Apologies for the website downtime for the past few days.
Technically this happened…
Apparently the server we are hosted on was running Ubuntu Linux 12.10. Canonical (the company that make Ubuntu Linux) withdrew support for the previous version 12.04 last year, so we had to move the new “long term support” version 16.04LTS scheduled this year. In the event, the server ran down for five minutes on Saturday at 10pm to take a full backup (which was fine), then fired it back up – to be greeted with a message stating that we had entered recovery mode as there was no operating system to power up our server. It’s a bit like driving your car out of a garage after a service, to be told the car won’t start because the engine is now missing.
Digital Ocean had unilaterally taken away the 12.10 operating system we were using with no warning, but left the rest of the backups and snapshots on the driveway to suggest that our IT genius try putting them all back together in a shiny new instance. He managed to run up a new server in London, got all the needed support files across, rebuilt the WordPress network from all the backups – but took a lot of work to put back together again. Not least as the old server wasn’t left in one piece that he could take a direct copy of – he then had to rebuild all the files and reconstruct the WordPress network from a MySQL database separately – and then reconfigure all the network pieces to match.
However the good news is that the new version will be easier to swap out next time around – and is supported well into 2021 as well. The rest of the system already updates automatically – and has the latest version of all the layered WordPress software installed as soon as it becomes available (which has been the case for the last 4 years too) so hopefully this will not happen again.
Or in other words, it went down, Our IT guy did LOADS of work so that it is now back up and is more stable!
Sincere thanks to Ian Waring at Software Enabled Services Ltd. Don’t know what I would do without him.