A Complete Backend Wipeout + New Blog Features


Well I spent the entire day before yesterday, from shortly after I woke up until finally crawling into bed well over 15 hours later, with my stomach in knots. I hope your days have been better. I do, luckily, have some news, and it is through those stomach-churning series of events that I was able to implement new things in which to tell you about.

But first, you’re kind of interested in what went down, aren’t you?

Woman Tribune has been up and running since January 2008. We have always operated on a self-hosted WordPress site, and since the beginning it has worked off the same WordPress install with the same database and minimal backend maintenance the entire time. After so many years of being busy bringing you all awesome content, we have racked up just under 1,600 posts, countless revisions, over 14,000 comments, and well over 3,500 images and media files. An abundance of plugins have been installed and deleted in this time, and some of these old plugins left behind some rogue content, pretty much just taking up valuable real estate until it decides to impact some other needed file or feature and just explode. Well that may be putting it a little drastically, but I think I got my point across.

That is what I can only assume happened with Woman Tribune over so many years, as well as with my personal blog, Menstrual Poetry, that has been running a little longer than Woman Tribune but has not been nearly as active. I actually just returned to that blog in the last week after a nearly 3-year hiatus. It feels good to be writing something different than what Woman Tribune is all about every now and then, which is what I will be doing over there. You should check it out if confessional-style blogging, feminism, and liberal politics interest you.

A couple of years ago I noticed that both the WordPress backend and public side of Woman Tribune would not show images that were a part of plugins. I heavily researched the issue — and I mean heavily. I tried every single “fix” anyone who had also run into the issue could come with, and nothing worked. I still don’t know why this happened or how to fix it; that is, other than what I did do to alleviate the problem, and the subsequent issues that stemmed from it.

I have always had a sneaking suspicion that WordPress began its little Error-a-Thon with my sites after I decided to teach myself how to clean up my database tables years ago. Don’t do that. Don’t do it unless you practice on a database that is large enough to learn on but not something you care about ever working properly again. Just don’t. I did and I obviously broke… something.

For reasons I am not able to understand, I woke up the other day thinking, ‘sure, I can transfix upon lines and lines of code for hours, and hey, why not just completely reinstall WordPress with a brand spankin’ new database and then just import 5 years’ worth of content into that?’

Yeah. Yeah, I did.

I knew that something in the database had to have become corrupt. I knew it, and I was right. What you are looking at right now is a brand new Woman Tribune. Though it looks almost exactly the same, we have a completely new core WordPress install and a shiny new database with absolutely no corrupted tables or rows, and with nothing that isn’t serving a purpose. Everything is finally working just as it should.

New Woman Tribune Blog Features

Because very important parts of any plugin that we ever tried to use for anything always acted as if they were missing, we were very limited in terms of how effective of a site we could be, especially in terms of real organic WordPress SEO and what we could offer both our readers and fellow bloggers we love connecting with alike. Now that we are no longer limited in this way, we’ve updated some things.

Using the very awesome Search Meter plugin, I saw that  quite a few people have been searching for our Tuesday Giveaway Linkup posts. To make these posts very easy to locate and save you time from having to run a search on the entire site, the link to all of our Tuesday Giveaway Linkup posts are conveniently located at the bottom of every single page in the footer. You can also find our Monday Morning Tunes and Wordless Wednesday posts there. Each weekly feature has its own image and link. How is that for super easy to find?

We have also added a list of the 5 most recent comments to the footer, so if you leave a comment on any post on Woman Tribune it will temporarily be featured there. You can also browse Woman Tribune by categorymonthly archives, or by using the handy dandy calendar. These features may move or be changed over time if we add more weekly features to the site, which I am fairly confident we will be. Always be thinking forward.

Up until now, we have not made our post tags available on each post. We have changed that so now if you’re reading about the new American Heart Association-certified recipes from Campbell’s, for instance, and want to read more about heart health, you can just click on the heart health tag in the post.

Hopefully we have been able to cover every available way you may want to search for content on Woman Tribune, and have made it all easy to find.

To make commenting and interacting on Woman Tribune just a little bit more rewarding, if you have a blog of your own a link to your most recent blog post will not be featured below your comment using CommentLuv. This is something that I have wanted to implement for a while and now finally can. It is a great way to showcase your own blog and work by joining in discussions on other blogs. It rewards people for stopping by and caring enough to leave a comment, and that is profoundly meaningful when you’re a blogger.

We have also added better share buttons to the bottom of every Woman Tribune post. We had another type of share buttons on the site before, but they were wonky and didn’t make it easy to properly give credit back to the source of information. We are now using the Simple Share Buttons Adder plugin that makes it easier to share to your social media accounts right from Woman Tribune with minimal to no editing for length or source credit.

These updates are not without some sacrifice, however. While I was able to import all of our content back to a new, corrupt-free site, not all of our content is displaying or is filed as it should be. While post content, comments, categories, tags, and authors imported correctly our images did not. Because of this, I am slowly but surely making my way back through all of our content, post-by-post, and adding images I have backed up from our old site back into where they should be.

This will no doubt take some time, a lot of time, but I think what we have gained from this complete wipeout, re-install, and update far outweighs the fact that I will likely be editing back content for months. You’re welcome, readers!

While I have shared some of the new plugins we’re working with, there are a few more that are really great to use if you’re running a WordPress site. I will be sharing some of my favorites with you in the coming days, so stay tuned for that.

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About Holly

In addition to being the driving force behind Woman Tribune, Holly is a self-taught web designer, gamer, and wannabe baker living in NEPA with her fiance and 5 cats.

16 thoughts on “A Complete Backend Wipeout + New Blog Features

  1. I can only imagine how frustrated you felt when the old plugins disappeared! Some don’t understand that for us bloggers, this is our heart & soul :) This is our life lived out here for the world to see…I probably would have been a mess as well. Glad to hear the good ending that there’s some new plug ins. I’m with Blogger so didn’t get affected I guess…however have been sitting here pondering for last little while if I should switch to WordPress (self hosted)….still on the fence…thanks for sharing!
    Recently Blogged: ~Why Health is Really Just One Decision At a Time & a FUN FOOD Post Round Up~

  2. I am still on blogger since I know so little about computers in general I figure I am a lot safer that way. At least now I know where I’ll find your Tuesday Giveaway Linky–I have wanted to add to it but since I never see you on Bloglovin—I am very glad to hear you did get it almost all fixed!!

  3. It’s really horrible when you come across a pickle like that, isn’t it? We’ve been through many stomach churning events and have been lucky enough to be able to fix. glad you got it all sorted!

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