My experience with web hosting began 16 years ago at my first startup. My manager told me I should buy a .com domain because “It’ll be the new beach front property” of the internet. After searching and finding some I liked, I landed on 1and1.com (now Ionos.com) as my registrar.
Finding the right beachfront property
Over the years I added many domains and tried a handful of other registrars because of their 1 year/$1 deals. GoDaddy had a clunky user interface, so I dropped them. Hostgator.com and Dreamhost.com both were so slow just to change menus, I decided against them as well.
I wound up using Ionos many years because I knew the platform and was comfortable with it. I could put my friend’s and relative’s WordPress sites on quite easily. Setting up email inboxes was a breeze. Ionos worked and was cheap – – exactly what I wanted.
The malware tsunami
Fast forward to three years ago and all my websites instantly stopped working at once and a dozen emails came from Ionos indicating a malware onslaught. Despite being diligent with updating WordPress and using security plugins, all of my sites were redirecting to spam links.
I purged most of my FTP storage. Deleted full sites I no longer cared much about. Relaunched sites from backups and ran malware scans. I changed all my passwords at both the site and database level. I did everything I could think of to make my top two websites work again. They did, but only for a few days, and then they were again redirecting to spam links.