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Nearly lost the blog!

Christopher initially set this blog up using WordPress. As he started getting sicker and I started writing more status updates on his behalf, he changed the permissions on the blog to allow me to do so. But he didn’t give me full “ownership” access, or tell me his password, nor did he show me how to configure the blog. I don’t think that was due to lack of trust on his part, he just didn’t think ahead to when I would need to do it myself. And when things got very bad, they did do extremely quickly, and taking full ownership of A Mammoth Undertaking was hardly a priority! Since then, I’ve kept it ticking over, doing automatic updates of some of the plugins, and I take monthly backups in case of disasters. But I have to say that I don’t really know what I’m doing, I don’t have access to all the pages and settings I need to run it properly, and if anything goes wrong I am likely to be unable to fix it.

Today I had a major panic. The blog dashboard wanted me to upgrade one of the plugins, Aksimet, which handles spam (of which I get a lot). In the past that has been a simple task of clicking the “automatic update” link. So I did so, though I did out of paranoia take a back-up first. All hell then broke loose once I upgraded the plugin. I got a load of warning messages about missing arguments referring to a configuration page I’ve never seen and don’t appear to have access to. The error messages appeared not only on the dashboard page, which I could just about live with, but also on the main blog page. Worse, when I tried to log back in to the admin page to try to do something about it, I just got a page of errors and warnings, and no means of doing anything about it! Nor would it let me add a new post, approve comments, or indeed do anything at all! My heart sank, though at least I knew I had an up-to-date backup if I couldn’t fix it.

I think I’ve managed to bodge it by logging in from the home page rather than via a short-cut, and forcibly deactivating the Aksimet widget. Now I at least seem to have a blog again, but I don’t have any spam protection. Grrrrr! Not happy!