About a month ago I ssh-ed into my server to discover that my bash settings were not initializing. I thought it was just a little hiccup with our server configuration, but it turned out that our system was compromised. The hacker had logged in by exploiting an ssh overload bug. From there he/she/it felt compelled to replace our ssh binaries with his own. Fortunately our files were still in tact, and I was able to download a backup of all my files and databases before we wiped the system clean.
After the reinstall, I spent a couple of days reconfiguring my websites and getting the packages necessary to get my django based dialog annotation tool back up and running. Things were as good as they were before, we even decided to upgrade to having backup service. Then just a few days later, another hacker broke in. This time he changed all of our passwords and pretty much made the server unusable. Thanks to some heroics, my friend Ian was able to log in through some minimal access and recover our files.
Seeing as much of the data for my dissertation lived on this server, I decided I needed to break away from the server that has served me well for the past seven and get a more managed service. After doing some searching, I discovered Webfaction allowed for easy configuration for many web development frameworks including django. They also provide nice tools for importing your WordPress blogs from other sites, as well as full backup of my directory and databases. Plus it ended up being cheaper per month than my share of the old server.
And now I present the LeeBecker.com affiliate program!
Commercial aside, I have enjoyed using this service, and now feel like I have better control of all things I host remotely whether it be my research tools, blogs, or code repositories. This change also has encouraged me to fully redesign my personal website in WordPress. While part of me still thinks I can do all the CSS and HTML by hand, for my needs WordPress does enough, and it brings a level of cohesion to the site that I previously lacked.