Crisis Averted

Please excuse me while I get personal with you for a bit... Since I've never, ever shared personal stuff about myself on here before... lol...

Today I had a crisis that felt like it reached an impossible magnitude. Causing me to get to a really bad emotional state. Well, the fact that you're reading this is all you need to see to know that the crisis was averted.

Let me start at the beginning.

I was talking to my son about my blog, and he mentioned something about the header of my blog looking like it was 10 years old, like it was made when he was a baby, pointing to the cartoon baby in the header. I told him that that wasn't supposed to be him, as he was already a toddler when my blog was started, his brother Ike was a baby, but it was just supposed to be a generic baby in a cloth diaper to show that I wrote about both motherhood and frugal and green living. Either way, he said, it needed updating. 

He then continued and mentioned that the layout seemed behind the times as well. Lee wanted to know why I didn't revamp my website, but instead kept it the same for nearly a decade. He brought up the fact that already a few years ago I had started with some ideas about upgrading my header, but never ended up doing it, and asked me why not.

Well, to put it short, I am a single mom. I think many of you can have an idea what that has to do with this. In other words, not enough hours in the day. Even in general, life keeps me busy. Keeping up with my day to day tasks can be challenging enough that I always feel like I am letting some balls drop. And that only got worse since I became a single mom and had to switch to working triple or quadruple the amount of hours I used to work, not to mention having all the responsibilities for the house on my shoulders alone. Since I already feel this about the required day to day responsibilities, extras fall by the wayside. That means that projects like my foraging ID book have been on my to do list for at least 4 years, and I haven't given up on them yet but I don't have the time to do it now. And I don't have the money to outsource things to give myself more free time to do these things.

I told Lee that while I'd love to give my blog an overhaul, it simply isn't a priority right now. But then he mentioned that I seem like I'm just focusing on writing and putting up posts and not actually doing what I can to make the experience more enjoyable for readers and that may cause me to lose readers. That made me think about what he said more, and he did have a point. Not updating the look in that long definitely makes it look even less professional now than the non professional look it had 10 years ago. He tried to tell me that changing the look wouldn't be such a big deal, and he'd help me out, both with making a new header and with fixing the layout in general.

He and I started looking over other potential blog templates and considered which seemed appropriate for this blog, and I showed him how I could customize those templates, but then I didn't save the changes. And then I deleted some things on my blog sidebar via a simple widget that I've done multiple times that were long overdue for deletion... and then suddenly my blog wasn't loading. 

Error message.

Tried another computer.

Error message.

Tried the phone. 

Error message.

My website was totally and completely down and I had no idea why, since I didn't do anything that should have caused that. I didn't play with any settings, I didn't touch any HTML, I didn't even do anything other than delete a sidebar ad! And yet it was down, down, down.

I was totally in a panic.

I had absolutely no idea what to do. I didn't even do anything that I could tell caused it, so I didn't even know where to start attempting to fix it.

While I was in the middle of panicking a friend contacted me, to let me know my site was down. Yes, I knew, and I was already in a panic. She offered to help and looked over the HTML and couldn't find anything wrong with it, so that didn't help. I couldn't handle the thought of more and more people contacting me about it when I was already in a major panic about this. So I put a post on Facebook letting people know what happened and asking for help but unfortunately no one had any ideas that worked.

I checked to see if maybe my blog host was down, but it wasn't that either. 

At this point in time I was completely bawling. My site that I had been working on for eleven years seemed down the drain and I was an anxious wreck. I was panicky and worried that I'd have to return all the money that clients paid me because my website wasn't around and I wouldn't have any more income. Was this rational? No. Did it seem rational at the time because that's what anxiety does? Absolutely.

Oh, and did I mention that there is no customer service for my blog hosting service? So up a creek without a paddle.

My friend and son were trying to help me figure out how to fix it, attempting to research problem solving techniques and one of the things they came up with was that it must be an issue with the domain name, so I called up the domain name company and of course they said all was fine on their end and they couldn't help me. Wonderful. The one glimmer of hope I had that someone would be able to help me was gone.

For approximately 2 and a half hours my friend and son were attempting to fix my blog, but neither of them really knew what they were doing. And yet suddenly, 2 and a half hours later, my blog was back online.

I have no idea how.

They have no idea how.

Crisis averted.

For now.

I'm now afraid to attempt any changes on my own on my blog. Even things I used to do easily. What if it makes me lose everything again? I'll need to pay people to make changes from now on, but that eats up at my income and is an extra stress. Wonderful.

Then I told my son that this is why I strongly believe in the mantra "Why fix what isn't broken?" because as long as I was happy with the perhaps outdated and less professional looking layout, it all worked, but my attempt to "fix" it is what broke it. 

So that's it. Crisis averted. Both blog crisis and mental health crisis.

If you missed it, I'm glad. If you couldn't get to my blog earlier when trying, now you know why.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. So very sorry you had such a stressful time. Glad everything is ok now. Perhaps I might be in the minority but I enjoy the comfort of the familiar! I love the blog as is. When bloggers change things around it is rare that I am pleased that they did. You have done a fabulous job for years. With so many followers I'd say that amounts to a vote for substance over style and personally I think this blog has both!

  2. It's very nice of you to share your knowledge through posts. I love to read stories about your experiences. They're very useful and interesting. I am excited to read the next posts. I'm so grateful for all that you've done. Keep plugging.

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