Hi. It’s me. I’m still here.

Today this blog turns 13 years old.

If this blog is my offspring, she is now a teenager with her emoness on full blast, and slightly out of control. I apologize in advance for her inappropriate behaviors.

So while nothing dramatic happened in the past year of my life, something very dramatic, even life-threatening happened to this blog.

This blog was hacked.

It happened last September, which was a year ago, where it was infected by a malware that messed things up on and off. I fixed it, it came back, I fixed again and it came back again. And then it started to happen more and more regularly. I’m sure some of you remember this because for months, every other day I received comments and emails of concerned readers who told me that they couldn’t access my blog or that every time they accessed my blog it jumped to a spam site.

I also want to take this opportunity to apologize to readers who got affected by it. I actually received a few angry emails that demanded me to fix it immediately because they said my blog was trying to steal their credit card info.๐Ÿ˜ญย I’m sorry for all the trouble.

So one day in April this year, my blog just went completely apeshit. It kept redirecting to spam sites and the server team had lost a good backup that could even roll back to. To make things worse, Google had flagged my blog as hacked, Facebook had banned my URL from appearing, and since Instagram is now under FB, EVEN MY INSTAGRAM WAS SUSPENDED. So basically I just could not exist on the internet anymore.

The truly worst thing was, I had pending sponsored posts to publish and I had not a cheesy idea how I was gonna explain this to my clients – missing deadlines for important campaigns, and not delivering what I was compensated for. I was prepared to do full refunds to them but even then I would have caused them more inconvenience than I imagined.

My god, I felt like it was… death.

The death of my blogging life. Like, it was time, finally. I did nothing for a few days and I thought, maybe it is a sign. Maybe this sign is telling me that I should end this path, and focus on being a better wife and mother instead.

Honestly it was a very shitty few days. Until the first angel,ย Haze, my webmaster since this blog was a preschooler and who spent days losing sleep fixing this hot shitty mess, suggested that I change my server host because she suspected the malicious code was injected into the server’s database, which… we couldn’t do anything about.

So here’s the thing, I’ll come clean.

My server was sponsored since the day I got my dot com. It had never crossed my mind that paying for my own server would be an option. I guess sometimes as a vaguely successful blogger, you really take so many things for granted because you are so used to not paying shit in your life. The danna lectured me for not even wanting pay money for a professional, reliable server host, which now that I think of it, is the life-support of a blog. It was like you aspire to become a Michelin chef and then you buy your cooking ware from taobao. Who can you blame?

Long story short, it turned out that the hack was indeed from the server’s database (although they denied it and were not being very helpful at all). One lesson learned – free things (or taobao cooking ware) sometimes really can’t be that good. I mean there are really good ones, but chances are when you gian bng, usually is just…ย ๆฒกๆœ‰ๅฅฝไธ‹ๅœบใ€‚

I was quite vexated that the ex server has caused me so much inconvenience and loss, but at the same time I was really thankful for them having hosted my blog for so many years. So let’s consider it a good, clean breakup.

So… moving on. Now I had to get a new server. I got a quotation from a Malaysian hosting company, and it turned out that for my traffic volume, I would have to pay at least RM500 a month just for hosting fee.

… Ok I mean am all responsible to foot my own server bill, but RM6000 a year is indeed a very ineffective investment judging from the amount this blog makes nowadays.

Then the second angel appeared right on time. It was the danna. He told me that paying for server rental is such a last decade thing. In Japan, most servers are free, and even if they are not, they charge a very minuscule amount.

So then he recommended Lolipop.jp to me. I quickly signed up and did a migration…

AND IT SOLVED EVERYTHING.

THANK YOU, JAPANESE SERVER.

Japan saves my life again and again.

And you know what. Guess how much I’m paying for server rental?

ย ยฅ500 a month.

That’s $6. RM19. A bowl of ramen is more than that.

And that’s the standard plan for a website with decent traffic. The economy plan is onlyย ยฅ100 yen. A can of cola is more expensive than that.

And guess what? It’s speedy as hell and SO EASY TO USE. It makes all the complicated, befuddling FTP blah blah blah comprehendible even for a hopeless tech-idiot like me. And then Haze, my webmaster herself immediately also migrated from her shitty local server to Lolipop.jp lol.

This is of course, not an ad but I just want to shout out so loud to the whole world – STOP PAYING RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR SERVER RENTAL. USE JAPANESE SERVERS.

Good (Japanese) things must share ok. And this company is hosting MORE THAN 2 MILLION SITES. That itself explains everything.

Ok so before you rush over and sign up, here’s a catch – the website is completely in Japanese…So when you sign up you’ll be like..?!?!??! And they only accept AMEX as payment method, I think. But… honestly, with Google auto translate, what cannot be done nowadays?

Exactly. You do not have to worry!!

Maybe a little english-awkward, but… hell, that’s the best thing I’ve done for my blog this year.

So yes, migrating to Lolipop has solved the hacking issue, clean and clear. I have not gotten any security issues since then (Japan quality)!!! Then, I wrote to Google to clear my name, and I had my virtual life back.

And the best thing? My blog is supported by (virtually) made in Japan server. Talk about sparking joy!!! I wish I knew about this earlier!!

But now I had one more problem.

Instagram has lifted the suspension, but I was still not able to publish any links that contains my blog URL because apparently FB still thinks that it is a malicious website (fml). My blog is forever a shit website that’s trying to kill everyone’s computer and cheat everybody’s money now. I couldn’t even have this link in my IG bio.

So then I thought of a perfect solution. I’d change my domain.

Guess what? Joy-sparking domain.

cheeserland.jp

My blog now virtually resides in Japan. (I also bought cheeserland.tokyo, just for the sake of it.)

It makes me so happy. Just looking at this new domain makes me happy.

It was the best gift for my teenage-blog.

Wait.

I also gave her a plastic surgery as her 13th birthday present HAHHAHA. (Actually, surgeon Haze sponsored it.)

So yea, new life-support, new name, new face. She’s now a reborn, brand new person.

Here’s theย ้—็…ง of the old blog template as keepsake.

The layout is a lot simpler now, although I’m still tweaking stuff a little here and there. I hope you like it, and if you find anything missing or not working properly or you have a brilliant suggestion, please let me know.

So…

HAPPY 13TH BIRTHDAY, BLOG.

So every year I have a typical way to end the post.

Instead of the usual blogniversary questions, which I think many of you are tired of answering after repeating for a whole decade, I’m gonna something completely different this year.

Since this blog has always been all about me, today, this blog post is about YOU.

I want to know you. Tell me about your story. Tell me why you are here. Tell me about your dreams. Tell me what makes you happy. Tell me what makes you angry. Tell me what your passion is.

I want to know more about what makes this blog. What inspires the content of this blog. What keeps this blog alive for 13 years. And that’s you. (And you are awesome.)

PS: If you are shy to say anything about yourself at all, you can also ask me a question!

Thanks for still being here, you.

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