Oops! That was awkward

That had me worried for a while. I thought for a moment I might have lost two complete blogs, this one and our travel blog, but luckily I was able to restore from backups and had an offline copy of the post that was recent enough not to have been backed up. It’s all back and working with some lessons learned.

The roots of the problem go back a couple of years to when I decided to move our travel blog from wordpress.com to my own hosting service, mostly to gain more control over available themes and other matters of appearance. At the time my hosting service was minimal and had only a single MySQL database so I had to install both blogs, this one and the travel blog, in the same database.

That worked OK but earlier this year I thought I might want to do something else in MySQL and upgraded my hosting to allow three databases. That allowed me to install two instances of WordPress, one for each blog, with their own databases. I got those working by importing the contents of the existing versions using a little subterfuge about the URLs which had to be different during the import and have the new blogs appear at the original URLs when done. This blog has had no activity since that change but the travel blog chronicled our 3 weeks in Singapore, India, and Nepal and our two camper-van trips around Queensland.

I had no immediate use for the original MySQL database that served both previous blogs so I left it in place until today when I decided it was no longer needed. I had installed those blogs using Installatron in cPanel so I used the Uninstall feature to remove the blogs and their database.

When I went to check on my current blog versions they were gone, with empty directories. Evidently I had somehow left the previous installations pointing to the directories where I had installed the new blogs and the contents were deleted. I don’t know why that happened but it may have resulted from redirecting the URLs used for the old versions to the new directories.

The new databases were still intact so I downloaded backups of those before using the Installatron backups (also downloaded for safety) to restore the blogs. Fortunately that worked and everything is back to working as it should.

I suspect the lesson to be learned is not to procrastinate. On reflection I would probably have done better to have secured proper backups when I first made the change and then uninstalled the old versions immediately. At least then if there was a problem I could have immediately restored and tried again.