Well, I’ve finally managed to get my blog up and running again. It appears to have been offline since August of 2021 — at least, that was when the last automated backup arrived in my WPBackups mail folder. To be honest, my shouting-into-the-void needs had largely been met by Twitter (at least until last November), so I wasn’t in much of a hurry to investigate. But it seemed to make sense to self-verify my Mastodon profile, which meant getting this website back online. I took the opportunity to update my Linode instance from Ubuntu 2016.4 LTS to something newer, install the latest WordPress, etc.
It turns out that the plugin I had been using to get those regular backup emails was only sending me the contents of the database as a SQL file, whereas most of the online guides to “restoring” or “migrating” a WordPress site assume you have an XML-based export file. After a couple of false starts, I found this article which had the key to success: namely to create a new database and populate it from the SQL file, then install WordPress and point it at that database during the “five-minute install” process. At this point WordPress will say “You appear to have already installed WordPress; let me just bring your database up to date” and then you’re ready to go, more or less.
(I got an immediate error that included the name of the theme I had forgotten I was using. Reinstalling that was much more pleasant than trying to get something I liked out of the default WP themes that are based around the WP block editor, which seems like overkill for a simple text blog.)
Now that I’ve done all that, will I begin blogging regularly again? We’ll see; if so, it will likely be more articles on macOS and Swift programming, and fewer hot takes on hot button issues (which frankly I don’t have the energy to deal with these days).