27 Jul Being creative isn’t always about art, but life can make you creative.
Being creative isn’t always about art… and the past 24 hours have taught me that in scads! For the past few weeks I have been aware that this site takes more time to load than is optimal, so have been tweaking settings behind the scenes and responding to the feedback I’ve received. One solution was to remove the large photo of the woman relaxing on the wall on the home page and replace it with a smaller and faster loading image. I spent ages last weekend trimming fractions of a second from the loading time for the page. I wasn’t loving the end result, but it certainly loaded faster!
On Monday I responded to another piece of feedback about image speeds and spent several hours working on that. Having long ago learned from Carrie in ‘Sex and the City‘ the importance of backing up anything online, I have software installed that automatically backs up every last pixel… but had changed the interval to once a week some time ago. Yesterday, as I sat down to write a new post, I noticed that the site was loading even slower than usual, so in frustration deleted all the “go faster” plugins. My reward? The white screen of death. Absolutely nothing of the site or the dashboard was visible.
This is where being creative isn’t always about art… As I sat and wondered what to do, I came up with several options. I could try temporarily deleting all the plugins still on the site to see if any of them were playing up. Absolutely nothing. The white screen of death was still visible. Onl;ine I found the suggestion that perhaps I could use the backup plugin and my backup files to restore my site… except I couldn’t get into the dashboard to do so.
Feeling slightly disenchanted with the whole process, I went to the website for the backup company to see what I could do. I was taken to a support page where they said they could restore my site but gave no indication of what it would cost… I completed a form asking for the approximate amount, and realized they were based in England so long gone from the office. I woke this morning to a very unhelpful response to send them money and they’d see what they could do…
In amongst my research findings was the suggestion that my hosting company might be able to undo the damage I had done. I logged in and chatted with a woman in the Ukraine. She told me the database had been corrupted. I asked if she could restore my site to the way it was before I corrupted the database, but she couldn’t. She could only replace it with a copy of the corrupted one. Yesterday’s backups were history… She gave me a link to instructions for uploading files to overwrite the mess… except my saved files weren’t the needed format to follow through.
I felt that if I could only think more creatively, I could find a solution. The pressure was on as I wasn’t going to give an unspecified amount to have my site restored until I had tried everything else. I returned to the backup company website. Several searches later, and deep in the ‘restoring your backup files’ instructions was a really simple solution! Delete the bad site, reinstall WordPress and their plugin, then pull the backup files in and set them to unfold.
Since you can see the site you know I succeeded, though not without receiving many big red warning messages suggesting impending Armageddon if I persisted. My old site was lost by this point, so the odds of achieving more than a dead site seemed to be definitely in my favor! As you may know, I’m a designer, not a tech, but over the many years of building sites have learned that persistence is usually my friend. In this case my determination not to give money over to the unhelpful company fueled my desire to find a creative solution. So, even if you aren’t necessarily feeling like creating art, know that by facing and solving everyday problems, you are still being creative.