On Thursday, approximately 10AM UTC, we'll be performing our MediaWiki 1.34 deployment. Please expect some downtime, we apologise in advance for any inconvenience!
The original Chesterwiki started back in 2007, not by us, but by "ChesterW". It existed until 2010, when the files were deleted by the then host provider.
So, you might ask, why were the files deleted? Well, the original site had pretty poor security. Anyone could sign up and add content. Unfortunately, the site was targeted by people posting adverts for various goods and services and by some who just posted pointless junk and links to websites you would not want to visit (unless you really want a computer virus or an inbox full of spam). This caused the size of the database to grow enormously, endangering other sites on the same server.
The hosting company "SITEGROUND" got in touch about this and we agreed to put the site "on hold" while it was backed up and extra security was added. "SITEGROUND" then started to disbelieve that we were bona fides representatives of Chesterwiki although they agreed not to delete the site until we could prove this. Unfortunately, "ChesterW" had dissappeared off the face of the planet.
So we went to our lawyers, got declarations drafted, provided all sorts of proof and still did not convince them. Then we found out that "SITEGROUND" had already deleted the site anyway (even before they said they would not)! Apparently, even if you have correspondence with them going back years to show that you have been paying for the site "that is not good enough because anyone could have used your credit card".
More and worse they then did not even bother to remind us when the site name registration was about to expire, although perhaps its not up to them.
Personally, we won't be doing business with "SITEGROUND" again and won't be recommending anyone else to do so either.
Fortunately, the "Wayback Machine" came to the rescue, and we managed to salvage much of the content. If you have never heard of the Wayback Machine, stop now and go and take a look.
The site was re-built at home on a bodged-up LINUX home server running the "bare metal" version of MEDIAWIKI from TURNKEY. That took a while...and we still have not gotten all the functionality back.
Still knowing next to nothing about servers, routers and stuff, while poking around for some info on how to make it visible through the router, we discovered SHOUTWIKI. It took a couple of hours to transfer the wiki over from the LINUX box and here we are again! We did contact "SITEGROUND" to see what they thought and they were as useless as ever.