Well, it is almost two months from the fateful day when I received the email from my hosting company’s tech support that they had run a compression option on my website AND an optimization plugin. Either one alone was enough to send me into shock as compression has NEVER worked well on my site with the plugins I run, and optimization runs by deleting orphan elements in your database. Except there’s really no such thing as a universal orphan — some plugins treat autosaves that you haven’t worked on in two weeks as orphans and wants to delete them.
Sure enough, it nuked my site. Restores from backups ran into conflicts with the caching software and the result was that everything did NOT restore perfectly. Some posts would look fine one day and the next would crash when loading; some plugins on the backend wouldn’t load at all, and then an hour later worked fine. I suspect, but cannot be sure, that the fault was a combination of incomplete restores AND the caching software at the server level. In the end, the only way to rebuild in a way that was entirely reliable was to nuke everything and restore generally from zero. I had all the data, but the rebuilding still required me to pretty much update each plugin first AND to open and resave each post to make sure the data was complete. In several cases, I found glitches in the middle of posts — parts that DIDN’T restore properly — which supports my theory that the restore didn’t quite work perfectly.
Anyway, I’ve been heavy in the weeds for sometime, averaging 3-4h a night on the rebuild process, and I’m making progress. Here’s the status:
It feels good to be over 77% done, although it’s hard to tell if the weighting is correct. I estimated 1/3 to get the plugins right, and 2/3 to rebuild the content overall. If I reweight it 50/50, it goes to 82% overall. If I reweighted the content higher, perhaps a 10/90 split, it would change to 70%. Soooo, I’m somewhere between 70-82% I guess. The stuff I’m doing now isn’t long per post, but it is REALLY mindless.