Broke the blog…again

I’ve spent the better part of this morning immersed in code that I do not speak.

In my attempts to pretty-up the bloggity, I’ve killed the original structure of my posts. And then I killed the whole blog.

Yep, sent this bad boy to white screen – – you know, the one where the page load indicator swirls around endlessly, but nothing actually loads?

AAAHHHHHGGGGHHHHHHHH!

Hoping to find help in the forums, I happened upon a very terse post reading “this is not a support forum. Do not post things about your blog failing.” Moving quickly on, I found a support link. I clicked it. “Live support” offered a 26 minute wait. I waited. The minutes ticked down on a clock not operating in 60 second increments. And when it finally hit 1 minute, it cycled itself back up to 26! That changed about 3 minutes later, when a helper who introduced herself as Carol (though her login did not match) finally asked for my credentials.

She logs into my cpanel (which I was already staring at) and sends me a string of code, calling it my “error log.” I reply that I have no idea what any of that means and “I simply want to be able to see my WordPress dashboard again. The entire site, right now, is unavailable. My efforts to backup/restore have given error.” She says, “I understand,” and offers to recover my blog with BackUp Pro. “Sure, I hope it works better when you do it,” I say. She types back, “which update would you like, I have…” And though I’m thinking “anyone that will make my blog work again,” I type an appropriate response hoping to get back to before I started tampering with my themes this morning. “Recovering now,” she types. Minutes later, she says, “ok, done. All files successfully restored.”

I reload. White screen. The only thing reminding me that I have a blog is the little icon quote marks in the url frame.

“White screen. It did not fix the problem.” She says, sending me another error code.

“Yes, I got the same when I reloaded. What do I do?”

“You will need to fix the error message.” She replies, “Go to a WordPress help forum.”

At this point – nearly an hour into panic, I couldn’t help but ask, “Isn’t that what you are? Live support aka ‘HELP’?”

I receive no reply. So I thanked her – refraining from adding “for nothing” – and clicked helplessly through the Web Hosting Help pages. I typed my problem into the search. I browsed the resulting links. I attempted to load my page on a different browser program. Dead ends. Dead links. Like my blog…

I googled for web designers. It’s as good a time as any to seek professional help, right? Maybe they can make it look like I want while fixing whatever I broke. I come across an entire ‘company’ of would-be designers whose personal blogs look worse than what I was trying to get away from with my fiddling. No bueno.

I searched for my specific error code and happened upon an entire NextGen page about bugs in updates and disfunctional plugins. A gallery broke my blog? A blasted photo display program killed the page I use to display pictures and stories of my life?

Irony.

Determined to eliminate NextGen from everywhere, I returned to my host company and searched for ways to delete plug ins.

Unplug this gallery, save the photos!

Thank God I am tenacious… determined… stubborn… cheap… broke(!).

I landed on a page for web hosting help titled “Disable or Delete Plugins/Themes on a Disabled WordPress site.”

AHA!

Toggling back and forth from page to page, I managed to eliminate the offending program from my page. Gone is Ri’s modeling gallery, but it’s a small price to pay for access to the remainder of my memories.

And now… I need to give this poor page a face lift that it’ll actually benefit from.

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