WordPress, Cutline, Archives and Backup!

WordPress, Cutline, Archives and Backup!

There are time online when you are not just a marketer but you become a tech-head too. Yesterday I mucked up my blog.

I had been using the Cutline theme by maestro Chris Pearson. It’s an older theme but I like it’s visual simplicity. I noticed in the Cutline Options sub-menu that you could create an Archives page easily.

I clicked the “enable archives page” in Cutline Options. Then I set up the archive page in the Pages submenu. Voila … I had an archives page.

Whoa!! Wait a minute. Now the Archives page is my default first page and I can’t figure out how to change it.  I failed to notice the little extra text underneath the ‘enable’ button that said this would make the Archives page my First Page. So no matter what I did, the Archives page hijacked my site and I couldn’t get my site to show my posts as it did normally.

I unchecked the option, checked the WP Settings, reinstalled the theme, reinstalled wordpress and looked through the database and searched high and low for an answer on forums and the internet.

My first clue – even if I changed theme it still hijacked the first page as archives so the problem was no longer just theme related.

My second clue  even overwriting the wordpress files did not resolve the problem so it wasn’t a wordpress issue.

Final clue – by deduction, the problem had to be in the database.

Ever tried looking for how to restore MySql? Lots of technical jargon and complicated and outdated instructions. Then, by chance I fell on this : http://www.tamba2.org.uk/wordpress/restore/

Really clear and fool-proof simple instructions for the layperson on how to restore a backup.

Lessons:

  1. Always read all the detail before you change anything on your site
  2. Make sure you back up regularly. I use WP Database Backup which posts a backup to me. I just had to grab a version (from before I’d made the fatal change) to restore.
  3. Use WP’s Tools/Export feature to make doubly sure you have a copy of your site structure – posts, categories, tags etc
  4. Grab a copy of your latest posts and any modifications you want to reproduce that were done after the last Backup to now
  5. Follow tamba2’s easy method for deleting your corrupted database and restoring an earlier one.

In the end I had to re-enter the latest posts I’d created and only lost a sidebar text content which I can easily reproduce so no big issue…. except for the 12 hours I lost trying to find a fix!! Next time I’ll get my web guru on the case so I can focus on more productive outcomes.

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