Apologies & Lessons Learned

Mouse0 Wm


Well that was a couple of days off my life, possibly more, that I’ll never get back.

My sincere apologies if you’ve been trying to read a post over the weekend and encountered an error code or a whole load of gobbledegook. Long story short.. a ‘routine’ WordPress update on Friday morning crashed my whole site. The learning points from this are many and varied but principally:


1. Never again do any sort of work, however simple it may at first appear, having recently published a post. It has the potential to annoy the maximum possible number of people. And..

2. Temporarily deactivate anything over and above a standard WordPress installation before performing an update. Everything, not least the blog owner, stands to run a whole load more smoothly.




I did say, didn’t I, that viewing the Northern Lights is never guaranteed. How true that turned out to be. If you missed the last post click on ‘previous’ at the top of this page or, even quicker, just click HERE.


Aurora Borealis 11.15 019 Wm


My apologies once again.


2017-10-24T19:32:42+00:00December 13th, 2015|Tags: |


  1. Amy at love made my home December 13, 2015 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Agghh, so annoying for you! It is very scary when weird things happen to your blog isn’t it. I had a post recently that I drafted and scheduled and when I went back to it it was all gobbledygook and I couldn’t change anything. It published just fine, but I haven’t been back to look again just in case! Glad that you are all back with us again now. I hope that your Christmas plans are going well. xx

    • Jessica December 13, 2015 at 10:47 pm - Reply

      It is definitely scary when it comes to delving under the bonnet and getting into the code. I always worry that something disasterous is going to happen. We are both well out of our depth at that point.

  2. derrickjknight December 13, 2015 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Very bad luck. Glad you are back

    • Jessica December 13, 2015 at 10:48 pm - Reply

      Thanks Derrick. Good to be back!

  3. Brian Skeys December 13, 2015 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    Technology!! I recently did an apple update which had a few minor glitches, which they sorted. BUT the new photos will not upload to Google’s Picasa which I use to watermark my photos.
    Merry Christmas Jessica.

    • Jessica December 13, 2015 at 10:50 pm - Reply

      If anything positive has come out of this it’s that we now know how to restore the site from nothing. It’s good to know there is a safety net.
      Thanks Brian, you too.

  4. Marian St.Clair December 13, 2015 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    Glad you’re back!

    • Jessica December 13, 2015 at 10:52 pm - Reply

      For a little while I wondered if I’d ever get it back 🙁

  5. CJ December 13, 2015 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    Oh it’s infuriating isn’t it. It sounds like it was a complete nightmare. At least you’re good at the technology stuff though, I wouldn’t know where to start. Good to see that stunning northern lights photo, it’s utterly beautiful. CJ xx

    • Jessica December 13, 2015 at 11:03 pm - Reply

      I’m not at all good with the technology stuff. It took a bit of help from the real techies and a lot of googling but we got there in the end.

  6. Diana Studer December 13, 2015 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    missed your glitches.

    And revelled in your northern lights.
    Something I’ll never see with my own eyes.
    Thank you!

    • Jessica December 13, 2015 at 11:06 pm - Reply

      It’s a truly spectacular show. I probably won’t see whales, that is on my bucket list too.

  7. joturner57 December 13, 2015 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    Always aggravating when gremlns invade one’s computer…As someone with the techcical abilites of a wombat, can really share your angst. However, perseverence furthers…Glad you got it all working again, and really enjoyed your northern lights image. Shall look forward to future posts : )

    • Jessica December 13, 2015 at 11:34 pm - Reply

      Hi Jo and welcome!
      A wombat would make a much better job of it than me. I should stick with a fork and a spade, you know where you are with them.

  8. 1gus1 December 13, 2015 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    Oh, the Northern LIghts . . . . I live in (ever-diminishing) hope . . . 🙂

    • Jessica December 13, 2015 at 11:36 pm - Reply

      It’s taken a few years for us too… always wanted to see them. Now just want to go again.

  9. ontheedgegardening December 13, 2015 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    It did blank me, but thought it was something my end! Definitely worth waiting for and glad you are now sorted 🙂

    • Jessica December 13, 2015 at 11:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks Gill. It’s always far more likely to be me! Hard to believe I once worked in IT isn’t it.

  10. elaine December 13, 2015 at 10:19 pm - Reply


    • Jessica December 13, 2015 at 11:39 pm - Reply

      Or words to that effect..

  11. Jacqueline December 13, 2015 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    Bloody modern technology ….. great when it works …… so frustrating when it goes pear-shaped !!!!
    Glad that you’re back on track Jessica. XXXX

    • Jessica December 13, 2015 at 11:43 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jackie. Extremely frustrating. Now I see the iPad wants an update.. I don’t dare!

  12. Christina December 14, 2015 at 7:47 am - Reply

    I must have been lucky and so I saw your wonderful post about the Northern Lights with no problems. Do you have to do updates because you are “.net” instead of “.wordpress.com”? It never asks me to update, for which I am very grateful.

