A few extra things I didn't want to splash all over the main page.
If you want to know the history of why this took so long to resolve, I stumbled on this article which explains everything:
The gist - another company bought out my host and fired all the support staff, then started migrating everyone to their servers under the guise of "server upgrades." Most of the migrations went badly, and the new support staff doesn't seem well trained. I guess ours went ok, but something else broke a week ago.
My ticket went unanswered for four days. I finally put another reply on there asking why my site was still down. Awhile later I got this back:
Thank you for responding. We appreciate your patience.
We see that the issue is with the scripting of the website which is to be optimized and uploaded.
Kindly get back to us if you face any difficulty.
For further queries , get in touch with our Support.
Junior Technical Operations Officer
What? The only damn scripts this site runs are vBulletin's commercial software which I'm pretty sure has been field tested aplenty at this point. At the very least, we've been running this for years without a peep. Clearly this guy had no idea what he was talking about.
What's worse is that I knew what the problem was. I TOLD THEM WHAT TO FIX in my initial ticket - I saw the PHP specifically wasn't working, which was why I was able to post an HTML message on the homepage to let everyone know why the site was down. It's a Windows server - I don't know *exactly* how PHP runs on those, but I assume it's a Windows Service that just needs to be restarted. Regardless, telling them "PHP is broken" should be enough to let them know where to look without any digging. How bad is it when I have a better grasp of their servers than they do? Of course, I don't have access to the server so this isn't something I could fix myself (I did try through my website's control panel, but there wasn't anything that worked).
Anyways, I poked them again today - perhaps this is what prodded them into finally fixing it. They never actually did tell me they fixed it. Props to Slowpoke for noticing the forums were working again. I'll probably get an e-mail eventually. Hell, maybe they didn't fix it - maybe they fixed it for someone else on the same shared server who had the same issue, or reset the box, or any number of other things. I actually find that more believable as sad as that is.
But yeah, looking for a new host. This contract expires in April (thank god not a year from now or something). So I'm going to try and ride this out if I can to not waste my money with a new host lined up perhaps if this crap happens again.