As you will I’m sure have read on a previous blog post detailing my experiences at the end of last year with my site being hacked, it prompted the building of this new site. Now, overall, this is a massive positive in the long run, as this site will be far more beneficial to not only me, but to you guys looking at it, and my potential clients in the future. However, there has been a slight issue in the aftermath of the ‘downtime’ of my site.
Two weeks ago I had been promoting some specific sections of my site through Twitter, and during that time, I had 3 people that contacted me to say they couldn’t access the pages, or any of the site for that matter, due to the website scanning company OpenDNS blocking it from their machines due to a ‘possible phishing attack’. This was obviously quite alarming to me given the fact this website is completely new, on different servers! It couldn’t possibly happen a third time in such a short period, surely?!
Well, luckily my fab new web developer did some digging with OpenDNS and found that my site had indeed had a complaint against it, but the complaint was logged on 22nd December 2010, the date my old site was indeed hacked. It had been put in the ‘blacklist’ bin I suppose for want of a better word, so anyone that uses OpenDNS to protect them from potentially dodgy websites, mine was of course still bundled in with them. He managed to get in touch with them to explain the situation, (as apparently it can take quite a long time to be removed from this list once it’s fixed), and luckily they have checked this new site and confirmed to him that it has now been removed from their blacklist and made it fully whitelisted again. Marvellous! This all happened within a couple of days so luckily I have been lucky to get it sorted so quickly.
This was a situation I never imagined myself to be in, but it has certainly opened my eyes to the potential ways your site (however innocent) can be blocked from public viewing, which means blocked from your potential clients, with, in my case, not knowing at all how to remedy it. I’m lucky enough to have Mike, my web guy on hand who sorted it all out and contacted the relevant people who ultimately lifted the block; but how many people would know what to do in a similar situation?
My advice, be constantly aware of your website, make sure your audience can actually see it! Plus, if you don’t know how you’d fix it if you had to, find yourself someone good that you can call upon for help!