    • Jessica December 14, 2015 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      When I set up the blog I wasn’t sure where I might go with it in the future so for maximum flexibility decided on a stand alone site. The wordpress software I use comes from wordpress.org and is supposed to be a mirror of wordpress.com. In addition there’s a much larger choice of themes and plugins but the downside is that I have to maintain it, and do all the updates, myself or via the organisation which host the site for me. I have had problems but they’re probably down to me having zero knowledge of the technical side of it! I muddle on.

  13. Jill Anderson December 14, 2015 at 10:41 am - Reply

    How stressful for you, but I’m glad you got it all sorted & learned things along the way, I must admit that I’ve been putting off updating my wordpress site….

    • Jessica December 14, 2015 at 7:45 pm - Reply

      I hope I haven’t put you off even further.
      In the end, having had the site restored by the host, I reverted to a standard wordpress theme, deactivated all the plugins and tried the update again. It worked! Then ‘all’ I had to do was reinstall the theme and build it back to how I’d had it before. And fix some bugs that the theme developer had already identified with WP 4.4. From now on I’ll always do it this way, just to be on the safe side!

  14. AnnetteM December 14, 2015 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Oh poor you. You have had similar problems before if I remember. Do you host your own version of WordPress then or is it the custom upgrade that you have? I don’t and never seem to get asked to ungrade. Think I will stick with the simple out of the box version. Anyway, I didn’t notice anything and enjoyed your wonderful photos as usual. Glad you got it all sorted anyway.

    • Jessica December 14, 2015 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      Yes, I’m on WordPress.org, self hosted. The simple upgrades are done automatically, but for major changes they suggest backing up the site first (wise move..!) and they’re then initiated manually via the dashboard.

  15. Josephine December 14, 2015 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    Yes, I tried several times to tune in but got the error code, I was hoping you would have it all fixed before Christmas and miss out on all of your sumptuous pictures !
    Happy you are up and running once again 🙂

    • Jessica December 14, 2015 at 7:57 pm - Reply

      Sorry Jo. It was so frustrating because for several hours I was locked out of the system, even though I had some ideas of how I could put it right. But we got there in the end and at least I will know what NOT to do next time!

  16. Jennifer December 14, 2015 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    I’m sorry you’re having such issues with your blog lately. I wish I had advice. I think I’ve been missing a lot of your posts for the past month or two. They just aren’t showing in my blog feeds for some reason. I don’t know why. When I do see one, I feel very excited like it’s real treat. I do enjoy your blog very much. I hope you are doing well. Take care and have a good week, Jessica.

    • Jessica December 14, 2015 at 7:59 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jennifer. I’m sorry you’re not getting the posts. The only thing I can suggest is that you trying cancelling the follow and then resubscribing. That may well reset it.

  17. Virginia December 15, 2015 at 7:34 am - Reply

    So glad you’re back, Jessica! At least we weren’t worried about your health, or Mike’s! It’s a worry when someone disappears without trace, but it was fairly obvious the technology gremlins had got you.

    • Jessica December 15, 2015 at 12:22 pm - Reply

      I know what you mean. Quite a few bloggers have disappeared without trace recently. Thanks Virginia.

  18. snowbird December 15, 2015 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    I wondered why I couldn’t get that post. Glitches eh??? It is maddening isn’t it?I just loved The Northern lights, amazing! Lucky you!!!xxx

    • Jessica December 16, 2015 at 10:12 pm - Reply

      It’s infuriating. Technology is wonderful when it works. The Northern Lights were spectacular!

  19. Amy December 15, 2015 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    Glad I got to see your Northern Lights post before the carnival began… 😉 My difficulties with Blogger have all been self-made – once I learned to stick with their “Simple” templates… Oh well, live and learn…

    • Jessica December 16, 2015 at 10:24 pm - Reply

      I suspect all my problems are self made too. Going for a third party theme is for the technically competent. Which most clearly I am not.

  20. Charlie@Seattle Trekker December 16, 2015 at 12:26 am - Reply

    Love your Northern Lights photo and thanks for the WP advice.

    • Jessica December 16, 2015 at 11:02 pm - Reply

      Three and a half years in to WordPress I still feel I have an awful lot to learn.

  21. Alistair December 18, 2015 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Northern lights, marvellous, you would think coming from Aberdeen it would have been a regular occurrence to see this. I only ever saw them on a handful of occasions and I have lived for a hundred years, well approximately.
    I also do wordpress.org and just click on every update they tell me about, guess I have been lucky. Mind you I often come a cropper with experimenting.

    • Jessica December 18, 2015 at 9:26 pm - Reply

      We are seriously in the brown stuff at the moment. The last update just didn’t go well for some reason. Huge problems still to resolve. It all seems very easy when it is going well. When it doesn’t you quickly find you are out on your own and, in my case, with no technical expertise whatsoever.

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