Okay, this will be the last time I talk about The Great Blog Disaster of 2011, but I wanted to write out what happened and what I learned about blogging with WordPress in the process. (If you don’t blog with WordPress, this will be a boring post. But if you’re thinking about switching or starting a WP blog, you might be interested.)
<Nerdspeak>A little background about my blog to begin with: I started it in February 2010, before Blogger came out with its more powerful customizable features. I knew I wanted more control over how my site looked than that (and two words: nested comments), so I bought a domain name through GoDaddy.com and used their free hosting plan for a WordPress.org blog.
There were always some strange glitches. For example, even when I selected “send me an email whenever I receive a comment,” I never once got an email successfully through my site. But little things like that one can overlook, and I did for a year. But in September sometime, I could no longer upload images to the site. This sucked, because I try to put as much original content (read: ridiculously Photoshopped nonsense) as possible on the site.
Now here’s where I must ask you not to roll your eyes TOO much. Since I couldn’t do this anymore, and I couldn’t see any way to fix it, I opened my FTP manager (I use FileZilla) and thought I’d replace some of the files. But um… I accidentally *cough* deletedthemall. *cough*
STOP ROLLING YOUR EYES.*
I had not backed up my files, nor had I subscribed to my blog via email (as the brilliant Sara McClung asked the next day). GoDaddy wanted $115 to go back and get the files. I didn’t think that was worth it. Through Archive.org, Google cache**, and Google Reader I was able to see, copy and paste many of my posts and save at least the text. (I’ll be bringing many of those posts back in updated form in the future.) So, all was not completely lost.
But reloading WordPress’ most recent version through FileZilla still wasn’t working properly.
While I was trying to work with GoDaddy, they mentioned that their free hosting service was through Windows servers. After doing some searching, I discovered that WordPress is meant to work with Linux or Mac. Many, many users had reported problems, with most not even able to get GoDaddy’s free hosting service to work in setting up their blogs at all. I also noted that, though GoDaddy had been one of WordPress.org’s recommended host sites in Feb. 2010 when I signed up, they were no longer on the list.
So I decided to leave the free hosting at GoDaddy and pay for more reliable hosting service with the site WordPress recommended most, BlueHost. I also added a $13/annual backup service through BlueHost. (Just in case.) Once I finished all the technical HTML-y things I needed to do to reroute my GoDaddy.com-purchased domain name through BlueHost, WordPress uploaded perfectly. Now I’m getting all those emails about my comments, and there’s no annoying “GoDaddy.com” drop-down ad on my dashboard. (I told you this would be boring for Blogger users.)</Nerdspeak>
So that was a really, really complicated problem that I wouldn’t have discovered without a site meltdown. During the two weeks that the site was down, I got a whole new education about how my blog functions, and found safer ways I can try to find and address problems in the future. Honestly, I’m not happy my blog got erased, but I’m really glad I learned everything I did through the ordeal. Live and learn, right?
What about you? How many of you use WordPress? Do these kinds of problems ever pop up on Blogger? Anyone using both?* I have a history of doing epically moronic things on impulse. Never was this more obvious than when I called Dr H, explained the situation, and his first response was, “Of course this happened to you. Of course.” Supportive husband is supportive. ** To search Google cache, enter “Cache:www.thewebsiteyouarelookingfor.com” into your Google search bar.