I couldn’t get my images to display, my permalinks weren’t working correctly and more importantly, my posts kept throwing a 404 when I posted on Facebook or Google+.
I checked the WordPress forums and this seemed to be a common occurrence with various people when they did an upgrade on WordPress. Weird!
Now my WordPress Blog was not working! Really a bummer! The forums had advice to fix these issues but were sometimes beyond my level of understanding so I struggled and still couldn’t get anything resolved.
I complained to a few of my friends that the trouble started immediately after I upgraded WordPress to v3.8, but everyone was convinced WordPress was not the problem.
I know a few WordPress geeks and I reached out to them. Each worked with me diligently trying different things, discovering different things to correct and each time, (for a minute!), my posts didn’t throw a 404.
Things seemed to go back to normal and then BANG!!! It would happen again! Each time I think I cried. 🙁 I was very, very unhappy.)
All these issues made me want to stop blogging and kill my wordpress blog. I started posting once a week instead of my normal twice a week, my traffic went down, my Alexa rating went up and my motivation went down.
I didn’t want to update to the next version of WordPress afraid that it would get worse!
Anyway, long story short, last week I touched base with Kumar Gauraw, WordPress Guru Extra-ordinaire!
Kumar is in my blog commenting group and is another WordPress guru/wizard. BIG UPS to Kumar – he got my blog fixed!!! WooHooo! Kumar owns his own business and does hosting, with security, speed, backups/, maintenance and more.
Check out his website right here!
He found out there were a number of problems, not just one or two. After spending hours online with me, he finally straightened it all out. I was amazed and sooooo very, very grateful! 🙂 Thanks Kumar! Can’t thank you enough!
So now, I’m in full swing again and as usual, I like to write about what I learned so I can pass it on to others. So here are 4 Things To Always Check On Your WordPress Blog.
One thing I learned is that I had too many plugins. In reality I only had about 15, all recommended by various people who know more about WordPress than I do, but (with the WP upgrade – I still believe this) some were interfering with others. We got rid of some of those plugins.
A plugin can be working perfectly until an upgrade or another plugin causes issues. So we deactivated some and got them down to a minimum of necessary plugins needed for normal operation.
I’m also going to keep a list of what date I added the plugin so I can more closely associate dates with upgrades and know ‘where’ I should start to look first. 🙂
What I discovered was that my Backup Plugin was not working! And guess what – I’ve lost a number of files/posts (I still don’t know how).
This was further verified when I went to Google to do my regular monthly cleanup on 404’s and many of the 404 errors were from posts I knew I wrote, but are no longer in my blog! @#@$%$^% Yall know what that means, right?!!
So far, it looks like I’ve lost about 10 posts, but I know there are more. I ‘m still checking it out. I found another WordPress plugin for Backup, but if you have any recommendations, please let me know because I don’t know one from the next; good or bad.
I need a good one so I don’t lose any more files and I’d like it to be easy to implement.
3. Site Map
One of the things that Kumar discovered was that my sitemap was incorrect. Now I can’t begin to tell you how it works or why it was wrong. I would have never thought to look there to fix my problems.
If you’re like me and know nothing about site maps, I found out about sitemaps from this website is: “Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling.
In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.”
So Google was crawling my site, and I had a ton of 404 errors and some weird stuff like links with posts and categories that make no sense and do not link to anything on my site.
I’m in the process of cleaning up all that on Webmaster Tools each night. There were over 275 of them. I’m down to 242 as of last night. Knocking them out slowly but surely.
4. Regular Cleanup and Broken Links
It was a natural part of this cleanup process. I wrote a post a while ago on cleaning up in Webmaster Tools and broken links. At least monthly, we should do a check and keep it clean.
So what did I learn from this experience?
- Never give up because ‘someone’ can fix you blog! (I was soooo close to almost giving up!)
- Make sure your backups are always being performed. Losing all that hard work on some of my posts is really irritating.
- Check your plugins and make sure they are all up to date and working correctly. Sometimes a plugin is no longer supported and all of a sudden “goes away.’ Make sure you keep an eye on them as well.
- Check and make sure you clean up and get rid of broken links. It can effect your traffic as well. Check Webmaster Tools regularly and perform cleanup if you have too.
As usual, I hope this helps others who have similar issues. Remember if you have a backup plugin recommendation, please let me know in comments. Would love to know what’s best to use. Thanks in advance.
Take care for now,