If you are wondering “should I back up my website?”, let us tell you this; we can laugh about it today, but yesterday was a dark, dark moment in time…
Database driven websites such a WordPress or Joomla often integrate with third party plug-ins which allow additional functionality. Woocommerce for example is a third party e-commerce plug-in which integrates with WordPress and allows for online shopping functions such as “add to cart”, “pay online” and so on.
Now, WordPress, and any plug-ins which integrate with it often need to be updated for security reasons, or because the developer of the plug-in has made various improvements. It’s really easy to update a plug-in at the click of a button and usually the update is carried out without any issues. Other times, the updated plug-in can massively conflict with the installed version of WordPress, or with another installed plug-in, leading to a complete crash and burn of your website.
That’s exactly what happened to us yesterday.
Updating to the newest version of Woocommerce caused a huge conflict with our WordPress installation and there was no easy way of going back!
Luckily, we had taken a back up of the website just a day before. In other words, we had a copy of the SQL Database file, and all the files from the server which we downloaded via FTP (File Transfer Protocol).
All we had to do was to log into “My PHP Admin”, remove (or “drop”) all of the tables from the database, and re-import the SQL file that we had backed up. Next, we deleted all of the corrupted files from the server which we connected to via FTP and re-uploaded the backed up files from the day before.
If you ever find yourself in this position, and you’ve carried out the steps mentioned above and your website pages still do not seem to be working, don’t panic. The last thing you need to do is to log into the back end of your WordPress installation (which you should be able to do by now), and reset the permalink settings. This rewrites the .htaccess file on your server and should put you back up to speed.