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Handlebarmoustachelife.com is Rescued from Oblivion

Emergency Repairs to My WordPress Installation!

Don’t mess with handlebar moustache life! lol

Well, this web site just dodged a bullet. I did an automatic update to WordPress February 7 and it trashed the whole thing! Really, it was the layout. Several rows of junk code was at the top of each page due to an error, and when I did a system update for the whole site hoping to fix it, that was a bit corrupted and all the sidebar widgets were trashed, so I put it in Maintenance Mode until I had time to fix it.

man with handlebar moustacheFortunately, I was able to repair the installation rather than having to re-install the whole thing. I had to download the full install file package for the latest WordPress version and manually replace the files on my serve via FTP transfer using FileZilla, a free FTP program. It was a great relief that it worked.

I’ve made a few minor changes and made the site template a bit wider to accommodate some widgets, but things are back to mostly normal.

  • I restored the Google calendar events listing plugin (All-in-One Events Calendar) to show Moustache and Beard competition events.
  • Added Upcoming Events widget to right sidebar instead of list of all posts on the site. (Removed this as it was adding a lot of time to the page load. Events are still listed on the Competitions page.)
  • Found another plugin (called Auto-hyperlink URLs) to turn the web addresses in the listed events in it into clickable hyperlinks! Score!
  • I also added page caching to speed up page loading in your browser.
  • Optimized the header image so it is about 35 kb instead of 244 kb.
  • Added a Lazy Load plugin to load images only as you scroll the page to bring them into view.
  • I added a new feature where you can click a link to add a post you like to a personalized list of favorite posts which you can view later using a link at the right end of the menu bar.
  • Got the mobile theme working again.
  • Added plugin to insert alt and title tags for images site-wide to improve SEO.
  • Figured out how to get my post lists to be more centered on the center column of the page using CSS.
  • There is a new Site Map page as well to give you better navigation and make it easier to find things.
  • There have also been a few updates to some posts.
  • Installed a backup plugin (see below) that sends the backup as a zip file to my DropBox account on a scheduled basis.
  • Downloaded all my uploaded images to my hard drive via ftp.
  • Renamed a few things on the menu bar.
  • Added a post expiry plugin (Electric Studio Auto Post Expire) to use for for posts announcing events.
  • Installed a maintenance mode plugin.
  • Added breadcrumbs below menu bar.
  • Updated other plugins.
  • Deleted unused plugins I know don’t work well for me.
  • Installed a good SEO plugin (called WordPress SEO) and have begun updating posts and pages to utilize that.
  • Started adding captions and alt text to images (that will take a while).
  • I still need to set thumbnail images for about 8 posts but the featured image function in this version of WordPress has a bug that makes it complicated so that may wait.

I guess you could say I’ve been busy here.

Sorry for the interruption. Word to the wise: backup everything properly before doing that, and never allow self-scheduled updated to the system if you haven’t backed up first. One I am now using is called BackWPup. Also, you will want to install plugins from downloaded zip files rather than auto-install. That way if you auto-update a plugin later and it breaks things you can revert to the previous version by uninstalling the new one and installing the old one instead. If you already have a lot installed I suggest just downloading the plugins folder via ftp.

Visit my friends at The Handlebar Club Forum