Upvato, the service that specializes in backing up Envato Market files, has shut down without warning. Freddy Lundekvam, a full time programmer and frequent user of Envato products, created the service after losing 10 files to Envato’s policy of reserving the right to take down and remove any file at its or the author’s sole discretion. Losing files is a common frustration among Envato users, as the company cannot guarantee the ongoing availability of products due to situations like copyright complaints and technical issues.
Upvato made it easy for users to automatically backup their purchases, cataloguing them with screenshots, descriptions, titles, and author information. The service offered unlimited backups and Lundekvam encouraged users to connect their Envato accounts to keep their files safe. A few weeks ago, Upvato users started to suspect that the service was shutting down.
— Andrew Wilkinson (@parysnet) October 31, 2016
What happened to #upvato? Looks like it died silently and nobody noticed. Zero commentary from the usual webdev pundits.
— sunil (@sunilwilliams) October 27, 2016
“I’m beginning to think this was not all above board,” one WP Tavern commenter said after discovering that the site disappeared. “[Upvato] seamlessly copied all my themes to their server and then shut down with no warning!”
Lundekvam, whose website can no longer be reached, replied to my first inquiry. After experiencing problems with Upvato’s provider, he is not hopeful that he can recover the files.
“Our provider’s automated systems terminated everything related to Upvato,” Lundekvam said. “I am so frustrated and upset that you won’t believe it, but I am doing what I can do recover the files and or get a backup up and running. But it seems like the provider isn’t and wasn’t really a reliable backup provider at all, and as it is right now, it looks really dark for a possible chance to recover the files.”
Lundekvam would not specify who his provider was, but had referenced Amazon Glacier in a previous interview as an example of cheap storage space at a mere $7/month.
“Such things shouldn’t happen with a backup provider like Upvato, and I am extremely surprised that it happened with our backup provider, causing it to affect Upvato,” he said. He also confirmed that he does not plan to shut the service down permanently.
“If I am unable to recover the backup and files, then no, I am not shutting down,” Lundekvam said.” I would, and have to, install Upvato with a new provider and start over. Please rest assured that Upvato is coming back up. Regarding the concerned users, I am deeply sorry for the downtime and, possibly, loss of Envato files. It hurts that it happened, as this is in no way how I want Upvato to be seen or represented.”
Lundekvam would not respond to subsequent inquiries. Upvato has had ample time to share this news via other outlets but the service did not have a Twitter account and its website has vanished, leaving users without any information. Lundekvam had said in previous interviews that he did not have plans to monetize Upvato in the immediate future. His motivation was to “make something cool and useful that people might want and need.”
Unfortunately, since he treated Upvato as a side project and did not have further backups in place, an unexpected problem with his provider has wiped out the files users trusted with the service. In an ironic twist, the service has inadvertantly replicated the exact situation that users hoped to avoid with Envato. Lundekvam has not responded to further inquiries on the status of the recovery process, but we will update when any new information is available.