Rio Americano HS Band Website Refresh

Rio Americano High School Band Logo

Rio American High School’s Band program asked me to help out with the website for their multi-award winning band program.  I had helped out with their site in the past when my daughters attended and before I knew much about WordPress.  I offered to fix their urgent issue and look at updating their plugins and set up backups.  As I talked to the parent volunteers more, I also agreed with them that the website needed an updated look. Diving in The first task was to get automated backups going.  I installed UpdraftPlus as usual to send backups to Amazon S3 and cloned the site to a staging server so I could safely test plugin updates and other possibly breaking changes.  Quite a few unused plugins were removed, the rest were updated, and I went through a set of tests to make sure the site was still running fine.  Then these changes were applied to the live …

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Are you stuck in WordPress maintenance mode?

Stuck in Wordpress Maintenance Mode

Is your site stuck in WordPress maintenance mode after an update? Have you seen your WordPress site get stuck like this before? The first time I saw this it scared the crap out of me because it wouldn’t go away and I couldn’t get to the WordPress admin. As far as I could tell, my site was down and there was nothing in WordPress I could do to fix it. Next, of course, I searched online and learned what to do about it. If you have encountered this, that may be how you ended up here. If so, welcome. When you update WordPress or a WordPress plugin on your site, your site briefly enters “Maintenance Mode” so your users don’t see your site in an incomplete state during the update. Unfortunately, if an update fails or there is an error, WordPress may fail to exit maintenance mode and then the maintenance message gets stuck. This …

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The Secret to Secure and Reliable WordPress Backups: Part 1

Everyone knows you need to keep your WordPress sites backed up. You never know when updating your site might break it, or when your web host will go down, or an out of date plugin will result in a security problem. In this article I’m going to talk about why site backups are important and especially why it is important to store your website backups remotely. I’ll also go through some simple steps you can follow to build a secure and reliable automatic backup system. In part 2 of this article, I’m going to detail some specific steps to follow to make your remote backups extra secure. When you have completed this series you will understand how to create a reliable backup and recovery process that can protect your site even if it is hosted on a budget webhost. Why Backups? It’s a fact of life that computers fail and web sites crash. It doesn’t …

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