It was the night before Christmas. What started as a casual attempt to fix an annoying problem culminated into something truly awful. Having noticed the occurrence of several of these error messages, “Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 1853353 bytes) in ….,” I decided to act brave by attempting to fix the problem, hoping that if all went well I would sleep that night feeling like some friggin’ computer god. Unfortunately, shit happened and I did not sleep very well that night.
The error message I mentioned has been a common issue for many WordPress users. Checking out the WordPress.org forums, there were many different solutions, but inconsistent results. I will not get into the technical details but let’s just say that if you do not know what you are doing, it’s best you don’t try to mess around and potentially break things. Trust me. That’s great advice to people unfamiliar with the coding behind a self-hosted blog.
So, once my brave actions proved fatal, I was unable to access both the LonePlacebo blog and my WordPress Dashboard. The following message kept appearing everytime:
Fatal error: Call to undefined function is_admin() in /home/loneplac/public_html/wp-includes/vars.php on line 16
As a newbie, this was truly terrifying to see. Ok, more like: “Why I’m I so F#!$@ing STUPID?!?!”
Fast-forward to Saturday, December 26. I was finally able to contact my web host and they gave me a solution. I had to manually re-install the WordPress 2.9 upgrade. They explained that since I used an automatic upgrade, it likely caused the problem. Well, that was news to me.
Next, I read the terribly long explanation in the WordPress Codex on how to conduct a manual upgrade. (Fantastic airplane read, by the way) Heck, I even printed it out. I didn’t want things to get worse at that point.
Afterwards, I was able to “successfully” re-install the upgrade and, as a result, log into my WordPress Dashboard and enter the LonePlacebo blog without any problems. Things were looking very swell at the moment. I celebrated my moment of glory. What a thrilling victory! I even ran to my mother carrying my laptop in hand to show her that my blog was back online.
See, mom! I’m not a computer idiot after all!
After settling down, I would soon find out that things weren’t done just yet. Clicking on the link to the entire post of my most recent article, I was flabbergasted when I saw that awful “404 error” message. Every single page besides the homepage was kaput.
The requested URL /my-category/my-page was not found on this server.
Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
It was mind-numbing. The light of my glory had violently been blanketed by an unseen enemy. An enemy with theworst-sounding name for a villian, “404.”
Now, it was back to work. I realized that things had to be fixed pronto. Based on my nerdy research in the obscure field of “Search Engine Optimization,” it was pointed out that search engine’s search bots is like that rabid cousin of yours who goes berserk when he can’t play World of Warcraft. Alright, bad example.
Apparently, when search bots encounter numerous 404 error messages while traveling though random links on your site, it records a note to itself to remind “daddy” to not treat the site nicely in the search results. How dare this site offer 404′s to me they say.
Thus, the moment was urgent. I had a terrorist ready to blow up a building in some urban city, and I had to figure out which one. So, I went on Google.
My research told me that step 11 of the manual upgrade was actually important as hell. According to step 11, I needed to update the site’s permalink structure. Once that was completed, the evil 404 was vanquished as harmony was temporarily restored.
So, what did I learn from this chaos?
- Don’t mess with site’s files unless you know what you are doing.
- Google search is the best resource for help.
- Screw Bluehost’s online web chat.
- Don’t panic and act erratic. (<<<That’s poetry right there, my friend)
- Backup, backup, backup, backup, backup, backup.
To my readers:
I am truly sorry for the loss of LonePlacebo in your lives the past two days. It pained me to not know the solution to situation at hand. Things are now back to normal. For now. Especially considering my debilitating lack of knowledge of maintaining a site, things might get a bit rocky at times. (That’s what she said!!!)
Photo by Kalandrakas
If you have suffered tremendously during the last 48 hours due to a loss of LonePlacebo, please state five things you wish will improve in the future in the comments section below.