The Night I Crashed My Blog

Note: This post is part of this blog’s recurring series, Everyone Else Is More Talented Than Me. The series is a self-deprecating look into how I’m a jack of all trades, master of none, and competent at few.

A few weeks ago, I broke my blog. Broken links, 403 and 404 errors, the whole shoot and match. Rather than get into a long-winded analysis of exactly what happened, I’ve decided to share a live mental diary of what happened that night. You might have noticed that TTW has a completely different theme, as well as other changes. This came about as a result of that night. All times listed below are approximate((Not that you would know anyway. I could be pulling these times out of my ass and you’d be none the wiser)).

Sunday, 4:30pm: The fiancee and I live together now. She had some friends over to play Smash Bros, card games, and board games. Since I’m a high-functioning workaholic((I’m beginning to wonder if being a workaholic is a disease)), I had sequestered myself in our bedroom from the end of Smash Bros time until I finished my work.

5:45pm: Finally done with what work I could get done with other people around. Apparently the new favorite phrase of everyone has become “clit wizard”. I prefer “titty master“, but what do I know?

6:35pm: Following dinner, the fiancee and her friends decide to play Legendary Encounters. I enjoy deck building games, but I despise Legendary. Maybe it’s because I hated the Alien films, maybe it’s the format of this specific game. Either way, it’s time to work on the TTW.

It’s worth mentioning at this point that I’ve had two major problems with the site recently. The first is that I can’t get a search box to show up in the header of my (then) theme, no matter what I do. I’ve tried writing child themes, creating my own PHP, finding other PHP sources and using them…all to no avail. The second problem is that my WordPress installation forces my website to redirect to rather than This means I can’t create any items in IFTTT with my RSS feed. I’m off to fix these issues.

8:00pm: Nearly an hour and a half in and I’ve learned that I don’t have a fucking clue how to move a installation from a subfolder into my root directory. This is in spite of the fact that I have what seems to be a very straightforward tutorial on how to do so. Unfortunately, somewhere between step 5 and step 12 on the process, I always manage to have my site to have constant 403 errors. It’s getting a bit annoying.

8:30pm: Another half hour of failed attempts passes when I get a bright idea…let’s try making a fresh install of on my root directory. Since there’s a pending update, I can just put it there. What could possibly go wrong?

8:45pm: Yeah. As for what could possibly go wrong…that would be that my site goes completely down to where I can’t access it, even from my host’s servers. This is bad.

9:15pm: After a 20 minute discussion with my host’s support team, I can get back into the server. Unfortunately, this required deleting my .htaccess file and completely deleting my entire WordPress installation and all backups. Fortunately, I had managed to export all of my post and comment files, but nothing else was backed up. Goodbye images, theme modifications, child themes, and plug-in modifications.

9:20pm: In light of the previous problem, I got a brilliant idea…I’m going to install Ghost and blog off of that rather than WordPress((The idea wasn’t brilliant.)).

9:22pm: Ghost is installed…aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand it sucks. You can’t import post files, there’s only one theme option, AND Ghost didn’t install in my root directory like it was supposed to. You know, the same problem that just broke WordPress and my site.

9:23pm: Well fuck((Fuck.)).

9:35pm: I’ve uninstalled Ghost and reinstalled I’ve thrown a placeholder theme up in the interim. Importing my posts worked fine and my blog opens correctly. But now will building RSS work properly? To IFTTT!

10:05pm: Hey…it worked! And I found a new theme (evolve) that actually has a search box in the header and is really customizable. Win?((Win.))

Monday, 12:15am: I’ve got Disqus installed, all previous posts up, and am starting install the other plugins I used. Everyone I talked to said this process was simple, straight forward, and required little work on my part. But I guess everyone else is more talented than me.

The Night I Crashed My Blog

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14 thoughts on “The Night I Crashed My Blog

    1. I don’t know that mine was a matter of attempting to be clever so much as it was thinking I could do something I obviously couldn’t. That said, I’m glad to know it’s not just me who has done it.

  1. I haven’t managed to crash my blog like you did but I have tried troubleshooting and feelinng like an incompetent fool for not understand what to do/where to go and what the hell do you mean by directory and file and so an?! Yeah. Also, my theme with the sidebar and disqus don’t go well together so every once in a blue moon I have to try and remmeber how to change it back to it working.
    And I’ve given up on child themes and my ideal of writing my own theme. I just don’t have to time/ressources/knowledge for it and that’s okay. It’s okay to aknowledge you rown defeat. I’s sorry you had to do so much troubleshooting and here’s to hoping it gets better in the future.

    1. I typically feel like I know what I’m doing pretty well when it comes to computers, but this just hurts my head. There’s a reason I didn’t go into computer science as a major, and I’m pretty sure this is why.

    1. Looking back on it, I feel like I know how not to do what caused the problem in the first place. My hosting company was a great help along the way as well. As long as you do your initial installation of WordPress correctly, the situation I ran into would never happen to you.

  2. I have no clue what most of this post was saying. Until we got to about 9:23 pm and then I was completely on board. I also crashed my blog once, because I tried to do something in PHP that 1) I didn’t know how to do, and b) wasn’t a PHP issue. Sorry you had such a tough time, but it looks good now =) And yay for getting your search where you want it!

  3. You have a lot more patience than I would in that situation. The last time I was suffering from mild rage where things wouldn’t do as it was told was formatting a file. Up until page 35/60, fine. Page 36, not fine and wouldn’t behave. Was seconds off of throwing the computer across the room.

    Also, fun fact: in Scotland, we say shoot/kit and caboodle. I might have had to reread the entry because my brain spent most of the first read giggling over the word “caboodle” 🙂

  4. Fortunately I haven’t had any major problems with the server/back end blog stuff since then. Granted, my blog theme crashed out and caused me to need to find a new one, but that’s another matter entirely.

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