Madrelingua Website Caught in Hacking

Late last night, when I realised last night that the brand-new, sparkling website to which I had devoted weeks of hard work over the summer of 2012 was “down”, it was hard to avoid panicking!

No website means no page views, no enquiries, no bookings and, in a few months, no students in our Italian classes.

Teachers to pay, but nobody to teach. It’s one of my worst nightmares!

Srraight away I messaged Stefi to tell her the bad news.

“What next?” she messaged back, “I can’t take any more!”

Then on to the website of our (wonderful) hosting service Synthesis . They promise a 30-minute response to problems like this, and they were true to their word.

“It’s not us. It’s your DNS – has been hacked!”

When you type into your browser, or click on a link in search engine like Google, your browser sends a request to a Domain Name Server (DNS) basically asking “Where do I have to go in the world to find this domain name?”

The DNS replies with the IP address (like a phone number) and your browswer “calls up” the server and downloads the files which go to make up our website.

And that was not happening. Not only for our primary site, but also for a series of other sites I run for friends, and apparently for millions of other websites all over the world.

Which, in a way, was rather comforting. I could go to bed knowing that it wasn’t just me facing economic meltdown, and so with the expectation that something would quickly be done.

Which it was. By morning had restored normal service and my sites were all working again. But how fragile the balance between normality and disaster!

And a reminder of the importance of word-of-mouth. So what if our website’s down, as long as our clients are happy with the improvement in their Italian langauge skills, people will still choose our school in Bologna to study Italian!

Which reminds me, check out our new Testimonials page. If YOU have studied at Madrelingua and would like to add your comments, we’d be very pleased to hear from you.