I think I really did it this time round and messed up my Wordpress blog big time! While playing around with StoryTlr, I noticed it was hogging up a lot of server space. Yeah sure, I'm using a very low cost hosting but figured it was good enough for my current needs. I decided to get rid of StoryTlr since I couldn't get the auto update to work anyway. However, after deleting it, much of my server space were still being hog. I said no way, how could it be?
So browsing around trying to find out where the culprit files were, I decided to delete many log files in the /home directory figuring it would be of no use. Finally I chance upon the main culprit error log file in Wordpress which was hogging about 70% of the limited server space. Zap! And that's it, deleted the offending large file.
Now my server space is back to very much within its quota usage. Unfortunately now my Wordpress software is acting very weird and unstable. Whenever I tried to update a post, it gave me 403 permission error! Nuts!
Not too sure what is exactly wrong with my Wordpress. Decide to submit to hosting support to get to the root of the problem. Perhaps if can't solve it, may have to reinstall Wordpress to get it back to its feet again! Or worse come to worse, request for a backup to be restored and from there find back the large error log file and delete it without touching the other /home directory folders.
Just have to wait a little, as the correspondence via email takes awhile between the hosting company. Hmmm, too bad they don't have chat based support.
Now I'm thinking perhaps there is a bad plugin script somewhere. My other Wordpress blog was lagging too, until I switched off a couple of plugins. However when I switched off the same plugin for this website, it still lags, so could be other plugin fault or the entire Wordpress blog got corrupted file. I put on hold for a complete Wordpress reinstall migration. First, I'm going to shut off all plugins, and see if the speed would be back to normal. Argh, even shutting off the plugins take ages to complete!
Got fed up of waiting and went straight to the plugin folder, made a backup, and zap them all! And guess what? My Wordpress went by speedily! Reinstalled all my plugins and start them up one-by-one to isolate the problem plugin. Found it to be the Blue Captcha. Captcha plugins tend to cause problem very often. This was not the first time I have problem with captcha plugin.
However updating post still elicit a 403 permission denied error. Now what else could be causing the problem?
Finally solve the Wordpress lagging issue. It was due to faulty or misbehaved captcha plugin. However in order make my Wordpress run speedily again, I need to clear the gunk that was choking it. Over the years the accumulated configuration parameters of plugins were having detrimental effect. It was no point shifting the MySQL from one installation to another because the gunk would follow.
The hosting people couldn't help me, and neither did the Wordpress Codex and forum. So I have to come up with my own solution.
The situation was:
- The MySQL database content were still intact
- The plugins were causing lag and hogging hosting resources, however plugins were essential and deleting my plugins made the site vulnerable to spam and hacking
- manually cleaning the wp_options table was too time consuming and there may be other configuration elsewhere on other database table which I did not know the location
- I'm getting 404 file not found errors from Google Webmaster due to lagging page display
Thinking through deeply, the idea was simple. The solution was to extract the post and pages and import to a new Wordpress installation thereby stripping out the configuration gunk in the process. Quite a good idea, but the execution was rather complicated made worse with the old press not cooperating.
Anyway made a detailed blog post on how to extract old Wordpress content posts and import to a new Wordpress to remove old plugin configuration from the MySQL database.
If anybody was having the same problem as I did, that how-to should help out!
Well, my blog is running speedily and decided to switch on the plugins. Most plugin worked like a charm except the captcha plugin. The captcha plugin is a must-have! Akismet could capture a majority of 99% of comment spam, but some robot spam still do get in. A captcha would prevent that. After enabling the captcha plugin, I found the captcha graphic not displaying. Really scratching my head. My other blog was working fine. Tried tinkering with the settings and finally went into the MySQL file to delete all the captcha settings and start over. Still no luck.
Finally, while attempting to view the captcha graphic directly and causing a 500 server error, it dawn onto me the PHP.ini configuration file which I used earlier for a bigger file upload could be the issue. Deleted all the PHP.ini and reloaded my web page, and viola, the captcha graphic was working!
Wordpress may be the most popular blogging platform but it still gets into trouble now and then.