Although I have been a blogger for 3 months short of five years and started hosting my own blogs and websites, mostly powered by WordPress 3 years 7 months ago, I have never liked the technical side of hosting blogs myself.
Yesterday, though, in a fit, after reading about the hacking incident of a Blogger blog that belongs to an old Chinese temple in Penang, I quickly, well, as quickly as I could, upgraded all my WordPress blogs and backed up all my databases of these blogs as well as my 7 or so Blogger blogs. One can never be too careful.
When I told my friend that I have WordPress powered blogs to upgrade, he said, “No sweat, it’s just a matter of one-click upgrade.” Well, of course it’s easier said than done. Unfortunately, some of my WordPress was older than 2.7 and the WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin doesn’t work anymore and I had to do the upgrade manually.
This took time, obviously, and to create even more frustrations, once, my computer froze and I had to do a force restart and start the process of uploading the new WordPress files to my server all over again.
However, I am glad that all is done now and I learned something new during the exercise of upgrading and backing up. Well, when there is no one who was willing to help or even have time to help, one is forced to learn.
Wow, WordPress is already at version 2.9.1. So fast! I remember that when I first decided to host my own blogs and know totally nothing about WordPress and in fact, I remember how AFRAID I was of the technicalities of WordPress and was afraid that I would not be able to manage my blogs, indeed, it is totally different from blogging on a free blog platform like Blogger and WordPress.com, WordPress was only at 1.9.X
At the speed that WordPress updates itself, I can hardly keep up. I know that newer versions are supposed to cover up security holes but believe me, new ones also have other vulnerabilities too. That’s why they need to keep upgrading. LOL
Frankly, as a blogger with a slew of self-hosted WordPress blogs, I am terribly lazy in updating WordPress on all my blogs. I wish that there would be someone trusted to do all these technical work for me so that I could just concentrate on blogging. With so many blogs, they sure take up a lot of time. Blogs are like bad girlfriends, remember?
I found out, once again, thanks to my wonder webhost, that the problem with my inability to access my WordPress dashboard where I was erroneously directed to a “Page Not Found” was the permission of my wp-admin folder. Somehow, like the problem I faced earlier with 500 Internal Server Error, the permission of my folders was all changed to 777 instead of 755.
My wonderful host not only helped me to troubleshoot the problem but also helped me to change file permission as well as taught me how to do it so that I will know what to do next time.
What makes me wonder, though, is how come these affected blogs could have file permission changed just like that when I didn’t even do anything to my blogs; I didn’t make changes to my WordPress or plug ins. Heck, I didn’t even update my blog with posts. I am so puzzled.
It’s frustrating. Why is it that I am forever having problems with the handful of WordPress hosted blogs? First, it was 500 Internal Server Error, which was rectified by changing the file permission to 755. I did that upon advice from my host.
Now, I just discovered that I could access the Admin Panel of my blogs! You know we log in to our WordPress blogs from /wp-admin? Well, I couldn’t open that page and instead get a “Nothing found for Wp-admin”, which is like a missing post or page.
I am stumped because I didn’t even do anything or make any changes with the blogs. All I wanted to do was update them. At least I tried to. Now that I couldn’t access the Admin page, I wonder how I am able to update them! Didn’t I already say that it’s super frustrating??
I finally solved the problem where some of my blogs returned a 500 Internal Server Error. I mentioned that the main domain was accessible as well as some sub-domain blogs. However, the ones that were important to me were offline.
I discovered the problem when I was faced with the issue of server overload. I mentioned it in passing to my webhost but he was too busy helping me solve the server overload problem which was eventually discovered to be caused by the installation of one too many WordPress plugins. My webhost didn’t suggest a solution for the 500 Internal Server Error problem then. He must have overlooked my enquiry.
Anyway, I wrote in again today after it looks like enough time has passed to monitor the server overload problem and he told me that the problem was that somehow permission was set to 777 for the folders of all my problematic blogs when the highest allowed is only 755.
I changed the permission of all the folders to 755 and all is well now. Luckily. Phew!
As a blogger for a few years already with both Blogger and WordPress hosted blogs, many friends who are new to blogging would ask me which blogging platform is better. I tell them that although Blogger is easy, WordPress offers a whole lot of customization options which we would enjoy using once we understand the workings of WordPress.
For people who are new to WordPress and are afraid of the technicalities of it like when I first started, Mulyoo has a very good WordPress Blog Hosting service where there’s nothing much for you to worry about except to register with Mulyoo, set up a blog and then start blogging.
I liken Mulyoo to having your blog hosted with WordPress.com where you will also have a WordPress blog with a subdomain name except that with Mulyoo, you are encouraged to monetize your blog! If you have a blog with WordPress.com, I am sure you know that they delete blogs that are found to make money online through blogs. If Mulyoo was available back then, I wouldn’t be a victim!
Besides hosting blogs for a nominal fee of US$20 per annum, Mulyoo is also a blog social networking platform with a directory of member blogs so that we could read and comment on the blogs easily and make friends with fellow bloggers.
A couple of days ago, I received the awful news from my web host that http access has been disabled for my hosting account. Of course I was upset. I thought that the issue of server overload has been solved with the installation and activation of WP SuperCache plugin, upgrading of my WordPress to the latest version and upgrading all WordPress plugins that I use.
Apparently that did not solve the problem and they had to disable http access to my account while I get my WordPress databases optimized, or something like that. Now, I am not a technical person but I did read before that using too many plugins could cause a server overload.
I do not know if this was what’s affecting my hosting account when I was told that my account is causing CGI/PHP Overload but I deleted a handful of non-essential plugins from each of my blogs.
Although http access was disabled, I was still able to access my files through FTP and Cpanel, unlike the previous time when my whole account was frozen and I couldn’t even access anything.
I hope that this has solved my problem, though I have no way to monitor the issue. The administrators mentioned that they will monitor, which means that if they found anything wrong, they would just disable my account again and BAM, I would wake up with all my blogs down and ZERO traffic again.
This, simply put, hurts business; MY blog business. And I don’t like it one bit. I wonder if other webhosts will also disable or worse, suspend accounts, when they encounter something similar on their client’s hosting account.