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What a pain in the blog!

Visitors to Obama Conspiracy Theories last night may have experienced a blank screen when they tried to access the home page. Most other pages worked, but access to the latest articles didn’t.

When I learned about the problem today, I started researching the problem and found that by turning the site cache off, users could see all the pages. When I access the site, I am logged in and don’t get cached pages, and I was unaware of the problem.

This evening I tried to upload an image, and it failed. That gave me a clue that perhaps the site was out of disk space. I tried to use the web host’s control panel to check the disk space, but it gave an error.

I tried to FTP to the site, but that failed—it turns out that was an issue with a new version of FileZilla. Eventually I got in and deleted some files, enough that the Control Panel could be used and I found that I was a gigabyte over the limit! I only get 5 GB with this hosting plan.

I thought that since I wasn’t using the cache, I could delete those files – static versions of the pages that don’t have to be generated by WordPress. I started deleting, and deleting. It looked like not only every page on the site was cached, but every page in lists of pages, and every page in lists of categories, and then every list of results from every search term ever entered on the site. I saw the same page deleted a hundred times. I deleted tens of thousands of cached pages, around 2 GB before I was done. The last page go to was a zero-length index.html file – the blank page users were seeing last night.

The caching software I was using is called W3 Total Cache, which I installed because of problems with the former caching program WP Super Cache conflicting with the mobile theme. Now I am only using the browser cache feature of W3 Total Cache which doesn’t use any disk space on the site, but does seem to significantly speed things up. In any case, if you find something isn’t updated, try the browser’s refresh function.

Then digging around I found 1 GB of backup files created by a automatic backup program I once used, that apparently didn’t clean up after itself. 🙄 Anyway, I have lots of disk space now, certainly enough for 2 years and 7 days.

I have always wanted this site to be the way I envisioned that it should be, and I didn’t want advertising. This means that some of the easy solutions like WordPress.com were out and I had to install my own WordPress software and do the maintenance myself. I got what I wanted, but sometimes it has been a pain.

12 Responses to What a pain in the blog!

  1. avatar
    Dave B. January 14, 2015 at 2:11 am #

    Doc, you’re a champ. A real champ. Yay for Doc!

  2. avatar
    justlw January 14, 2015 at 2:25 am #

    If I’m reading this correctly, in summary: your all-powerful political enemies have hacked the site and we should probably panic or at the very least send you large sums of money.

  3. avatar
    Dave B. January 14, 2015 at 2:34 am #

    I just wish he still had that Amazon widget going. I almost feel guilty buying all those zombie books just for the hell of it.

    justlw:
    If I’m reading this correctly, in summary: your all-powerful political enemies have hacked the site and we should probably panic or at the very least send you large sums of money.

  4. avatar
    Craig HS January 14, 2015 at 6:07 am #

    justlw:
    If I’m reading this correctly, in summary: your all-powerful political enemies have hacked the site and we should probably panic or at the very least send you large sums of money.

    I knew it!! Doc condemned those pages to the FEMA DEATH CAMPS. They DO EXIST!!!1!

  5. avatar
    Dave January 14, 2015 at 7:31 am #

    Are you sure Google isn’t somehow responsible? I hear that, when anyone has computer trouble, it is usually a nefarious attack by Google. George Soros’ nephew is on the board of directors, so that pretty much explains everything.

  6. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater January 14, 2015 at 9:09 am #

    Dave:
    Are you sure Google isn’t somehow responsible? I hear that, when anyone has computer trouble, it is usually a nefarious attack by Google. George Soros’ nephew is on the board of directors, so that pretty much explains everything.

    Perhaps you can tell Bob Nelson to let you have access to his server that he still hasn’t unboxed.

  7. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG January 14, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater: Perhaps you can tell Bob Nelson to let you have access to his server that he still hasn’t unboxed.

    Oh, that’s lost cause. A bunch of cave mutants started worshiping it as their god.

  8. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 14, 2015 at 11:32 am #

    Maybe he would sell it to me cheap.

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater: Perhaps you can tell Bob Nelson to let you have access to his server that he still hasn’t unboxed.

  9. avatar
    Reality Check January 14, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

    When I read your description of your blog woes and fixes I remembered why I just stayed with a simple WordPress hosted blog. I can’t do fancy stuff like you have but it is low maintenance.

    Your blog is a really important resource. I am glad it is around. When the Fogbow changed to IP Board a lot of the older content like links and images got hosed.Fortunately, most of the Birther claims and debunking are captured here.

  10. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG January 14, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    In the real world: Oh, part of the site is down. There’s obviously a technical kerfuffle, somewhere down the line. I’ll just get this sorted out.

    In the birther world: Part of the site is down! OBOTS DID IT!!! WE MUST BE OVER THE TARGET!!!!!

  11. avatar
    The Magic M January 15, 2015 at 5:27 am #

    In conspiracy nut world, nothing ever “just happens”. Even if your clothes shrink in the dryer, it’s an attempt by the NWO to intimidate or ridicule you.

  12. avatar
    Norbook January 16, 2015 at 11:12 am #

    You might want to look into using a batch clean-up script, which runs at certain points to fix those backups, and backups of backups. Back in my sysadmin days, I had to do that for a program that created a lot of those, which I found out about when the system locked up due to lack of space.