I’ve been sitting here, staring at the blank page for about half an hour now. It’s taken a lot of motivation to get back on here and post something after all the issues I’ve been having recently, but I try to never fall short on my promises and as I hope you all know, I’m dedicated to Make Me Up Marie and its readers/followers.
I feel like it’s my responsibility to keep you in the loop, not only with regards to my blog but also my personal life to some extent. I know that many of you have been supported and joined me on this journey for 3 years now, and that you’ve invested a lot of time into that. I can’t tell you how much it means for me to have a group of people refreshing, bookmarking or clicking through onto my blog on a daily basis.
I never thought what I had to say mattered that much. Make Me Up Marie started as a personal yet public journal, after all. It was an outlet for me and as I’ve said many times before, I never truly expected it to turn into a side-business. But since taking a 4-day break and having a bit of a digital detox, I’ve realised how far I have come – some of you guys actually look forward to my posts and most surprising (to me) of all, miss them when they’re not there!
Before I go any further, for any of you that don’t follow me on social media or may have not seen my updates, let me rewind a little to tell you WHY I decided to take a 4-day break. A few weeks back I opened up my CMS, started a new post and attempted to upload some pictures, just like I would any other day. This day I was greeted with an unexpected message, saying that my storage was completely full. I couldn’t upload or publish anything, so in a panicked state I began researching my options.
It turned out I had two. The first was the upgrade to a premium WordPress plan (which includes more storage). The second was to go self-hosted. Now, both options have their pros and cons, so I weighted them up the best I could and made a decision to go self-hosted. I believed that this would give me more room for expansion, and also knew it would enable me to install the theme I so desperately wanted (it had been in my ThemeForest cart for a good 4 months)!
So, eager to get back up and running, I went ahead and purchased the theme. I had a helping hand from a web designer (who doesn’t usually deal with WordPress or themes in general, but was willing to provide much-needed support with the transfer etc) who hooked me up with hosting. We went for Digital Ocean because the reviews we saw were great and initially, we were both really happy with the outcome.
Within just a few days my blog was back up and running, with a spanking new, customised theme theme and cool pop-up plug-ins. I was delighted and quickly re-launched to the world! For a few weeks, feedback was great. The backend was just the same as before, my storage issue was fixed and my website finally had a professional edge… but then I received a message from a follower, saying they were struggling to get onto the site. With that, I instantly jumped out of bed to check for myself. I refreshed the page over 10 times, and all it was showing was a ‘Database Error’ message.
I got straight onto the web designer for assistance, and ever since we’ve been working as a team to get this sorted. We’ve put extra security in place, contacted the host, spoken to specialists… it has been a nightmare, quite frankly. And one that neither of us were expecting.
So it’s extremely confusing to me but here’s what we believe to be the problem, as told by the web designer assisting me on this project at current:
WordPress has a system that allows plug-ins and what not to send requests to it, and login to get data, however there is a vulnerability that means attackers can send a sh*t-ton of requests to the server, which if not blocked can overwhelm the it.
This means the database gets queried too many times, which uses too much memory and when that happens the server shuts off services to cut down usage. In Make Me Up Marie’s case, it’s shutting down the database which is vital for WP. Most CMS will have similar issues. The only sure-fire way would be using a static site generator, which is cool, but could be a bit of learning curve if you’re not used Markdown and/or FTP.
We’ve installed Jetpack and CloudFlare and have set up a monitor that checks every 5 minutes and sends an email if the site goes down for the time being. But is seems to be a temporary fix and I’m now constantly looking at ways to make the site stable and reliable. This language and technical jargon is all foreign to me, so although this is not an ideal scenario, I’m just glad I have someone who is willing to help me keep the site live and tackle this issue.
I’m still planning on keeping my website up to date, I just needed a few days to get my head together. Y’all know I suffer from anxiety and at times I find it hard to cope. I meaning, I’m launching a new business in just a matter of weeks (31st July, stay tuned!!!!!!) and at the same time trying to keep Make Me Up Marie and Little Miss Content on-point. On top of that, I’ve cut contact with my parents.
It’s been a tough and testing time. But I’m proud of how I’m coping and believe that health is far more important than anything else. So I guess my advice, to anyone that is struggling with life right now (whatever the issue may be), is to take time for yourself. I like to think this is all part of the divine plan… somehow….
Trust in yourself.
Keep calm, and carry on!
And that’s all for today 🙂
Thank you to everyone who took the time to read this today, and to those of you who have been so patient and supportive these past few weeks. It really does mean the world to me.
Sending all my love,