so nothing's terribly out of date) but I am not sure if that is timed to when it stopped working. And I have no way to find out.

Once upon a time, Sonic was the best place to host sites. That time has passed. Sonic seems to only care about being the very best internet service provider and not about any other service. Mind you, I pay for hosting separately, it's not like I'm asking for this stuff for free. I pay *hundreds* of dollars a year for multiple sites. In addition to having FTTN with Sonic. Maybe that doesn't make me important enough, but you'd think Sonic would want to support all customers, not just some.

It's mind-blowing that I would get dismissed like that for service on my paid account. I literally can not get into the site. Even if there were something I could fix on my end, there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Even if I were to FTP, there'd be no way to see what was wrong.

Your tech told me to post here, as if that would help. No one can fix it for me except for a Sonic Tech. So here I am begging for some random Sonic tech who reads the forums to do the job that the first tech should have done (or passed along to someone else if they didn't know how). But it seems that your tech people are being trained to tell customers they never fix problems with hosting.

Would someone please fix this?

Thank you!
by tikvah » Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:50 am
I have not received a reply here or privately. And the support team has completely blown me off.

My website is still giving the same error. It is not possible for me to fix it. This is on Sonic's end.

Please fix it.

Thank you.
by amayfield » Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:18 am
The support we provide for hosting is pretty minimal, mostly helping with setting up domain email aliases, confirming that the site is resolving and there isn't a DNS issue, helping with modifying authoritative name servers, etc. We don't provide support for websites or wordpress, though we do have a one click installer for wordpress we can help you with - either installing or uninstalling wordpress.

In terms of the issue with your website a common culprit with wordpress is an errant or outdated plugin causing problems. That's where I'd focus my troubleshooting efforts, toggling each plugin off one by one to figure out which one (if any) is the source of the problem.
Andrew M.
Community & Escalations Supervisor
Sonic
by tikvah » Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:29 am
Please look at the graphic I posted.

That is all I've got. Every URL on my site returns this error message. I can not get into my Wordpress admin.

This level of error has got to be on Sonic's end. It's not even possible for me to have caused this. Not even if I tried.

I kept my site reasonably up-to-date and that is not the cause. Again, it is not something that could be caused by user error where the only contact was through Wordpress.
by amayfield » Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:41 am
I did see the image you posted, it's an error from Wordpress so you'd need to troubleshoot that. My best guess is a plugin conflict but it could be any number of things really, there should be an error log in your admin interface for Wordpress with more details regarding the nature of the error. If you aren't able to login to the Wordpress admin interface via a browser I think you could achieve the same / similar thing via FTP.
Andrew M.
Community & Escalations Supervisor
Sonic
by tikvah » Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:56 am
I can not reach the admin interface.

FTP is not helpful with Wordpress because it does not have an obvious file structure and there is no way to manipulate settings from FTP.

I'm honestly shocked that this is the level of response I'm getting. I pay for this service. I'm not asking for a favor.

Once upon a time, Sonic was the best hosting company in the country...
by amayfield » Wed Mar 31, 2021 12:09 pm
If you click on the link that displays with the generic error on your website (https://wordpress.org/support/article/d ... wordpress/) it lays out how to enable debugging which will display the errors wordpress is encountering and should point you in the right direction with regard to how to troubleshoot and resolve your issue. Modifying the necessary file to enable debugging, as far as I can tell, is possible via FTP.
Andrew M.
Community & Escalations Supervisor
Sonic
by tikvah » Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:09 pm
Unbelievable.
by amayfield » Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:52 pm
I'm sorry these aren't the answers you're looking for but I don't have visibility into or access to Wordpress for your site, that was setup and is managed independently from Sonic. Troubleshooting is a collaborative effort and I've tried to steer you in a direction I think will hopefully provide some more context and information regarding the nature of the issue with your site and help us work toward resolution.
Andrew M.
Community & Escalations Supervisor
Sonic
by joemuller » Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:03 pm
tikvah wrote:
Please look at the graphic I posted.

That is all I've got. Every URL on my site returns this error message. I can not get into my Wordpress admin.

This level of error has got to be on Sonic's end. It's not even possible for me to have caused this. Not even if I tried.

I kept my site reasonably up-to-date and that is not the cause. Again, it is not something that could be caused by user error where the only contact was through Wordpress.


I think I've managed to get your site working now. Turning on the WP_DEBUG option in the wp_options.php gave a little bit more info -- the cron.php file was missing from the wp-includes folder. I was able to grab a fresh copy of that from the official Wordpress website and drop it into the appropriate location. A quick refresh of the page was enough to greet me with the blog, so I turned the WP_DEBUG line back off and everything seems to work.

I don't know how or why exactly the site got broken in this way, but there were some oddly-named files left behind from what I can only guess was an earlier exploit/hack attempt (they're dated March 2020 and May 2020). I also found that the wp-settings.php file seemed to have been altered at some point (despite the name, it doesn't normally get changed aside from new versions) -- I replaced it with a fresh copy from Wordpress as well to be on the safe side.

You should now be able to get into the Wordpress admin section of the site and use everything normally again.

-- Joe M
Sonic System Operations
I'm a proud employee of Sonic.net! :-)
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