Case Study


    Labine & Associates WordPress Care Plan

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    After the website had been down for at least two days due to hacking, the Smack Happy team pulled together to rebuild Laura’s website in less than 24 hours! Laura saved $11,200 just by having a backup of the website.

    The Goal

    What happens when your website goes down?

    You use a backup to restore it.

    But what happens when there’s no backup… even when there should be?

    That’s exactly what happened to Laura LaBine.

    Laura had a long-term contract with GoDaddy to host her website, save monthly backups, and provide technical support should anything happen.

    It’s the only reason she chose not to invest in a care plan after Smack Happy completed her custom website design for her recruiting firm.

    “I was a bit hesitant at first to pay for additional support and hosting because well, because I thought it’s all paid for. I thought I didn’t need anything else.”

    But in early December, Laura received a marketing alert from Google. Her website was no longer showing up in Google’s search results.

    Laura runs LaBine and Associates, which provides high-end recruiting services for companies and candidates. The website is the epicenter of her marketing: the ultimate landing pad for her clients, where employers can list opportunities and candidates can submit applications.

    Laura’s website is the pathway for her clients to take action, which means it’s crucial to generating revenue. No website, no action, no revenue.

    Laura has an engaged client base. Much of her clients find her website directly, so an alert from Google about a search result problem was not high-priority for her.

    What Laura didn’t know from that alert was that her website wasn’t showing up in Google’s search results, because it wasn’t showing up at all.

    Her website had gone down. And it had been down for at least 2 days.

    GoDaddy never informed her.

    In fact, it was Smack Happy that reached out to let her know.

    The Challenge

    Smack Happy received the same marketing alert from Google. We checked in on Laura’s website only to discover it had gone down and contacted her with a plan to get it back online.

    “If it weren’t for the vigilance of the Smack Happy crew, oh my god, I can’t even imagine how detrimental that could have been in terms of not being able to get traffic to my website, because that’s a big part of my business. That puts a bit of a socket wrench in everything.”

    Smack Happy investigated the issue and determined the most likely cause was a form of hacking. A malicious person used a compromised user account or a vulnerable plugin to access Laura’s website without her authorization or knowledge.

    After our team discovered the outage, we offered to contact GoDaddy on Laura’s behalf to restore her website using GoDaddy’s latest backup. For website nerds like us, restoring a database from a backup to get a site back up and running is a quick fix.

    While Smack Happy’s care plan includes daily backups, we warned that GoDaddy’s monthly backup may be missing recent updates or changes. Laura wasn’t worried though, she just wanted her site back online.

    “I wasn’t going to be able to solve that. It wasn’t good to spend six hours on the phone with GoDaddy. It was a no brainer!”

    Unfortunately, there was a bigger problem.

    The monthly GoDaddy backups had failed, and almost every backed up database file had been corrupted. Our team worked with GoDaddy’s technical support for nearly two hours, but GoDaddy’s restore feature kept failing, and eventually, everything stopped working.

    There was no way to use the GoDaddy backups to fully restore Laura’s website.

    And there was nothing GoDaddy could do.

    So, Smack Happy offered to rebuild Laura’s site — piece by piece — from our original design files and public digital archives.

    This meant pulling files from the original design launch to build on top of, utilizing the website’s public archives from “the wayback machine” with our original mockups as reference.

    This also required our team to perform plugin troubleshooting, malware security scans, and user login reconfiguration. Before the site could go live again, we would need to rebuild, test, and verify every single web page and blog post manually.

    The Solution

    Laura gave us the green light immediately.

    “What was most magical is the proactive approach. Smack Happy brought it to my attention and did all of the maneuvering needed before I even had a chance to really think about it. I really appreciated that because I’m so busy running my business.”

    Our Smack Happy team pulled together to rebuild Laura’s website in less than a day! John checked in with Laura hourly to provide new updates. Anna scoured her design files to provide technical support and design recommendations. Danielle went above and beyond (working late into the night) to manually restore Laura’s site page by page.

    Once we restored Laura’s website, we encountered the same backup failures with GoDaddy. GoDaddy didn’t know the cause and wasn’t able to provide assurance that Laura’s website could be consistently and safely backed up.

    Which is why we recommended Laura move over to one of our Wordpress Maintenance Plans to ensure her website’s security and safety.

    Our care plans include daily backups and 24/7 uptime monitoring, so the second your website has an issue, we take care of it. With the preventive maintenance, our care plans offer (like daily security scanning and monthly website checkups) we can address issues before they happen — like the malicious hacker who brought Laura’s website down in the first place.

    “I didn’t really realize that care plans could be so helpful. I didn’t have anything else to compare it to. Of course, now I know better.”

    The Result

    Within 6 hours of discovering Laura’s website had gone down, Smack Happy had it back online. While we’ll never know how long it was down on GoDaddy’s watch (was it just 2 days or even longer?) we do know that this won’t be a problem for Laura in the future.

    Laura switched over to Smack Happy’s Wordpress Maintenance plan. And we’re so glad she did because we care about her website as much as she does. We want to ensure that Laura’s website continues to serve her business and make her life easier.

    We asked Laura why she decided to finally make the switch from GoDaddy, where she’s been a customer for nearly 8 years. This is what she told us:

    “Well, I mean, it’s, I think a lot of it is just the relationship with all of you guys at Smack Happy. And, you know, as much as GoDaddy is calling me, every time somebody calls it’s a separate person, I’ve no real relationship with them. Except for my bank account. The whole experience of building the new website [with SHD] was so rewarding. It felt like it was a partnership!”

    WordPress Maintenance is so much more than hosting. Compare our care plans to see what your plan may be missing, and how Smack Happy can fill in the gaps.

    From The Client


    The whole experience of building the new website [with SHD] was so rewarding. It felt like it was a partnership!