So this morning I tried to punch onto the blog to see what’s up and I got – a 404 error page.
Odd. 404 means page not found.
For any website or blog that’s generally considered, “Not GOOD!”
That’s the one thing you don’t want to see.
Rule #1 in a server down situation. DON’T PANIC. I’ve sat in front of enough server down situations to know better than to panic.
That’s the kiss of death that leads to really, really bad decisions.
Ok, I used a bookmark so there’s almost no chance that I misspelled the URL but just for grins type it out by hand anyways.
Same thing, 404 error page – Page missing.
Ok, check e-mail. No warnings or alerts!
Wow, either I was hacked by a complete professional or this isn’t making any sense and yet I’m still getting 404 – Page not found.
Logon to the server and look over the files.
Odd. Everything’s there. Even the page that says 404 – page not found.
Check the database. Sure I have backups but do I need to do a restore. Nope. All posts seems to be there. Really, really odd now.
So the database appears to be intact and all of the files are there. And even weirder is that the stylesheet for my custom 404 page isn’t being read either, and it’s on the server.
So, I could have left a message on Facebook for someone to check the site for me, or I could have used a browser on a cell phone to check the site and that would have told me how “widespread” the issue is. Is it just the network I”m on or is it a much bigger problem.
If you don’t want to bother anyone there is another option.
There exists on the Internet servers that act as a proxy for you.
Web Proxy Servers.
Before Anonymous became synonymous with hacking there was a service called Anonymous that used to live at anonymous.org.
Your browser would connect to their service and then their browser, not yours, would hit the site and return what it found. This was before the era of in browser private browsing.
It did the same thing. Hence the name. Any cookies or other artifacts would hit their server and would never hit your web browser. And then when you disconnected from their site all browsing history was gone.
Well, anonymous.org is no more but there still exists other Web Proxy Serves on the Internet.
So I browsed to megaproxy.com and use the try it now feature and used it to hit the URL for the blog. No issues. Blog pulled right up. So whatever the issue was on the local network, that’s all it was. The issue on the local network. The blog itself was fine. As the other data was telling me. NO files changed, date and time stamps looked alright and if they hadn’t I have online and offline backups of all files and posts anyways.
So megaproxy was telling me that all is fine and it’s just a local network issue. So I moved to a different Wifi network and lo and behold – megaproxy was right.
My custom 404 page with the URL for the blog clearly displayed.
This screenshot shows megaproxy in the Location field (Number 1) with the URL of the blog at their location field. (#2)
Nothing to do, except do some more posting. Whether you want me to, or not.
To many issues with this.
I have no way to gauge if anyone was using it.
Trying to post to Facebook for the past few days has had to many errors.
The Facebook page says that the status for even Facebook’s WordPress plugin was: Healthy – If it’s healthy then why am I having so many issues?
Everything before Facebook changed to “Timeline” was wiped out somehow.
And now Facebook arbitrarily just changes everyone’s email address. What else have they arbitrarily done?
Oh yea, and to many posts were being just blocked for no apparent reason by Facebook.
Using Facebook to stay in touch with family and friends and that’s it from now on.
Posting to Twitter also has random issues but those are quickly resolved.
So if you need an alternate then please use Twitter.
Alex is Reverse Engineer at Automattic where he has worked since 2007 as lead at Akismet. Based in Melbourne, Alex will give us a bit of a showcase on WordPress itself such as general stats about global WordPress usage, the number of sites running WP, version distribution, where they’re hosted, that sort of thing.
WordFence and as I’ve mentioned before 6Scan can also assist with this as well.