If you have been looking for my blog, The Coding Gorilla, you may have noticed that it had been down for the last few months. Unfortunately, the reason it had been down was because I was trying to update the server. The update didn’t go as planned.

Little did I know, but the file system containing the Linux installation was nearly full, which is a big faux-pas if you aren’t familiar with updating procedures. When I went to update the Linux OS, it ran out of space during the update, and left the OS completely inoperative. Although I had backups of the Wordpress database, the backups from MyPHPAdmin didn’t work: MyPHPAdmin couldn’t execute the script that itself created. After mulling around my options, I was left trying to restore bits and pieces from the SQL into a new Wordpress database.

So, after months of trying to work through the details of the Wordpress database, I’ve concluded the effort futile. Consequently, my recommendation to anyone who has a Wordpress blog:

Blog content should not be represented in a database: it’s slow (especially if you don’t configure Wordpress just right), it’s unnecessary (there is no need to save a version after every few keystrokes), and while it may offer a good UI experience, the risk of the blog going into an unrecoverable state is too great. Content is far too important.

I am now using Jekyll, a much simplier system in which content is in text files with Markdown format. If the system goes down, it will is easy to recover. And, if–heaven forbid–I want to migrate to another service, it’s easy to work with the Markdown format.

Unfortunately, it will take me some time to recover the content from the Wordpress database. I will start with the more recent posts, and work backwards.