Why You Should Never Neglect Your Site
Some of us are very technical here in WA and then there are those of us who are not. I fall into the latter group.
I have learned a very valuable lesson and I wanted to share it with you.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
I have two websites. I also have a Facebook page for each of those websites. I do a lot of posting on my Facebook pages including adding links to my website articles.
The other day, I went onto my Facebook page for my health site. When I went to click on a link to one of my articles, a strange looking page popped up. I tried a different article link and the same thing happened. So I posed the question here in WA. You can read it here:
This Facebook problem persisted for TWO days. I tried and tried to get the problem resolved. I contacted a few people I thought could help me solve this problem, I did research on the internet, I even sent Facebook a form explaining my problem. After a while, it was even thought my Facebook page account had a virus. The problem persisted. I was extremely frustrated to say the least!
Since the Facebook links weren't working and I didn't want my visitors subjected to this, I knew I needed to make a decision. So I decided to delete the Facebook page. Once a page is marked for deletion, it takes 14 days to actually deactivate.
I walked away from it and worked on some other things. However, it was still bothering me that I had this problem.
So later last night, I decided to check my links one more time and guess what? The links worked! They were going straight to my website article as they should. How about that? But how did that happen? I figured it was a glitch in the system and it didn't matter right? All was well again. Yay!
So, I took my Facebook page out of deletion mode. Whew! Glad that was over! Problem is solved....
....So I thought.
NOT SO FAST
With the Facebook problem behind me, I decided to get up this morning and work on some things with my site. When I logged in to my site, a page popped up that looked like nothing but computer coding all over it. I tried it again. This time an additional page popped up giving me a warning there was a virus! I tried it a third time and the same page popped up with all the code all over it. I felt my heart totally sink! My site was gone!
I immediately took a screen shot of the code-filled page and sent it to site support. In their usual fashion, they got back with me right away letting me know my site was restored. They gave me a technical explanation (which is way over my head) but then also told me this - "you need to keep your plugins and theme updated with WordPress version".
So here's what happened. The other day when my Facebook links to my website didn't work, it never dawned on me to try to LOG IN to my site's back office. I was only going to my site like a visitor would by just putting in the web address in Google. It looked fine from that perspective (I'm sure there is some technical explanation for that but I am not sure what that is). For whatever reason, last night, I tried my Facebook links and they were fine. How? I don't know. It's a complete mystery.
How did all this happen in the first place?
I'll tell you how it happened. Bottom line - I was spending too much time on one site and not the other. I did not keep up with the maintenace of both sites.
I know some wise people here in WA have written about this is the past and I didn't take it seriously - until now. I WILL NEVER LET THAT HAPPEN AGAIN! That was a huge learning experience for me.
When you neglect your site - especially the back office of it - things can go dreadfully wrong. You have no idea how one thing can lead to something so huge.
In this situation, I made the dreadful mistake of not keeping up with things. I know, I know - a crazy thing to do...you don't have to tell me. I have already beat myself up about this so no one can possibly beat me up more.
Don't let this happen to you! I realize now why people warn against having more than one site...especially when you're new. PROCEED WITH CAUTION!
In order to keep up with my schedule, I put everything in my phone as a reminder. I have now added a schedule for website maintenance.
Moral of the story -
DON'T NEGLECT YOUR SITE!
MAKE SURE YOUR THEME AND PLUGINS ARE UPDATED ACCORDINGLY!
Thanks to all my WA friends who took the time to try to help me over the past two days (you know who you are) and also to our site support for getting me back on track so quickly today. I appreciate all of you.
Have a great rest of the weekend everyone.
~ Yvette ~