I had quite a scare at the weekend when my blog first disappeared and then appeared again, but as a back to step one, “Hello World” WordPress site. For quite some time it looked as if I might have lost seven year’s worth of posts down the digital drain.
It started with an invitation on my dashboard to upgrade WP from the recently launched v3.0 to 3.0.1. I clicked the automatic update button only to hit an ‘out of memory’ fatal error.
I logged the problem on the WP forum and was pointed to the possible solution of increasing the memory allocation in one of the key files. It sounded technical and scary and I decided to give it a miss. I promptly ignored my own advice and that is when the problems really started.
Suddenly I was getting fatal errors all over the place and couldn’t access either my blog or the dashboard. I had made a back-up database before I changed anything, but was far from confident that I’d followed the instructions correctly. Even so, I didn’t have any other choice but to manually install WP and hope for the best. It wasn’t much of a best.
That was when I found myself back at “Hello World” with one measly comment from Mr WordPress. The open source concept of WP is a good one, but it does mean that you are depending on someone on the forum spotting you have a problem and coming up with an answer. Several posts and hours later, it was narrowed down to a server problem.
That was when I began to learn more about databases than I ever really wanted to. Like how to download one of the db backups from the server using something called Telnet. No, I don’t really know what it is either, but it seemed to work even if it didn’t solve the problem.
In the end, a helpful young man called Seth went away and spent several hours extracting and reconnecting the data to get me up and running again earlier today. And I have to give credit to Strato who host my sites. They aren’t the cheapest, but their support team is exemplary and have got me out of trouble nearly as fast as I got into it on several occasions.
All of which is not much interest to you, the passing reader. This is more of a note to self — to be more open to my own advice in future.