One of the challenges of being a small business owner is that you have to wear a lot of hats.
For me that means not only being the Principal Broker and Property Manager, it also means being our entire IT department, Search Engine Optomization (SEO) team, and Social Media Engagement (SME) team. You can see some of these various hats that I wear below.*
While wearing one of those hats yesterday morning, I broke this blog.
But for the Grace of God alone it is fixed. Here’s how I broke it, and here’s how it got fixed (with a lot of prayer and supplication to the Almighty included):
I broke it by intiating an automatic update inside the WordPress dashboard (in my case it said “WordPress 3.3.2 is available! Please update now.”). I hadn’t updated the version in about 9 months so I figured it was about time.
I’d been noticing some bugs in the last few weeks where toggling between the Visual and HTML modes where the markup would delete photos or add extra quotation marks to <a hrefs. It was easy to work around once I knew what to expect and what I was looking for, but I figured updating would solve the problem outright.
Did I backup the files before updating? Nope. I have the wp-db-backup plugin that just emailed me the backup file that morning, so I figured I was in good shape.
Did I reference any other WordPress codex before updating (where I would be strongly advised to disable plug-ins)? Nope.
Did I refer to any other blog posts about updating, where someone specifically advised, “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it?” Nope.
I just went ahead…
And when I tried to log back in I got this error:
Fatal error: Call to undefined function
wp_suspend_cache_addition() in D:\hosting\4724002\html\TheStAugBlog\wp-includes\cache.php
on line 288
We use a WordPress.org template and have it hosted by GoDaddy. So I called GoDaddy because the last two times I broke the blog on updates they were able to work me through it. Each of the other times I somehow managed to change the password on the config.php file while attempting a manual db backup (don’t ask).
But GoDaddy couldn’t help because what I did was even beyond their scope.
What they were at least able to help me with was to at least reassure me that I didn’t damage any of the content files on the site, and to point out that the error was in a line on the (newly updated) wp-includes file.
Now, the automatic update has never worked for me before…it just sort of freezes or times out. So the last two times I’ve done the update I’ve had to download the update files, and then use the instructions for Updating Wordpress Extended in the Wordpress Codex to do the update manually.
The manual update is a bit nerve wracking as it requires deleting files off the server and then replacing them with the new files, and all the while you have to take care not to delete certain other files. You even have to replace files within files (wp-content), without touching the rest of the file. So that’s why I was trying to do the auto update…I thought it would mean less stress.
So what I decided (or more correctly, what I was inspired to do), was to just pretend it was last year when I did the last update. As the new wp-includes file seemed to be causing the error, and since the wp-includes file is deleted off the server as part of the update process, I figured by re-updating it to the older version would work.
And but for the Grace of God (again), I still had the files on my desktop. If I didn’t have the files I would have downloaded the latest version, however, with the plug-ins still enabled I’m not sure how well it would have gone.
I spent yesterday afternoon and this morning creating complete copies of the site, and then making sure things like the wp-content file on the server was saved to my local machine.
Remember the wp-db-backup file I mentioned? I couldn’t figure out how to open it or even where it specifically would go if I could open it (it’s a sql.gz file that apparently needs a special type of unzipping—possibly). But in GoDaddy I figured out how to access the db and restore it to the last version before the update. However, I think since it was a new version issue (and not a content or db issue), I didn’t have to restore the db.
So after about an hour or two of sweating this morning, reading and re-reading the instructions, manually updating and deleting files, I went to the log in screen…and it worked! (Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.)
Being a small business owner is a lot like being the captain of a ship on a heaving ocean. For most things real estate wise I can lean on my two partners, Ron Barry and Kate Stevens, who have also each been in the business for the last decade.
But when it comes to the IT stuff I am truly out there on my own, and when something breaks it’s a very lonely, and very scary position to be in.
It reminds me of the story of when Jesus’ disciples were out on the storm-tossed lake and Jesus was sleeping in the back of the boat. The disciples were seriously freaking out, like I was freaking out, even though the Son of God was right there with them. In my case He helped calm me down and gave me the insight to fix the problem, but also made sure the tools were there so I could fix it.
Thanks be to God!
*Here are just a few of the hats I wear as IT, SEO and SME for St. Augustine Team Realty. Many thanks to Alison Doyle’s blog post on Social Media Job Titles to help me conceptualize these responsibilities…
- Brand Ambassador
- Brand Manager
- Community Manager
- Content Manager
- Content Strategist
- Digital Communications Professional
- Digital Content Manager
- Digital Media Manager
- Digital Media Supervisor
- Director of Community
- Director, Communications Planning
- Director, Online Communications
- Director, Social Marketing and Brand Communications
- Director, Social Media Marketing
- Director of Social Media
- Director of Social Media Communications
- Director, Social Media Relations
- Director of Social Media Strategy
- Engagement Coordinator
- Engagement Manager
- Interactive Media Associate
- Interactive Media Coordinator
- Interactive Media Manager
- Internet Marketing Coordinator
- Internet Marketing Manager
- Manager Digital and Social Media
- Manager, Social Media
- Multi-Media Communications Specialist
- Online Content Coordinator
- Social Media Account Executive
- Social Media Analyst
- Social Media Assistant
- Social Media Associate
- Social Media Coordinator
- Social Media Designer
- Social Media Editor
- Social Media Marketing Coordinator
- Social Media Manager
- Social Media Specialist
- Social Media Strategist
- The Guy That Has Now Broken the Blog Three Times
Hire St. Augustine Team Realty the next time you go to buy or sell. Sean promises never to break your home, though you may not want him to update your blog. Email us at ReQuestion@StAugTeam.com or call Sean at (904) 386-8327.