After four weeks in limbo, I’m back to blogging. Yay! Can you get out of your chair and do a happy dance with me? Oooh! Oooh! While you’re catching your breath, I’ll regale you with my Cautionary Tale.
Somehow, my blog blew up when a plugin activated. This happened around the same time my site reverted from the WordPress Business plan to Premium. Was it the perfect storm or my high energy blowing up another computer? An act of God? A random event? Who knows?
Do you remember the story of Scuffy the Tugboat? He was a happy little boat that floated in the bathtub. Then he got the big idea that he was meant for bigger things and headed into the big river that emptied into the enormous ocean. Get my drift? Bad pun alert. Sorry.
A few years ago, I had those same thoughts. I could become a super blogger if I upgraded to a Business plan. And so, the mistake was made early in 2017.
A few months later, I wrote a draft about my best blog tips after six years of blogging. It took days to write that article. Between edits, I activated a plugin to help me with SEO. When I blogged it, my post was emailed to followers but didn’t show up in the Reader. I no longer had the floating follow button. The bar at the top of my blog looked different. I stopped getting followers. I panicked. Of all the blog posts, this one wasn’t being seen by other bloggers!
When I contacted the Happiness Engineers, they explained that when I activated the plugin, my site’s architecture changed. Luckily, that post got the attention of an editor and was Freshly Pressed.
I always learn through the school of hard knocks — I had written a draft about my buddy, Chuck Dickens, while on the Business plan. I blogged it a few days later. Yep. Blew up my blog once again. That was a major duh moment on my part, but the engineers happily fixed it. I vowed never to add another plugin.
Flash forward to 2021.
There was a neat little backup button added last winter. One day in spring, I pressed it but didn’t activate it for fear of blowing up my blog.
On Monday, May 24th:
I inquired about the backup button with a Happiness Engineer. He said it would change my site and reassured me that WordPress has a backup in case something happens to it. Mine has very little chance of being deleted since I am the only one using my blog, and I have the two-step authentication in place.
He suggested reverting to Premium. I was paying a lot of money for unused plugins. “It’s meant for businesses,” he said.
As I waffled back and forth to either go for it with the Business plan and use the plugins or revert to Premium, I was taking a class.
Wednesday, May 26th:
I was listening to a prerecorded video. I received a phone call. Instead of turning down the sound, I shut my laptop. Why did I do that????
Insert act of God, lightning bolt, and aftershocks of rumbling thunder here. Never mind. I’ll insert it myself:
My laptop froze up.
I freaked out!
I had worked on a manuscript revision the day before and hadn’t saved it. I always save my revisions! I also had an unsaved flash fiction. GAH!!!
I noticed my site looked different. I was logged in but could only get to the backend through a shortcut on my laptop. I contacted the Happiness Engineers to look into the problem.
When I clicked on my last post about the blooming spring season, I LOST IT. Some of my images and all of my links were broken.
I was over it.
I wanted to go back to floating in the bathtub.
“REVERT ME TO PREMIUM!” I shouted into the abyss. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. But it wasn’t that easy.
A Happiness Engineer informed me that on May 26th, a plugin was activated, and you know the rest.
“It changed the architecture of my site.”
I clicked on old and new posts along with my About page. Most had missing images. They all had broken links that went to error messages.
Day after day, a new Happiness Engineer checked in on me. Day after day, I would explain the whole history. Day after day, I checked my About page since it was loaded with broken images and links. Day after day, they still weren’t working properly.
Over the next FOUR WEEKS, the Happiness Engineers reverted my site to before the fateful day of May 26th several times. Over twenty-five engineers checked in during the month. I explained to each one of them what had happened.
Exhausted and frustrated, I woke up and clicked on my About page, as usual. All of my photos appeared! Woohoo! A huge victory! I just prayed I wouldn’t have to add links to my 800 blog posts.
The day that I’m writing this, I clicked on my About page. I clicked on a link, and it worked! I clicked on another and another and another. Everything is back to normal. Finally!
So, I am happily floating in my tub, oblivious to all things plugin. The Premium Plan is enough for me.
Which plan are you on? Are you self-hosted? Do you remember Scuffy the Tugboat? How are you with computers?