Website Disaster Averted


During the Residency at Camberwell, the very morning of the group tutorial on the second day, my blog disappeared. It did not disappear entirely, it just looked as though I had never done anything on it: No posts, pages, images, nothing. It was as though I had never done anything other than choose the theme and put my name on it, in short installed WordPress and nothing more.

I did not panic because I had the latest export file with all the content and the images and other uploads in various files on the computer with backups. So I winged the tutorial by talking and describing alone, which seemed to work quite well. I had been momentarily transformed into a storyteller of sorts.

The residency is a busy time and I did not want to waste time trying to sort out the site, it would have to wait. I did manage to see that the site files were all in place. The assumption I made was that something had happened to the database. When I returned home, I contacted the host company and went through a series of checks and requests. The news was not good. In order to restore the database I had needed an SQL file of it. This I did not have and subsequently I have researched backing the database using MySQL software. I have only just started to look at this. It seems that in order to use it I need two more pieces of software. This will have to wait.

It seems what had happened was a vulnerable piece of code on a plugin called Theme Grill Demo Uploader. This plugin is associated with the theme I use but it really does nothing useful. What it does do is renders sites with it on vulnerable to attack from who knows where, two hundred thousand of them. The issue has since been resolved but too late for me.

I the meantime, I reinstalled WordPress on my host’s server. I experimented with some themes for a new look and purpose. I had previously spent a great deal of time researching and trying out different layouts and designs and had come to what I thought suited me best. No matter what I did, I kept on returning to the original theme, Radiate by Theme Grill.

I took a look at the export file which was apparently of no use to restore the site and decided to see how I could work with the coded content. I knew it contained all the posts, links, tags, categories, etc. I could input the information anew and restore all the work I have put into it. Here things started to look up. Not only were they coded and displayed in such a way that all I had to do was copy and paste into the code editor of WP, I have also started to refresh and learn about HTML. I am beginning to be able to read the code in HTML and know what each part does.

Finally, in a short time, I have regained all of my Unit 2 Assessment posts and pages with their metadata and begun Unit 1. It is actually very easy and I can tweak the design to improve the visuals. The theme is very similar to how it was but I have made some small changes, such as the background, which give me a sense of new beginnings and greater readability.

Now, I feel ready to recommence my delivery of the project proposal and all that entails including, as a priority, reorganising the studio so I have space enough to function in it.