The Lab Rat Report Continued

On Monday I wrote about the Hosting Day from Hell that took almost 12 hours to get everything back up and running. I was going to have this post live yesterday, but something call “Life” intervened and I was in the real world for most of the day. Geez out there it is really scary.

Options, I really needed options and I needed them fast. I don’t know about you but I get a lot of targeted traffic on my blogs and having two of them unaccessible was unacceptable. There are more than a dozen blogs on this particular hosting package and they were all down. The gateway to their folders was blocked. I had tired the usual of removing the htaccess file but that hadn’t worked. What to do.

One of the bogs hosted is a relatively new one. For No REal Reason. It is just about “stuff”. None related random thoughts and stuff I want to write about but don’t have anyplace to put it. So I bought and set up a blog.

Move to the other Hosting Package

I don’t like having all my eggs in one basket. I’m running a business off my blogs. I don’t blog to get leads, I blog because it is my business model for marketing. If my site is down I’m not doing business. It is also why I have more than one site. If something should happen to one, I have the others. If by some freak happening one of the blogs suddenly disappeared from Google search results I would have the other still up and running while I found the issue and corrected it. Therefore having two hosting packages with blogs on each also means if one server goes down at my hosting company I have the other one up and running and if need be can move sites to the other package.

This is what I decided to do as a first step. I would move For No REal Reason to the other hosting site.

  1. Make a copy of all the files for the site to my local computer
  2. remove the URL from the hosting package
  3. copy all the files to a directory on the other hosting site
  4. Point the url to a directory on the other hosting site
  5. Wait for the DSN to reset

It took about an hour to do these steps. I did move the image directory because it was small. I did not move the MYSQL database to the new hosting site. It was functioning fine. Yes you can have your blog database on one hosting package and your blog a different hosting package.

It worked. As a last resort I now knew I could move the main blogs to the other hosting site if need be.

Find the Block to the Gateway

I knew something was blocking access to the folders and since it wasn’t htaccess related it seemed logical to remove the index.php file from the root and see what would happen.

A little background is necessary. I did something I wouldn’t do again and should probably address in a post of its own. In short here is the issue which can cause problems.

The Site itself has as the “home” url to which the hosting package is assigned. Since that URL is associated with the root, I installed the Oro Valley blog in the root. If I want to have another blog with its own dedicated URL I create a folder, copy the WordPress files to that folder and install a new copy of WordPress. Because I use a custom permalink structure it can take some time for it to be recognized. But to date this has worked just fine

I backed up all the files in the root and deleted the index.php file and all the related blog files. Within 10 minutes all the other blogs came back up.

I reinstalled the WordPress files in the root and the blogs all disappeared again. (Drat)

I started looking at the index.php files for all the blogs one at a time, then noticed something. The index.php file for WordPress 2.6.1 was very different from the earlier versions. All the blogs including the new experiment blog had been updated to the latest version. HOWEVER, the blog on the root directory had not.

It took about an hour of trial and error but I finally was able to reinstall WordPress in the root, leave out the index.php file, run an upgrade routine to the latest version. Copy the index.php file from one of the upgraded folders to the root directory and within 10 minutes all the blogs were back including the one in the root directory.

Time 9 pm.

This entire adventure started at 8:32 am just 12 1/2 hours before, in which time I had only aged a year. Yes I obsess and treat these blogs like they are my children.

So that’s the rest of the story, as far as it goes. I’m still going to combine the news blog and the Tucson AZ blog into a single blog. NO that isn’t putting all my eggs in one basket. I still have other blogs I write on other servers and in different hosting packages.

The next step will be once combined, quickly removing the duplicate pages such as Contact Us CMA request and Home Finder pages.

Then begins the process of 301 redirects for those posts to the Tucson AZ blog. I can hardly wait for the adventures that lie ahead.

Finally, since I’m closing in on 1000 words I thought I would throw in a picture which has nothing to do with this post.


  1. I totally feel your pain on this. I have been going through issues this week. Not with hosting but my computers. My main laptop I have been using for a year died. Fine I had a backup so I will get another one. So I got one from a local place (computer A) it lasted a whole day. So I order one from IBM. It arrives lasts a week. So I return computer A and then “fix it” it last about an hour. Reinstall the OS on the IBM. Woo hoo it works. Oh except if I move it a little it sometimes crashes. Wheeeeee. I love computers.

  2. Nice chronology of what sounds to be a painful day. I have to start playing with the backend of my blog soon to see if I can somehow start getting the individual post to show up in the search engines.