A Damsel (and Blog) in Distress

It is an interesting and thrilling story. Damsels in distress, train tracks, howling wolves.

Ok, it’s not. But it does involve a damsel in distress, me; along with my blog and its code.


Here’s the story.

My Blog is Slow

You probably noticed, my blog has, of late, had a tendency towards slowness. The problem began with an update that my host performed on WordPress. (WordPress is the blogging software that I use.) Update performed, presto, slow and often inaccessible blog.

I emailed my host several times only to be told, turn off plug-ins (things you can use to add additional functionality to a blog.) I did so. No good. Several exchanges back and forth with no help resulted in me copying and pasting about 10 time-out errors into an email. That got a response. The response was we can roll back the update. I followed the instructions in the email.  Within an hour, broken blog.

I was…distressed.


I Call My Host

I called my host. At first the whole concept that when you go to www.jlellis.net you end up at a regular website, and not a blog, caused some confusion. I politely explained that you actually needed to go to www.jlellis.net/blog.

Once we understood the whole concept of the ability to have different things in different places on the web, the person conceded why yes, there is a problem. I explained the whole you told me to roll back the upgrade, and the person basically said oops. Well, we’ll need to fix that. But it can take up to 72 hours. 72 hours I exclaimed. That is an awfully long time. The response was well we don’t normally do this at all, but since our instructions caused it we will.

Well…ok then.

I Call My Host – Again

I wait a few hours. Call my host and ask for a supervisor explaining the situation. A supervisor comes on the line, I politely explain my problem and the very nice supervisor works for about 2 hours to get my blog back up. Yay supervisor. (She really was very nice and went of her way to help me.)

Problem. The posts are from February. Well, ok, I backed up my blog religiously. I can restore it. I go about looking at the blog in preparation for the restore, disable some of those pesky plugins. Wait…the error codes are back. My blog is broken, again.

Well….ok then.

I Call My Host – Yet Again

Did I mention I was home sick yesterday? I was. So I was already in a happy mood.

Anyway, for the 3rd time I politely explain my problem. The very nice person is dismayed. (Again, very nice, really spent a lot of time trying to help me.)

I tell him I think we should delete WordPress and reinstall it so I can start over with a clean install. He agrees and works through the process with me, staying on the phone the whole time. We had a very nice conversation about Curtis (my dog), horse shoeing (his dream profession,) and cooking shows (something we both watch.) He gets the install done, but there are problems. WordPress is installed and accessible, but I cannot log into the parts of my site I need to reinstall my blog. He will escalate the issue. It should be done by Friday, but if I don’t hear from them by Friday, I should send an email to him.

Well…ok then.

I Start Searching For an Answer

That evening I got on line and started searching for an answer. Couldn’t find one that would work without the parts of my site that are inaccessible.

Well…ok then.

I Find an Answer

More research at 6:00 this morning and I found different method of reinstalling my backup into the new blog. My blog comes back with only part of one post lost! I made several backups, just in case things break again.


What Did I learn

  1. I learned it is a good thing I do backups. You should do them too. In fact, they should be automated. Even if they are automated if you are going to undertake some major change you should do a special backup just to be sure. I did so in this case which is why I lost so little. You never know when a backup can be corrupted.
  2. I learned that everyone is experiencing slowness with the upgrade of WordPress.  There are complaints all over the web. In other words, the whole experience was unnecessary.
  3. I was reminded it is never a good idea to install an update on the early side. It is best to wait to make sure there aren’t any problems.  Unfortunately my host didn’t give me this option
  4. My blog is still slow because it is still running on this version of WordPress.  Hopefully a new update will come out soon.
  5. I need to start looking for a new host.


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