You may have noticed that this blog was offline for about 24 hours over the weekend. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
When I decided to jump from Blogger to my own domain, I was giving up the luxury of having someone else do all the grunt work. But I figured if I got a package like WordPress, I would be able to handle whatever came up.
Well, yes and no. Although I have a basic (very basic) grasp of HTML, WordPress lives in a strange and arcane world of mySQL, php, and XHTML. It’s taken me quite a while to figure out how to tweak even a few simple things. There are still a few things I would change, if I could figure out how to do it.
But things were going pretty well, really. So when I saw that a new version of WordPress had been released, I decided to upgrade. So, I installed WordPress 2.0.4 on Saturday night. It seemed like the thing to do. This version apparently dealt with a bunch of bugs. Besides, all the cool kids were doing it. And the instructions seemed so simple:
1) download the update
2) overwrite all the relevant files on your server with the updated versions
Steps one and two went off without a hitch, but when I went to look at my site, all I got was a blank white page. To make it even odder, I could go to the dashboard without a problem, I just couldn’t get my site to display.
I went to a site that offered ‘detailed’ instructions to perform the update, and the first instruction was “Important! Before you do anything else, back up your database!”
Crap. Well, all my posts were still there. All the customized files for the theme were still there. I just couldn’t see them. I tried reinstalling 2.0.3 from my hard drive, but I still couldn’t see anything.
Thinking I had nuked it, I reloaded the wp-config.php file. No good. Then I saved the wp-config.php file from TextEdit instead of Word, and reloaded it. No good. Then I doublechecked that I was uploading as ASCII, instead of binary. It was.
Then I renamed my plugins file, to remove all the possible conflicts with plugins I had installed. No difference.
So, then I went to bed.
This morning I reinstalled 2.0.4, following the most detailed instructions I could find. Yet when I navigated to pagentsprogress.com, all I got was a blank page. This was infuriating.
Finally, I sent an email to tech support at my hosting service, Laughing Squid. To my amazement in a few short hours, even though it was Sunday, and even though I had labeled it ‘low’ priority, I had a reply in my inbox. The ‘Chief Tentacled Officer’ at Laughing Squid delicately pointed out that I had a nonstandard install of WordPress. Specifically, I had all of my WordPress files in a ‘WordPress’ directory, not in the root directory. So, the new index.php file was pointing to the default location of my files, not where they actually were. He had taken the liberty of adding the single word to that filepath definition that made my blog functional again.
The saddest part is that as soon as I saw that email, I remembered thinking to myself “if I’m going to put this in it’s own directory, I better make sure I remember to allow for that in all my file paths.”