The trouble with tinkering…

Why not have a play around with its inner workings? What’s the worst that could happen?

Well, if you’re anything like me then you have an innate desire to tear things apart and figure out how they work. Looking under the surface is fun, it’s informative, you learn how things work (sometimes) and you gain a deeper appreciation of the inner workings.

It’s mostly harmless, if in doubt just put everything back where you found it and everything will be fine. That’s my general approach and it’s served me well (except for a broken PSP and a few others) so, naturally, when it came to my own site I’ve been straight in there on many occasions tweaking and changing values of this and that and trying to make it just right.

But alas, when tearing something physical apart there are screws, leads, boards, bits of metal and plastic that lie around and let you know just what you’ve taken out and just what needs to go back in. The wonderful world of code on them internets? Not so much.

Now, I should say, I’m not a novice by any means but I’m far from a card-carrying code monkey. This was my undoing. A few lines of code changed here and a little thing moved elsewhere and all was well. Until the next update that is. The one that keeps the content management system (CMS) up to date, the CMS which happens to be the backbone of any site that’s easy to update without said coding credentials.

And that’s when it all went pear-shaped. Want to log in? No. Want images on your site? No, they’re gone. Actually, to Hull with it, the site’s gone too (aka offline for some essential maintenance. Indefinitely). Want to restore it? Well, you cant etc etc

Unfortunately, the site was fine for quite some time before the update arrived with nothing to give me a hint of the trap ahead laid by my own fair hand. I even had a fresh backup (after I’d made my erroneous tweaks) that I could roll everything back to which, of course, featured the very same issue I’d created.

Luckily, the site is now mostly back after many hours of headache and installing this and that, playing around with the server etc etc. Some content and formatting is lost, those lovely old images are gone but at least the site is back.

Long story short – I came, I tinkered, I broke it.

Would I do it again?

Definitely.

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