WP Update Fail

When I first set up my blog I went for WordPress. At the time I was smack dab in the middle of the General Assembly WDI program so it was a little counter-intuitive.

To me it was the most logical thing in the world.

No, I wasn’t building my resume site from scratch. I wasn’t going to be spending a bunch of time on custom CSS. None of that mattered.

I new that WordPress was easy to set up, extensible, and easily maintainable*.

Today I just got a reminder that the easily maintainable part isn’t always true.

I went to my site because I was about to include a link as part of a job application. Now what did I find but a very janky and odd looking version of my site that was only showing my recent posts and portfolio links.

That’s strange… I had been keeping an eye on it and hadn’t seen any major breaks.

My first thought was that since it was fine before it shouldn’t need more than a little trouble shooting. I jumped into the settings and played with the home page sections, tried selecting a page as a static page, double checked the page in incognito. Everything seemed to do nothing, or make it worse.

Looking up possible solutions mostly brought me to things that I thought I had tried. I set a static page, I disabled sections. I knew that I was missing something but I didn’t know what.

After stepping away I went back. The fact that I was running into this issue meant that other people must have seen it as well. This time I went through the support link for the WordPress Theme and went to the help forum. From there I was able to find, ranked nicely towards the top, the proper solution.

As it turned out, I was on the right track with the static home page but I had missed the step of setting the page template as Home Page. With that change I was able to get the site back to normal and a couple of clicks later I had the settings and formatting back to how they were intended.

Now all of this brings me back to a very important point. WordPress needs to be maintained. It’s easy to think that you’ll just put up a site, do the setup how you’d like and you’ll be good to go. If you want the closest version of that you should go with Neocities or a Github page.

If you’re going with WordPress you need to plan on setting aside some regular time to make sure everything is up and running and prepared to trouble shoot any unexpected breaks.

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