American Idle – Extreme Recovery Edition

I feel bad. I kinda totally abandoned this site. Well, not kinda. Just totally. I left it for 5 years. On it’s own. At the mercy of the dangers of the Internet at large. Talk about Idle. Well, someone wasn’t idle exactly. Hackers.

I visited the site for the first time in years, not sure what to expect and it looked like this:

I had let the registration lapse. Surprise, no one had snapped it up. So I re-registered it. Then I downloaded a new FTP client and FTP’d into the server. All the WordPress and content files, gone. In their place, a series of phishing folders and files. I hope no one was caught up. So annoying. I deleted all the files.

I checked in with my host (Dreamhost) yesterday to see what could be done about recovering the site. Nothing. The earliest backup they had was infected with these phishing pages. Again, annoying. So back to square one.

First step, re-install WordPress. Dreamhost has one-click installs. Easy.

Second step, find the XML backup export. Not so easy. I couldn’t remember when I had done it or where I had put it. But after a few hours of searching through hard drives, I found it. Eureka!

Third step, import the XML file. Easy. All the posts are now published again. Whoo-hoo!

Fourth step, re-install the theme. Ok, found the theme files on my Mac. Zipped them up. Tried to install. And #fail. I guess the theme doesn’t work because it’s from an old version of WP. I have the images and the styles, but it’s not that simple to convert. So I’m gonna have to put that off for the time being. It can wait.

I’m just happy to have the site back online. No I can find my Banana Bread recipe. Yay!

UPDATE**No banana bread right now. The XML backup only went back to 2007 for some reason. So I’m missing all the posts from 2002-2007, which is huge amount of content. The search continues…

UPDATE PART DEUX**Found the Banana Bread post in a text file. Less than ideal as it can’t be imported, but I recreated the post. Banana Bread for everyone!