Everyone needs a spiritual guide and, yesterday, mine was my dog.
We’re still fairly new to this blogging website thing, and yesterday was just one of those days where nothing was working. Our site was melting down. Life In The Dog Lane was a pile of coding gone wrong, broken links, and spam – all melted down into a pot of nothing very useful and something very frustrating.
We were literally getting spammed left, right, and centre. I couldn’t log out, I couldn’t log in. I was getting error messages and access: 1) unavailable, 2) denied, and 3) not acceptable messages. Wow, happy Wednesday! Want to blog? Not today!
A quick Google search for these error messages yielded results that would confirm any blogger or website owner’s worst nightmare. We were being hacked.
In what turned out to be a helpful move, (which can now only be confirmed in hindsight), I slowly stood up from my chair, quietly backed away from my desk, and took my dog for a walk. Yup. That’s what my technology-addled brain came up with. A long walk with my dog. The walk turned into a play which turned into an impromptu grooming session with her new brush. Clearly, I was avoiding reality. I didn’t want to deal with hackers. We’ve just started this website thing, how could we be getting hacked already? I’ll take it as a compliment, I guess?
Back home with a worn-out, mat-free dog, I decided I couldn’t delay the unavoidable any longer. Slowly, I climbed the stairs, re-approached my desk, and gently sat down in my chair (so as to not disturb any computer Gods?). There may have been a few sweet nothings whispered in my computer’s direction and a couple of fingers, toes, and paws crossed, but shhh, that’s between you, me, and the internet.
I remembered that I had signed up for Akismet when I set up my hosting agreement. Akismet is a spam filter plug-in and they are awesome, double awesome. A quick peek onto their website told me that the plug-in would be listed under ‘Plugins’ on my website dashboard. And, great, it was; listed as ‘Inactive’. Oops. A quick activation, account verification etc. later, we were blocking spammers like ninjas! Akismet was catching everything – I could see the reports! I may have done a little dance. Fortunately, we didn’t have nearly the chaos experienced by Pat Flynn, over at Smart Passive Income, when his entire server crashed for a week.
I was happy. And you know who else was happy? My dog. She got me up and away from this mess in the first place, helped me clear my head, and had me coming back to the computer hopeful, and in attack mode.
Zen. I had it yesterday, all thanks to my dog.