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I did what I could to solve the problem myself. I disabled all of my WordPress plugins (no change). I called Go Daddy, my blog host, to see if the problem was on their end (it wasn’t).
I ate M&Ms and tried not to panic.
I waited, thinking it was one of those things that would correct itself a few hours later if I just left it alone.
It did not correct itself.
That evening, Techy Dad contacted me and offered to help. Before we started I didn’t even know what a MySQL query was, but he talked me through everything. We explored different possible problems: Had I been hacked? Was my database size over the limit? We kept checking out different things until finally, he found the problem! And walked me through a really easy fix.
And if none of that works, or things get too complicated for you, you can contact him for tech support.
I’d assumed while Techy Dad and I were troubleshooting that he was on the clock and charging me for the excellent help, but he didn’t charge me. So I’m writing this as a thank you, and hopefully if you have the nightmarish problem I did, you’ll go to him for help.
I spent a good part of that day thinking that my posts were gone. My web designer did a free scan of my site, and found that it had been blacklisted on some search engines due to malware. That wasn’t good, but it also wasn’t clear that that issue had caused the problem.
Still, after the whole disappearing posts thing was solved, I decided to have my site cleaned up so that I could get un-blacklisted. I didn’t have to do anything (except pay). I think $89 per year is a fair price to pay to know that my site won’t infect someone else’s computer.
So my problems were all fixed, everything was restored, and blogging life went on as normal. But what IF I had been hacked, and some pimply fifteen-year-old had deleted thousands of posts just for fun?
I highly recommend that you back up your posts regularly, so that if disaster strikes, they’re stored somewhere.
Or you can do what I do, and use a service that automatically backs my blog up for me, every day. Why? Because I can never remember to do basic things like this with any kind of regularity, and the automatic set-up I linked to up there seems too complicated for me to bother with. So, the $5 a month I pay to have this done every day is more than worth it to me. I’m a set-it-and-forget-it kind of person.
Whichever method you choose for back-up, just do it. I wasn’t paying enough attention to website security and back-ups before my posts disappeared. Now I can at least rest easy knowing that if disaster strikes, I’m covered.