Good grief, what a mess

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what a messSeven years.

Seven years I’ve been manning this website and doing just fine as editor, writer, blogger, graphics designer, publisher, administrator and webmaster.

Until Tuesday.

After years of (mostly) trouble-free webmastering (look, ma, a new verb!) the website, I managed to destroy the whole site.

Not just take it down, mind you, but vaporize it entirely.

How did this ridiculously clumsy and unfathomably inconceivable (yes, that’s redundant; because it’s that hard to imagine) mistake happen? More to the point, how did I get it all back?

Well, I’ll tell you (cue the singing from Sir Lancelot’s visit to Swamp Castle).

I’ve always updated the site manually, to preserve the customization first built into the pages by my talented hosting company.

While manual updating may seem tedious and prone to error, in fact it’s only a matter of some minutes and has never previously led to disaster.

For some reason, this newest version of WordPress caused a hiccup, a burp, a (y’know, I don’t like where this is leading, so let’s stop the metaphors)…problem. It disintegrated my config file, effectively taking the site with it.

My first attempt at restoring the site proved fruitless. Calling upon the great and vast powers of my hosting company, I managed to get a previous day (lucky!) version restored from their server.

I updated once more and…lost the site again. Oy.

Fortunately, I had taken extra care to back up everything prior to the latest fist-shaking calamity and restored to full (one day old) sensibility.

Distraught, perplexed and many other multi-syllable words, I tried the “automatic update” button, at least knowing I could restore the site if it changed all the web pages.

Irony dripped over me (it could have been sweat, but the A/C was chugging along quite efficiently), as I browsed all the pages and found everything formatted exactly as it should be.

Now, before you shake your head and make “tsk” sounds, I must point out that this was not always the case with the automatic update. At some point, it must have been improved to leave custom formatting alone.

Somewhere along the line over those seven years, maybe those “what’s new” notes that no one ever reads (don’t try it…I know you don’t either) might have told me that.

Would have been nice to know before I made such a mess.

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