I had a big problem with the WordPress blog software today.

I had a big problem on the server today and have been working on that for the last 6 hours. I thought I lost this whole blog. Actually I really would have had to ask the webhost to go back to their weekend backup and I would have lost anything since then. It got so bad that I could not even get into the admin area to get my own latest backup to try to restore things. I finally did get everything to work by trial and error and blind luck. The web host was really no help at all and really just made suggestions that got everything more screwed up.

I don’t think I lost anything today except the post that I almost had done. Of course people coming to this site would not have been able to access the files for quite some time today.

I was almost done with a post that I was writing when it happened and I thought I saved it to Notepad to be safe but I must have somehow closed it because it is now nowhere to be found. I had to go back to a backup I made last night so I lost the saved draft. It is too bad because I thought it was pretty informative stuff.

It was all about how Obama is a  lawless Marxist doing anything he wants and not following the law and the constitution. In fact, I showed how he is following the written Marxist outline for destroying America. Maybe not posting it will keep me out of trouble. So maybe it was meant to be

I guess I could try to recreate it tomorrow but now I doubt if I will.

I think the software problem was caused by the cache software, it speeds things up but it somehow does a good job screwing up the .htaccess file every so often. I could not get anything to work until I disabled all plugins went to a backup file and also did a reinstall of the latest WordPress version. It still would not work even then until I enabled the plugins and then did a new reinstalled of the cache software. It just kept giving 404 errors on everything.

One thing people don’t know about hosting your own blog is that it can be a real pain in the butt. I guarantee anyone trying it will have a good chance of losing their blog at some point if they do not do regular backups. Even then they better be able to trouble shoot software problems.

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 Don Koenig is the founder of ThePropheticYears website. He has been publishing articles on the Internet on Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and Christian worldviews since 1999. You can find well over a thousand articles and thousands of comments written by Don from the homepage of this website.


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19 thoughts on “I had a big problem with the WordPress blog software today.

  1. sorry for all the trouble Don, I’m glad you got it all up again. Now I know why some of my favorites in the past may have discontinued. Thanks for all the hard work.

  2. Hi Don, it’s ironic you mention WordPress software because I spent a solid day trying yesterday to get it installed and I have a computer science degree and over 10 years in the private and public sectors as a consultant. The install would give me a blank screen after the first step with no errors. Long story short, I had to change the timeout value in my php.ini file which is something way out of the ordinary; usually errors like that are related to a corrupt file, permissions, etc.

    As far as your blog goes, as long as your database isn’t corrupt, you should be good to go; you can always create a new database and import the data.

  3. Hi David,

    How do you import the data when you never exported the data? I am sure there would be a way through sql but I know nothing about that and the tech supports on these webhosts know just enough to be dangerous. He actually finally suggested that I do a reinstall of wordpress. I would have lost the whole blog! I got rid of him and fixed the problem myself.

    I think I figured out what happened (maybe). I think I block one of my own shared servers internet addresses and it was not a problem until yesterday because it would only be a problem when the webhost switched me to that IP. Yesterday I did a query from my search box and got a 403 error and that was caused by that block. I did a few more queries and then one of my security plugins probably kicked in and gave me a 404 error. That the 404 page got stuck in the cache software. Then trying to fix the problem with the webhost tech support screwed things up even more so that I could not even get into the admin area.

  4. Hi Don,

    Well, when you first installed WordPress, some of the scripts created some database tables to store data. The data stored are things like user names, passwords, posts, etc. If you accidentally blocked a server, this doesn’t mean the data was deleted.

    As far as I can tell, everything is OK because I can post and read your posts. What I was going to say is that if something happened with wordpress and you need to start over with a new database, you could copy the data out of your old database tables into the new database tables; obviously there is more involved, but that’s the basic idea.

    If you have some questions you can send me an email and I’ll be happy to help.

  5. Since this post is now in the top 20 under “big problem with wordpress” and others with problems might read it I am wondering how you can moved data between wordpress databases without exporting and importing using WordPress? I suppose you are suggesting doing something using a SQL manager but I do not have a clue. If it is something you do not want to get into right now that is okay to.

    Now I have another minor problem I have to figure out but its on my website and not on WordPress. The joy of it!

  6. I’m not sure the exact problem you are having. But I’m very comfortable with SQL and that is what I was suggesting (one possible solution based upon what I gathered from your initial post).

  7. I just figured out the problem I had on my website homepage. When the .htaccess file was changed yesterday the webhost must have deleted the parsing needed for the rss feed.

