Much like my training this season so far, my blog had a MAJOR meltdown in the beginning of 2016. It all started a month or so ago when I decided it could use a redesign. The old template had seen better days and I needed a new look to get inspired to start writing again. I hired someone at first, that didn’t work out in the slightest. I put together my own redesign and was pleasantly happy.
Then one day WordPress asked me to update to the newest WordPress software. My blog is hosted through BlueHost, and I clicked the button to update, like I have done for 6 years now, and it took down my blog (first time in 10 years). Like total system failure, I couldn’t even log into my blog dashboard. It was GONE. And I had just posted about Grandpa Joe, our new, awesome, really old, runs great, burgundy Volvo.
I begged my Rising Tide website design team to help me get my blog back going and in a few hours they had it back up. Except my last back up was back in early January, pre redesign, pre Grandpa Joe post. But the blog was not dead so I was happy.
On my (really long) to do list was the task to redesign the blog again, and oh yea, figure out how to update the WordPress software that crashed everything in the first place. But, I had massive coaching work and a trip to Costa Rica planned. So I couched it.
Fast forward to today. I get an email from Bluehost that they are deactivating my site due to a Terms of Service Violation and something about my site causing performance problems. It was a very scary email and my site was down (second time in 10 years). I call customer service, wait for 38 minutes for my call to be taken and I find out that my spam comments are taking up too much server time, so they took me down. He runs some code, deletes my pending comments and I’m back up and running. He also upsells me into purchasing my own server space rather than sharing like I have been, something about speed, Site Lock, and this Backup PRO product that will help me …I fork over the CC.
I get logged in to see what’s up and over the course of an hour I figure out that ever since the first time my blog went down about 14 days ago, I have been getting 2,000 spam comments a day, and my blog has been approving them rather than marking them as spam. Even though my spam plugins are activated….literally there are 21,000 brand new spam comments all over my blog…watches, porn, viagra, seo optimization, handbags, you name it!
I start the process of hand deleting the comments, 100 at a time, any more and my blog crashes. The backup PRO software I purchased from Bluehost doesn’t seem to be working so I call customer service again. 58 minutes of hold time and I’m connected. Because I now have my own server space the Backup PRO app thingee doesn’t work, so I have to do a manual backup and if I need to restore from the backup, I have to call customer service, that’s what I’m told. I make a backup.
I continue to delete the comments until they are all gone, 3 hours later. I update all my plugins, delete all the excess themes, make sure everything is ship shape, and I go make another backup of my blog…manually. I now push the dreaded button to update the WordPress version, and boom, white screen of death, blog completely wiped again, dashboard gone, blog gone.
I call customer service to restore the backup. On hold for 49 minutes, but the dude I get is good. He restores my blog, it works and none of the evil deleted comments come back. We deactivate all plugins, and change my blog to a generic “can’t go wrong” template. We hit the WordPress update button (AKA the button of death) AND IT WORKS. I cry a little tear. Then we change my blog back to my template and it crashes. So, I figure out that my tried and true, old, trustworthy template is now an out of date, not maintained, POC. I stay with the generic template while we update every plugin and reactivate every plug in. Ahhh, it works.
Then the customer service rep transfers me to billing to get the charge removed for the Backup PRO I got upsold, 24 minutes later I get a guy who is actually “contract breaches” not “billing” so he transfers me to billing, more holding and 29 minutes later I get billing, who reverses the charge in about 22 seconds.
After that I sit down and redesign my blog, it’s easier because I find the template I used before the initial crash and am able to get it back going again with some enhancements….like the fancy rolling sponsor area, and my favorite font Montserrat. Mmmmm, I heart Montserrat.
So, all in all, I learned tons, cried a few times, banged my head on the table, got a headache (no connection there), spent about 3+ hours on hold with Bluehost (seems a bit uncool), lost an entire day of work productivity (I’m so sorry athletes), AND didn’t train. BUT, I have a blog that is up and running. It’s on current software, it’s happy, spam comment free (for now), new designed template, and ready for some serious words to get thrown down.