Sorry, I Didn’t Mean to Break You!

It has been almost 7 months since I last published a blog post on this website. Under normal circumstances, that probably is not the biggest deal, and starting a blog post with that would not make much difference. However, and I quote, I wrote the following in my most recent blog post, back in December 2012.

“If you are going to have a blog, then you have got to keep it updated. Maintaining a blog is a lot like keeping a pet. It requires constant, consistent nurturing and left unchecked, it might make a mess on your carpet. Just as you can’t keep a pet alive by feeding it a lot for three days then ignoring it for a month, your blog can’t survive without regular attention.”

Now that I have finally got over the irony of my last blog post. After finishing working on my other website, BornToConnect, which I shall be making a blog post for on a later date. I decided that it was time to put some more content on my website. I do the usual thing and fire up my website, and everything seems to be working fine. I spend a few minutes reminiscing about my last year at university, looking over old posts, and decide that it is finally time to add a “2013″ section on my website.

So, I do what every user who uses WordPress as their blogging platform does. I bash in the URL to get into my administrator panel into the address bar, expecting to be greeted with a login page. However, my web browser presented me with the following error message:

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 1966080 bytes) in /home2/user1/public_html/6768867556456/wp-includes/class-simplepie.php on line 5353

Now my first instinct was to shout out a long, breathless sentence which included more profanity than blocks in a game of Tetris.

And so I did.

The next logical approach, and course of action, being a Computer Software Development student, was to look through my Dropbox folder to see when I created the latest backup of my website. My normal assumption was that I always made a backup of my website after each blog post, I even wrote a blog post about the importance of backing up data! but apparently that was out of the question, because my last backup was 10 days before my most recent post.

After laughing at the irony again, I decided to take the sensible course of action. I Googled it. After various failed attempts, here is the method that finally worked for me:

  1. Connect to your website via FTP. Although I could not access it via HTTP, FTP worked perfectly fine.
  2. Browse to your wp-confg.php file. It is located in the root of your WordPress directory.
  3. Download the file onto your computer, and make another copy of it as a backup, just in case something goes wrong. However, in this case I can’t see what else could go wrong.
  4. Insert the following line of code somewhere in your wp-config.php file:define(‘WP_MEMORY_LIMIT’, ’96M’);
  5. Delete the existing file on your server and replace it with the newly modified wp-config.php file.
  6. Refresh your administrator panel page. If you have installed a stupid amount of plugins like me, you will be asked to delete various cache files. The directory of these files will be available in the error message.
  7. Login to your administrator panel as you normally would.

Everything would be okay at this stage for most people. However, I am not most people. The first thing I saw when I logged in to my WordPress panel was that there was a new 3.5.2 update available. So the first thing I did was click the shiny blue “Update Now” button. And then I waited… And then I waited some more. After around 5 minutes of waiting it was evident that I would have to update it myself manually. Now seeing as how this has turned into a tutorial, I may as well teach people how to update WordPress manually as well.

  1. Create a backup your SQL database.
  2. Create a backup of the wp-content folder, which resides in the root directory of your WordPress installation folder.
  3. In the WordPress root directory, delete all files and folders, except for the wp-content folder and your wp-config.php file.
  4. Download the latest WordPress update onto your computer and extract it.
  5. Upload everything BUT the wp-content folder into the previous WordPress directory root.
  6. Go to http://yourdomain.comwp-admin and follow the directions from there.
  7. If you are asked to update your WordPress database, like me, then go right ahead and update it!

After updating my WordPress installation manually, something became apparent to me. None of the links on my homepage worked. The solution to this problem, unlike the previous problem, was relatively simple for me. Following the tradition of this blog post, here are the instructions:

  1. Browse to your WordPress dashboard at
  2. Go to Settings > Permalinks.
  3. Press the “Save Changes” button again.

Voila! Just like that, all the links on your website should be working again. Apparently updating WordPress from a lower version to a much more recent one can occasionally break everything.

Well, there you have it. What was meant to be a quick 100 word or so blog post has turned into a 3 page long blog post. If anyone wants to know how to break their website, fix it, and then break it some more, then feel free to direct them to this post!

Right now, it is time to draft up a blog post that will be published on Alastair Campbell’s blog. And yes, I am referring to the same Alasatair Campbell that was Tony Blair’s spokesperson from 1997 – 2003.

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