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Posts Finally Working!

Last night I realized that something was Wrong with this blog. Several days of posts hadn't, and I couldn't even leave a comment on an old post. The error message I was getting (database access denied) made no sense.

The MySQL information hadn't changed. I tried changing the database password and updating the settings—nope, no good. I could view the db in phpmyadmin, and it was just fine. I could back up the database there, and change things, and I was using the same login information. So why couldn't WordPress do anything?

We've been using 1&1 for at least a year or so now, I think, and haven't had any real complaints. I hate calling anybody's tech support, but they're usually better than most, as they haven't outsourced that to India. Reluctantly, I finally called.

If you ever call 1&1 and "Grace" answers, just hang up and try again. Better yet, keep her tied up on the phone and try from another line, just to be sure you'll get someone else. She simply can't understand English well enough to function in any job that requires telephone interaction, and her technical skills seem to be abysmal (it was hard to tell, considering the language issue). I was on the phone for more than 90 minutes, and couldn't get anywhere. I kept asking to speak to her supervisor, and she kept being obstructionist.

She asked me to spell the name of the affected domain (technomom.com) over and over and over again. I did so, very slowly and clearly, at least five times. What did she do? Inform me that gbncom.com was working just fine, and ask me what error message I was getting!

Other than the fact that the end in .com, do you find any similarity in those names?

I finally got her to this site, where the errors were clearly visible to every visitor. Then, finally, she started talking about escalating the problem to someone else. She wasn't sure who, though, and claimed that nobody there can make outbound calls, so she couldn't have that person (or her supervisor) call me back. More holding. Thanks Goddess for unlimited cell minutes! I really, really need to get a headset, though, as I was in more and more pain from simply holding the telephone.

At nearly 5, "Glen" finally got on the phone. He said he has no input regarding the hiring of "advisors" like "Grace." If the supposed supervisor doesn't, who does? In any case, he finally pinpointed the problem: the database was full. To be accurate, it was more than full, 47mb over the size limit!

Honestly, I hadn't checked that. But how could that happen? And wouldn't I get some kind of notice or warning? Well, no, they don't have anything in place to warn users when databases are getting too big. That seems like a ridiculously easy thing to put in place, but apparently it isn't important to them.

I was aware of the 100mb limit 1&1 places on MySQL databases on our plan, but every time I'd looked at the usage, every database had 97mb free, or more! Blogs are mostly text! The images I do post aren't even stored in MySQL!

After getting off the phone, I looked at the size of all each table. The culprit was the cache for the Joe Tan/Silas Partners Flickr photo album plugin. I didn't notice, when I installed an upgrade to the plugin, that it defaults to showing all of the Flickr groups you're in. There's no way that I can see to disable caching, either, and it seems that somebody browsed a lot of group photos at some point over the weekend. Clearing that cache took me back to being way, way below the database size limit. If you use that plugin (which is great, BTW), check the settings!

So that's why you're seeing my blog posts appear late. It's better than "the dog ate my blog posts," at least. Isn't it?

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