Curacao Connected at the crossroads

Curacao Connected at the crossroads

August 8, 2012 Design, Web Comment

Page with malware

Willemstad – Back in April, the unthinkable happened; Curacao Connected, Curacao’s leading tech website was hacked. I mean, talk about irony! The site that keeps a close eye on all things web and social media related on Curacao was suddenly on the other side of the fence. Somehow – probably through an outdated Joomla! module – the .htaccess file was corrupted and users were suddenly being redirected to a Lady Gaga concert ticket website. This may have been cool for the local Gaga fans, but not for the folks who were hoping to read about UTS’ latest fiasco.

Columbus Cloud Portfolio launch
It’s a never a “good time” to get hacked, but the timing surrounding this incident was really unfortunate. We had just integrated Facebook Connect, allowing readers to log in with their Facebook account and thus eliminating the need to sign up for a regular Curacao Connected account, and we got an invitation from Flow to attend a Columbus Communications launch event in Trinidad. It’s a little odd to attend a tech related launch event when your own site is down.

From Joomla! to WordPress
After some careful deliberation, we made a bold decision to switch from Joomla! to WordPress. It meant losing our comments, our social share numbers and it meant having to do a lot of redirects, as the Joomla! and WordPress permalink structures are not the same. I was hesitant at first, but we actually had nothing to lose. Google had already flagged the site for malware and our page rank had already taken a hit. After four years, it was time to start over with a new design and on a new platform.

Curacao Connected 2.0
We immediately went to work, backing up our old Joomla! database and files (images, documents, etc). After a fresh WordPress installation, we exported the content from Joomla! and imported it into the new WordPress database. This went smoother than I thought and before you know it, we had all of our content, including categories in our new site. We were back and more importantly, we were clean – the new installation took care of the malware and Curacao Connected 2.0 was born….

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