    What I was asking tech support yesterday and I could not get an answer is how does one go to a backup of the WordPress database when you cannot get into your admin area in WordPress? For example, I have a backup every day so I can go to one of those backups if I have a problem but if my WordPress software does not even allow me in, how do I restore one of those backup databases? It probably can be done from SQL but like I said, I do not have a clue.

    I guess I need to do more backups to my desktop because the webhost Cpanel has a backup and restore function that would do the job but with dial-up it just takes too long to download to my computer.

    Hmmm… here’s a thought. Maybe If I cannot get into admin I could download one of my backups to my computer using FTP and then use the Cpanel to do the restore from my computer. Of course the format of the backup might not be compatible with the restore backup in Cpanel. What do you think?

  8. SQL is definitely a different monster. I am familiar with cPanel. There is a myPHPadmin link in the admin panel there which enables the user to administer his databases.

    Basically your database holds the data and WordPress displays the data that is stored. If you delete the corrupt database and restore the backup with the same name, then in theory WordPress will be able to connect as usual because the connection strings (which hold the authentication details) would be unchanged.

  9. That is a good thought but after you delete the database how do you restore the data from a SQL backup without using a WordPress plug-in?

    I do not think my data was corrupted it was the WordPress engine that got corrupted. Maybe that is why it started making sense again after I did a reinstall of 3.1

  10. The SQL database is completely separate from a WordPress engine. I have used SQL Server through most of my career. I have been using MySQL for only about a year. There are some tools out there to backup and restore MySQL databases. My databases are stored on slicehost. I have yet to back up any data as it is my test environment and there isn’t anything on there that is very important. Anyway, WordPress has it’s settings, data, etc. stored in the MySQL database. Yes, I do not believe your data is corrupted if you’re able to read these posts.

  11. I know my data is not corrupted because I was able to restore from a backup yesterday after all. But, for awhile there it looked like I would not be able to do that because I could not get into the WordPress admin page where the backup plug-in software is.

    Everything is working just fine now, For future reference I was just wondering about a SQL solution to restore a backup of the SQL tables when you cannot even get into WordPress? I am aware of myPHPadmin but I have done very little with it.

  12. I’m sure there are some commands to backup and restore MySQL databases. I don’t know if you have access to a test server, but one thing I would do is practice backup and restore so if the unthinkable happens you won’t left out in the cold. There are always copies of WordPress so grabbing a fresh version and starting over shouldn’t be too difficult.

  13. Access to test SQL severs? Not even in my nightmares. I would not have the time to play with them anyway.

    Just Grabing a new copy of WordPress would be another nightmare. I have 35 plug-ins active on this Blog and each plug-in has to be tweaked for the way I want it. My theme is also customized. I cannot just pull the same theme from WordPress and have the same thing appear on the screen.

  14. O.K., like Dirty Harry said a long time ago….”A man’s got to know his limitations”. I readily admit I’m lacking computer skills, but WHAT IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS GOOD ARE YOUSE GUYS TALKING ABOUT????? You may as well write the last few posts in Aramaic.

  15. I never do anything until I have completed figure out the emergency backup and restore procedures. I will go out of my way to ensure that data is separated from system/application. It pays to be paranoid.

    As for caches – they can be very tricky. They have problems with persistence and synchronization. When ever I build a cache, I always ensure I have a means (command/control) to flush/dump on demand. On shutdown, the cache should be the first to go. On startup, the cache should be the last to start.

    I can’t imagine doing what you do, let alone using COTS/open-source. Sometimes I think I would rather write my own server from scratch… Either that, or I would use something extremely simple like “jetty” and focus on content versus features.

    At least WordPress allows me to post using Firefox on Ubuntu/linux. I just posted to a local paper (on the subject of same sex marriage) and it would not let me unless I used Microsoft Internet Explorer. Just brutal.

    Let’s just say, I made references to Fire raining on Sodom. If nothing else, it made me feel better, shrug.

  16. Ever looked into satellite internet. I used Wildblue for a few years. The only problem is that later in the day/evening, it slows to a crawl because of all the users on the system. Still beat dialup. We finally got Dsl in our area, so I switched.

  17. Yeah Marvin, I looked into satellite on all the satellite systems. The main problem with satellite Internet is their bandwidth limitations. Even with dial-up I now use more bandwidth daily and monthly than the satellites allow even in their most costly packages.

    Another problem with the satellites is the 1 or 2 second response delay it makes Internet phone impossible. There also are network issues on the lower priced packages.

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