Whew!.That was close!

Last Update: April 11, 2020

Last night was the most scariest night of my life since the turn of the year.

I had just spent the day finishing up an article which I published around 5pm. I even posted a question here asking if publishing an article using SiteContent is the same as publishing one from the Wordpress backend?

I got a great deal of answers from the community on that. Thanks to everyone who contributed. Much appreciated????.

Anyway, as soon as my content was live, I decided to do a quick post on social media to attract some traffic before requesting for comments from SiteComments. That was when I saw an ad from another website about affiliate programs. I've been keeping my eyes on the ground for a while now in search of good programs to join although I'm already promoting WA.

When I visited the site (which is owned by a much higher ranked, more experienced WA member) I was wowed by how awesome the website looked. What caught my eye was that this site was using a theme much much similar to mine...yet completely different. I couldn't tell if it was a pro version or if it was looking that way because of all the loads of content that was on it.

Needless to say I sort of wanted my site looking like that...and the messed up part is...I thought I could do it myself.

Yeah...I'm still wowed by how "simple" my brain was when I thought of that.

I quickly went on YouTube and searched for the theme name and simply added "tutorial to set up".

I found one immediately and it looked so simple. Within the next ten minutes I had downloaded the plugin (some sort of importer - which was to import the exact structure I saw on the website), a theme editor tool, new theme zip file, and was ready to perform my very first "plastic surgery" on my one-month old website.

The entire process took about five minutes before I saw the message; "All Done! Click View To Visit Your New Website".

I was super excited as I clicked on that mouse...then my heart sank into my a**!

Where was everything? No, the right question was, where was anything? My logo, my headers, my menu, MY ARTICLES....?????

What if there were visitors on my page right now?

Fam, my temperature shot up immediately. I felt sick. All my hard work, weeks of research, what had I just done?

Then another bombshell hit me. It was as if someone had opened my chest and slapped me right on the heart (apologies if this description offends you). I realized I hadn't backed up my site!

I froze behind the PC for about two minutes...then I started to laugh. I really don't know why I did that. Now that I think about it, I'm sure I "lost it" for about a minute because there was absolutely nothing funny about that moment. I didn't know what to do. I didn't even know what to think. In hindsight, maybe I should have contacted SiteSupport immediately but in that moment my brain was simply not functioning right.

After about five minutes I told myself to relax, repeated to myself that if it has been done, it can be undone. I slowly started to think clearly again and took a critical look at the site. I started noticing my articles one by one. They were very different in terms of how they looked, but they were still my contents nonetheless.

My logo, however, was gone. The images I had set up in my headers were gone. There were dummy articles written in German where my latest articles should have been. My Contact Us info now addressed the owners of the theme and there were four new "founders of my website" with their profile photos, listed below the page.


I wasn't going down that easily guys. I checked the time; 10:02pm...then went into beast mode in my Wordpress backend. I still didn't fully know what exactly I was doing, I just knew I had to undo it all.

Even my Wordpress backend looked different. There were new pages and posts I had never seen. Contents I couldn't read. I just started deleting them (the new additions). After each deletion, I update and view my website to see if there was any change. Slowly enough, I started to get the hang of it.

I remembered what my WordPress backend looked like before and started to notice it taking shape to its old self once again. What joy I felt in me heart!

The last deletion I did was a page titled "Home". As soon as I removed it, hit the update button and visited my site...there was my baby again! Ohhh what joy. What a relief????

When I checked the time again, it was just a little past 12 midnight. I was saved! I had never been so happy with how simple my website looked. Lol.

So yeah, last night for me was a huge scare. My advice? If you're new to this, and by new I mean, never built a website or don't know much about Wordpress or if you're now starting out, don't be in a rush to look like the top cats just yet.

The website I was trying to look like had been worked on for the past 2 years and was still being worked on. I was a month old...Jesus Christ what was I thinking????

So give yourself some time and work your way up. I know eventually I'll have a very "professional-looking" site with all the toys just like the top cats have today. Could be a year, two or even three. But it certainly wasn't going to be a month. I know that much now.

Lesson learned.

If you can share a newbie mistake you've experienced too, maybe you can add it in the comment section so others can learn as well. I wish everyone one the best of luck and success in your journey.

Stay safe wherever you are in the world.



Join the Discussion
Write something…
Recent messages
MerLev Premium
Something similar happened to me but I was not able to get my website back because something else happened offline that took me completely out of line for a big chunk of the year - like 6 months!

My website had already been indexed as well. It was eventually deleted and Site support asked me if I wanted it back but I’d lost interest in the niche, so I hope I will be able to let it be as it is for now.

I’ve decided to start off promoting WA first. I have gone back to recap on Phase 1 of Bootcamp and will do Online Certification before resuming Phase 2 of Bootcamp. A bit of a weird detour but that’s how it’s going to work for me in context.

‘Each to his or her own time and pace’ is one good value of WA that has worked really well for me so far.

Congrats to you on the other hand. Not only did you retrieve yours but speedily as well. You are going at a good pace. It’s only up and up indeed from here.

Wishing you greatest success in your online adventures.
HoratioDM Premium
Thanks for sharing this experience with us. Thanks to you I remembered that I still hadn't installed a back-up plugin on my new website, so I will be doing it today. It's true that mistakes are often the best teacher and we shouldn't be afraid to share them with others.
Codjoe Premium
Glad this reminded you Horatius. Get that backup done asap. It's not worth the stress, trust me.
LawrenceHill Premium
Great post ... and I glad you were able to sort your issues. Obviously you will learn from the mistakes, you already have by the look of it.

Just want to comment on your 'lost it' remark. You didn't lose it. You managed it and dealt with it effectively

Laughing in the face of adversity is actually a coping mechanism, and a very good one. It stops us over-panicking and makes us recognise that things aren't really that serious and can be fixed.
Codjoe Premium
That is a very interesting viewpoint Lawrence. I never thought of that way.

Thank you, man. It really was a reflex action but I'm damn proud of myself now...lol
Ricthor1 Premium
Thanks for sharing this Emmanuel. Definitely a scary incident. I have done similar things in the past. The upside is that sometimes through the process of correcting mistakes you learn a LOT. TI think I have learned more by fixing blunders than I have studying how-to articles!

Here's to our success!

Codjoe Premium
Yes, indeed Ric. Although some blunders are not necessary at times, there's no denying that a lot can be learnt no matter how bad a situation looks.

To more success and more blunders to learn from when need be...lol

ChrystopherJ Premium Plus
Glad you got it sorted :-)

It's definitely heart wrenching when something like that happens!

From your blog, the process you took for the issues to occur, were the fact you mentioned you installed a new Theme file and used an Importer.

Logos and Theme specific settings are not carried between Theme changes. The same goes for custom menu's and widgets.

WordPress now allows for a Preview option, where you can start to build this up before making it Active, but it's always best to quickly check all of these settings after changing your Theme.

The importer will have imported all of the dummy text, and the home page will have been set as Static Page, instead of displaying your Blog Roll.

You did well to get it all back on your own though, my hat off to you ;-)

P.s. Always Backup before a Major Change like that ;-)
Codjoe Premium
Wish I knew all these last night Chrys. It would have saved me hours of anxiety and panic. Thanks for the new information. I'll definitely be more careful next time.

P.S. Site is fully backed up as at this morning. Taking no chances whatsoever! :)
ChrystopherJ Premium Plus
You'll be a WP Expert before you know it :-)

Most of my knowledge has come through Trial & Error over the many years ;-)