I have been using WordPress for a long time and over a number of different blogs, some still running and others that have fallen by the wayside, and in the process I have installed a great number of themes and never had much of a problem.
Until last night.
On one of my other blogs I wanted to find a more suitable theme and found one through the theme repository on WordPress that looked to hold a lot of promise. So I used the theme page section of the blog’s admin section to grab a copy and install it.
Once installed, and without much further thought I activated the theme and headed to the option page for the theme to see what tweaking I could do to it that would bring it more in line with what I wanted.
I will admit that the theme has a nice setup when it comes to the option and after I changed a couple of options in one section I hit the save changes buttons and that is when everything fell apart.
The moment I hit the save button I was displayed the 404 page instead of the theme option page and nothing I did would return me to the Admin section of the blog. It was like the Admin part of the blog had totally disappeared but I could see after FTPing into the site that the wp-admin folder and files were all there. I couldn’t even get to any of the Admin pages by using a direct URL – I was screwed.
My next option was to try the supposedly reliable fallback of renaming the theme folder that was causing the problem but that didn’t work. My next step was to get my hands dirty and get into the database settings for the blog and change the various theme settings however once again it didn’t help.
As a last resort I was left with having to email my host and good friend and see if he could get his data center people to restore the site from backup and thanks to quick work from him and the data center the blog was back to normal, minus one post, in under an hour.
So what are the lessons learned you ask?
Well first off regardless of where you get your WordPress themes don’t trust them. Sure, I have never had a problem before this with themes I have installed from reputable sites; but never assume that that you will not have problems, even though my experience last night might have been one of the worst you could experience.
We have gotten so use to the themes we download, install, tweak, and use being reliable and well designed; and as a result we get lazy which leads into the second lesson.
Not just once in a while but have a set backup plan for your blog(s) and live by it faithfully.
I was lucky in that my host does daily backups and was available immediately even though it was late at night. In very short order he was able to get the site restore queued up and finished in under an hour; but you can’t always rely on your host being more than an automated reply to a support ticket that is probably mixed in with hundreds of other support tickets.
Of course how often you do these backups depends on how busy your blog is but at a very minimum you should be doing a weekly backup of both the database and the blog files. You might lose a few posts but at least you won’t lose everything and should anything go really wrong as it did with me you can be back up and running in very short order.
Like I said – lessons learned.
Hey, like this post? Why not share it with a buddy?Tweet