Support » Fixing WordPress » Changed url in settings and host says files are no longer on server???

  • Okay, this is bizarre.

    1) I have several domains pointing to the same home directory on my host, and my client wanted to change to a different one. (Otherwise people logged in to and ended up with showing in their url bar.) I went into the General settings and changed the url to another one that is pointing to the same directory.

    2) I went back to the site, and the site has lost all formatting, and going to the /wp-admin shows server not found. AND typing either OR comes up in the URL bar, and says can’t be found. I don’t have a url called (It’s not impossible I mistyped the url in the General settings…)

    Obviously I screwed up the database or something and I should have read the stuff on moving WordPress more carefully – but since I wasn’t moving anything I didn’t think… You know how it goes.

    Okay, here’s where it gets weird.

    3. I called my hosting service, and they say none of my files are on the server. Only the original FTP upload I did in July is showing up. People all over the country have been making changes to the site (logging in to wp-admin) and they’ve been sticking. He said they must be on my “server” – I run a laptop on an aircard that is turned off 50% of the time, so that’s not possible. It shows no file updates since July, no changes since the original FTP upload. He suggested reinstalling WordPress over top of it. I am afraid to do that in case the updated files (which are now invisible?) are somehow still there and I’ll lose them.

    An hour ago the site was working perfectly. How could changing the url in General cause all my updated files AND the WordPress install (he said it’s not installed in my home directory, where EVERYTHING points) to disappear? It only shows wp content from July 14. No updates.

    I’ve been making all changes on the site online since July, as have other people. No one else was online or making changes at the time. Some of the updated content (from August) shows up in basic HTML format on one of the urls, so the updated content (at least some of it) is THERE. But my hosting service says its not on their server.

    So somehow all the updates, data, images, posts were going somewhere else? How is that possible? All the urls point to home, so in theory they’re all looking at the same files, right?

    My hosting service was totally stumped but not particularly helpful. However all indicators on his end were that no changes had been made since July. And my FTP information shows the same thing. I can’t hack the database because the updated database isn’t there.

    Any theories??? Or at least a place to start? It has to be something stupid and simple, doesn’t it???

    I hope.

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Ok.

    I am going to ask you to clarify a couple of things, and try to clarify a couple of things.

    1) You had multiple domain names all pointed to the same IP but only had one site? One WordPress? And this is not a multisite install?
    2) The domains you listed are in fact active but I don’t think they are yours. What are your real domain names? Fake URLs are useless and annoying.
    3) Most of your content is in the database. You may not see file changes for months and months unless you are editing the PHP, Javascript, or CSS source. These files do not typically get edited when people login to the backend and make changes. Not seeing changes since July doesn’t strike me as necessarily odd, in itself.
    4) The exception to #3 is your media. Media is uploaded to “/wp-content/uploads”. You should probably see changes in that directory.
    5) Please be clear about when you are talking about #3 vs. #4.
    6) Changing the URL shouldn’t make anything disappear. It may make the site inaccessible over HTTP but should not effect what see over FTP at all. So that is weird. I am not sure I trust this– “he said it’s not installed in my home directory, where EVERYTHING points”. Why did “he” say that? What is the evidence? What do you see when you login over FTP? So you know, my suspicions are aroused by this statement, “I went back to the site, and the site has lost all formatting”, which implies that the site partially works. If WordPress were not installed, the site would not work at all, partially or otherwise.
    7) This is an interesting statement, “It only shows wp content from July 14. No updates.” Are you talking about files or database information?
    8) This is also an interesting statement, “Some of the updated content (from August) shows up in basic HTML format on one of the urls,..”. What is that URL?
    9) “All the urls point to home, so in theory they’re all looking at the same files, right?” There is at least a few ways that could get screwed up. Please explain your setup as much as possible.
    10) “I can’t hack the database because the updated database isn’t there.” How do you know the database isn’t there? Chances are slim you could see it over FTP, and you haven’t mentioned any database interfaces like PhpMyAdmin.

    Thanks for trying to help me. I’ll try to answer all your questions clearly, referring to your numbers…

    1) Yes, multiple domains, one install. My “client” (my sisters band) changed their name twice and wanted the old url to continue to work, and wanted to be sure people who misspelled it could get to the site. (In retrospect this probably should have been a redirect? Still getting the hang of this.)

    2) Sorry for the annoying fake domain names – maybe when you see the real ones you’ll see why I didn’t start there. Domains are:

    3) Good to know about the back end edits not showing up as file changes.

    4) You are right – there are files newer than July 14 in the /uploads directory on the host. The tech support guy saw (as did I at the time) that the latest update to all the files on the host server was July 14. No files showed any modified dates more recent than that in their “modified” column. (That’s why he presumed nothing had been changed since July 14 – based on the “modified” column in the File Manager on the hosting site.) So phew, that’s a relief, at least that much is probably there.

    5) I hope I was clear – we were looking at files, not the database – and yes, there are in fact newer files in the uploads directory.

    6) He said there was no WordPress program installed in the host directory, that for all these months I must have been reading the “program” off my hard drive. (What does that mean anyway? Like MAMP? Which isn’t possible because I’ve accessed the site from my iPhone, my 82 year old Mom’s iPad, and my computer isn’t on half the time.) This doesn’t seem right – what does he mean the “program” – I think I have all the WordPress directories, index.php, etc., the same as they’ve always been.

    His “evidence” was looking at Simple Scripts through the control panel on the hosting site – it didn’t show a WordPress install as being installed through Simple Scripts. I told him I FTP’d the site on July 14, and I don’t think I used their Simple Scripts interface to install WordPress. He said the “program” wasn’t there. The WordPress program. I don’t think he knows what he’s talking about. I feel better that you are suspicious too.

    7) Files. Based on the modified date, as I explained in #4

    8) My site will show up as basic HTML (with broken links) on any of the above urls. On further exploration since I posted this, I realized the autofill on my browser was faking me out – I THOUGHT I was typing in one url and landing on another) but that is not the case. They all go to the same place.

    9) I think this will explain it – I have the above listed urls all pointing to one install, that is located at the root. All the urls point to the home directory of the root.

    10) HE said the database isn’t there. (Huh???) I hadn’t looked at PhPMyAdmin. (I tend to assume the tech support guys know more than I do…) I just looked and, in fact, the database is there. So it looks like my original assumption was right, maybe? I just screwed up the references in the database???

    Thanks again for your help.

    OH and to clarify one more thing – related to #6 – the tech support guy said that since the files showed no modifications since July 14, I had been making all my changes ELSEWHERE – that my files were on “another” server. Which really didn’t make sense to me.

    1) Yes, DNS level domain redirect would have been better, but what you have should probably work.

    2) I’ve seen crazier names, and much much crazier sites which I will not name. I have to have the real names. I can already see why your site is ill-formatted. I am not sure why though.

    4) You host doesn’t know how to check modification times.

    6) It makes no sense that you’d be ‘reading’ the program off of your hard drive. Your host, or the host’s tech support, don’t seem to understand even the bare basics of WordPress. None of that makes any sense for a database driven site. It makes so little sense I am not going to try to analyze it, and if you knew me you’d know how hard it is to get me to stop analyzing. 🙂

    10) Yes. I think all of your stuff is there.

    …. Got it.

    Here is the URL that works–
    Here is the URL that don’t–

    The broken one has ‘rocket’ spelled correctly 🙂

    Do this.



    I’ve been away for a couple of weeks due to various family crisis (all’s well now) but THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! This worked great, and I can’t thank you enough for the time you spent helping me. I’m sorry this reply is late getting to you!

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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