Wordpress ate my blog and I want it back.
July 23, 2008 1:17 PM   Subscribe

Upgraded to the latest Wordpress and now all posts and content have disappeared!

I've asked for help already on the Wordpress forum but so far no replies and this is a big emergency!

I did the upgrade to the latest version (2.6) a few days ago using the automatic upgrade plugin. Everything worked fine other than the Bad Behavior plugin which no longer works properly after the upgrade, so I disabled that. I've made no other recent changes and I've been able to post a few entries since the upgrade with no problems (other than those I tracked down to Bad Behavior).

This morning, just about everything on the blog is gone, as in all of my pages and more importantly, all of my posts. The theme is working fine, the site still shows up ok but all of the content is missing and it says "Sorry, no posts matched your criteria" on the homepage or if you follow a link to any of the posts.

In the admin/manage area for pages and posts... it's all gone, over two years of content. Those columns where all my posts should be (and which where there as of last night before I went to sleep) are now empty as if nothing had ever been posted. All of the comments and tags however are still there, though when I look at the comments there is no link showing what post they should be attached to (since all of the posts are gone).

I tried to do a test post, but when I publish it nothing happens. It takes me back to the manage area, and there is no new post showing there.

I certainly didn't wipe out all of my content and no one else has access to it (it has not been hacked). Any idea what's happened and how to fix it? When I did the automatic upgrade I had it download all the important backup files (I followed all the instructions and downloaded everything that it prompted me to). Now when I go to look inside the zip files to see what's in there in case I need to do a re-install, those zip files are empty! WTF?

So I basically don't even have a backup to restore with... of anything. But everything was there last night... and now it's not.

How and why did all my stuff disappear? And please please please tell me that you know a way for me to get it all back.
posted by RoseovSharon to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
More info: disabling all remaining plugins does not correct this problem.
posted by RoseovSharon at 1:23 PM on July 23, 2008

Have you tried asking your host if there is a backup that they have on file? Most will, and losing a week or month's worth of content is better than losing everything.
posted by theichibun at 1:33 PM on July 23, 2008

Do you have access to the database? Could you check if it still populated with WordPress data?
posted by Memo at 1:34 PM on July 23, 2008

Did you run the update script immediately after upgrading? I believe this makes some necessary alterations to your database structure, which might explain the problem. This should be located at http://YourBlogURL.com/wp-admin/upgrade.ph

Short of that, try reinstalling the old version. Send a calmly worded letter to your web host asking if they've got a backup of your MySQL file.
posted by adamrice at 1:39 PM on July 23, 2008

err, that's upgrade.php
posted by adamrice at 1:39 PM on July 23, 2008

Is the blog content archived on archive.org or anywhere else? As Memo says, your data is likely still there in the database, but in case it isn't, it might be recoverable from some online archive. What's your blog's URL?
posted by pocams at 1:49 PM on July 23, 2008

It's fixed! I couldn't tell you how it broke or why it fixed, but for now the site is up so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Based on what you guys wrote above, I went into phpmyadmin (not knowing how any of this works mind you) and saw that "wp_posts" was listed as crashed and needing repair. Thankfully I also saw that on the "MySQL Account Maintenance" page there was a handy button labeled "repair"... I took a chance and clicked it. This seems to have fixed the entire issue.

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction folks! Given what I've just told you, does it explain to anyone why this happened in the first place? How did I break my site (who did "wp_posts" get damaged?) and how can I avoid having that happen again?

Thanks a bunch!
posted by RoseovSharon at 1:58 PM on July 23, 2008

p.s... all your answers were great and helpful... marked Memo's as best simply because it lead me to dig around in the database. Thanks again everyone!
posted by RoseovSharon at 2:03 PM on July 23, 2008

I'm glad you got your posts back. But please, next time you go to upgrade, make a backup of your database! This way, if the update goes wrong, your posts are safe and secure and can be imported back with no problems. Not to mention, making a backup every few months is actually pretty easy to do - phpMyAdmin has a backup functionality built in. It takes only a minute or two, which is a good price to pay for knowing your posts are always safe and sound.
Wordpress has a guide on how to backup its data, with instruction for using phpMyAdmin, here.
posted by Meagan at 2:03 PM on July 23, 2008

Not just next time you upgrade, make it a habit. Get the WordPress DB Backup plugin and have it backup at least once a week. You can have it email the files to you so set up a gmail account and don't worry about the space.
posted by theichibun at 2:10 PM on July 23, 2008 [3 favorites]

Yes, I very much realize the importance of backing up... lesson humbly learned :)

In my defense, I *thought* I did have a backup. When you do the automatic upgrade it gives you all sorts of warnings up backing-up first, which it then takes you through the steps of doing and downloading. I saved the zip files to my computer but being the trusting sort that I am, I didn't think to look inside, assuming that since it downloaded a zip file that there was actually something in it. How awful to only find out after the fact that it was empty! I'm realizing now it did the same thing with another of my sites I just upgraded... going to go do a manual backup asap!

Wondering now why the backup in the auto-upgrade is only downloading empty zips... but you can rest assured I won't be trusting that process as my backup ever again.
posted by RoseovSharon at 2:23 PM on July 23, 2008

It's great that you did make the effort of creating the backup, and strange that the function did not work correctly.

As a web and code savvy techie, I tend to prefer actually seeing the data myself to verify its integrity, instead of trusting an auto-update feature or a plugin, for the exact reason that you encountered.

In reality, you can export your database in an almost-Notepad style format called SQL. Like a regular Notepad text file, it's very easy to verify it manually and then zip it up yourself. Especially with phpMyAdmin and the illustrated instructions given by Wordpress, which create the SQL file for you. If you have the time and casual interest, you may wish to explore creating one, and learn a bit more about how Wordpress actually works behind-the-scenes.

At the least bit, you'll have quickly made a backup yourself that you can trust forever, provided the file is kept somewhere safe :)
posted by Meagan at 4:31 PM on July 23, 2008

TIP: Install the WP-Cron plug-in, and have your WP database backed up daily and sent to your GMail account. Once a month - or so - go in to your GMail account and delete all but the several most-current e-mails.

posted by davidmsc at 10:17 PM on July 23, 2008

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