Okay, so my latest update.
First, I was obviously a bit irrational with my last post. I was very frustrated.
Second, I have restored my site, but the problems that prompted me to originally post still exist. These are some examples:
1) I can't save or publish a new blog post. I can compose a new one, but if I click either save or publish, it kicks me out to the list of all my currently published posts. Every thing I typed before I clicked save or publish is lost.
2) I can't removed widgets I've installed. For example, I had a box advertising the 50th Eucharistic Congress on my front page. It was two weeks ago and I want to delete it. I can delete behind the scenes but if I look at the blog it is still there.
3) I can't update plug-ins for the site. For example, right now there is an update available for Jet-Pack because you successfully updated the WP version to 3.4. If I select it and click update, the block becomes unchecked and I get an error at the top that says, "Please select one or more plugins to update." I can keep doing that over and over again.
These are just three examples. The bottom line is, I don't have any behind the scenes control of my website. While I may be able to do certain things (e.g. write a new post or delete a widget), the changes don't take effect, it's like they changes are not "saving".
These are the actions I have taken so far based on the advice I have seen in the forums (none of these have fixed the problems described above):
1) Updated to WP 3.4 via simple script
2) Down a fresh copy of WP 3.4 and uploaded files individually via FTP (1600 files)
3) Disabled all plug-ins
4) Tried to create a post while using twenty-eleven theme
5) Checked to make sure wp-content permissions are 755
6) Contacted my host (iPage) about the problem. Not surprisingly, they say its a WP problem. Here is a quote from iPage:
I've uploaded a test script at http://www.christophersmith-op.com/test.php and test database connection script at http://www.christophersmith-op.com/testdb.php and both are working fine . Hence, there's no server side issues.
I've searched the forums and found that I'm not the first person to have the problem:
This one, from three years ago, describes my exact problem. This one also sounds a lot like my problem.
The "fixes" are all about the same: change theme, disable plug-ins, update WP. I've done all that.