High Tech Hell

angry boy blowing steam
source: pathdoc/fotalia

There’s nothing like a little cascading failure to keep the blood pressure up.

Some months back the WordPress app I use on my tablet started misbehaving. At first it was simply a matter of the preview function. If you were working on a draft post and wanted to check out how it looked in the browser it would, for whatever bizarre reason, try to find it on the server. Since it was a draft, the server had no idea what you were looking for and sent out a 404 error. This was annoying, but could be gotten around with only a moderate hassle. As the problem had started directly after an upgrade I figured it was just an “oops!” at the coding end and waited patiently for the WordPress folks to fix it. They’re pretty good about such things.

But time passed, and several updates too, with no joy in Mudville. I found myself moving into the semi-patient realm rather quickly. I started posting only new gigs on my calendar. It’s handled by a plug-in called GigPress and it has to be run from the browser since the app doesn’t really recognize it.

And then, the pictures (from the posts that had them) stopped appearing in the preview post listings in the app. They were still appearing on the website itself, so there’s that I guess, but my cussing increased. Weren’t computers supposed to ease our workaday world? Then why was I wasting so much time just trying to keep the tech up and running? Not to mention useful.

The final straw… or what I thought was the final straw, was when it decided it couldn’t save to the server anymore. At all. Just locally. I pretty much put the whole idea on the back burner, hoping I’d calm down enough to dig in and fix it later.

So time passes and I notice a friend of mine has announced a little local tour of house concerts. There are 4 or 5 of them lined up in less than a week. I’m wanting house concerts, bigtime. So I wrote him for advice on how to get hooked up with the scene. He told me no problem, send along my contact details and he’d pass them along to the folk he knows who host house concerts (and, I’m assuming, would like the style of stuff I do). Bless his little cotton socks!

So I go check out the Hobbit & Hare page to make sure there’s no egregious mistakes on it and, lo!… my entire site is hosed. Absolutely none of the fancy page formatting was coming through. It looked like a web page from the early 90’s. Argh!

Nope. That wasn’t the last straw yet.

I thought I’d just login to my hosted control center and see if I could figure it out from there, but either something had gotten goobered up at the server end or I’d forgotten my login details. I was betting on the latter but it turned out to be a little bit of both. Got that adjusted but nothing looked amiss from there.

In the meantime some of the problems were taken care of by simply upgrading WordPress itself. But that’s the place where the login was goobered up by someone other than me. So we go through the “reset password dance” there. Twice. Now many of the problems have gone bye-bye, as well as many hours taking care of all this crap. Not all of the WordPress app problems, mind you, and I was still left with a site that looked like something from the 90’s.

While I’m poking about in the WordPress dashboard I go to my Themes section, thinking maybe a setting in the theme I’m using got messed up. (Themes are what make the WordPress pages look all pretty.) Nothing was apparent in that department, but I had a half dozen or so other themes installed so, just for grins, I chose another and activated it. It worked! It didn’t work exactly well since I’d set the site up for a whole ‘nother theme and the feature set didn’t match but, OMG! there was light at the end of the tunnel. So after an hour or so searching and testing out different themes, I found one that was visually very close to the hosed one. Now I’m up to like 98% working. And the angels did sing.

There were (and probably still are) some funky stuff going on with a few of the links, but I’ve figured out how to fix the vital ones and am now reasonably comfortable sending my contact info and trying for some of those house concerts. And after only most of one day troubleshooting.

Did I mention Argh!?

I guess the last test is to publish this post and hope that the Publicize thing I have running auto shares it with my Facebook and G+ pages (like it’s supposed to). It looks like it’s still set up correctly, but there’s really only one way to check so…

…Push the button, Frank.

(Edited to add: Nope, didn’t share. I think I have that fixed now, so I’ll manually get this one shared and do another test post later.)

2 comments

  1. I am not sure if you wanted to know this but your email reached my box and the page looked great. The pic on the top is awesome.
    I hope all your bugs are fixed soon!

    1. Wow, I didn’t know anyone had subscribed to the email notifications! Thanks for letting me know.

      And feel free to contact me at any time!

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