Ihnatko.com is back up! Aren’t you LUCKY!

Maintenance page for CWOB.com


(checking again…)

Okay. It seems as though I’ve successfully nuked the whole site and reinstalled everything. I’ve downloaded fresh copies of WordPress and a couple of templates, and restored all of the site’s existing content.

So I think that should take care of the spamlink hack. I’d tried a couple of other tricks last week to avoid all of this work. If nuking it from orbit doesn’t fix this problem for good — given that I’ve changed all of my passwords — then this becomes what is known in tech circles as A Whole ‘Nother Thing.

This was quite a typical 2010 sort of procedure. I’m not a day-to-day WordPress admin, so I needed to spend some time refreshing my knowledge on how to do all of this properly. A couple of days ago I did all of the advance work (prepping for disasters).

All I needed to do this morning was delete my existing WordPress directory on the server and reinstall everything. It should have been about twenty minutes’ worth of work, all told, including making a few edits to some key files so that WP can find my databases. And indeed, that’s all it really took.

Aha. But instead, Ihnatko.com was down for nearly two hours.

First, I decided that I wanted there to be some sort of “Ihnatko.com is down but it’ll be back up shortly” page in place of my WordPress blog. That took all of five minutes. It’s simple HTML. Then I decided that I wanted it to be in a little CSS box. Then I decided that I wanted a pretty little picture from my photo library (but which one?) Then I wanted to center it all (and CSS is simply not on board with the concept of “let me enter a simple command; it’s your job to figure out how to center this inside whatever boundaries this element happens to appear in”).

Then I thought it’d be cool to have the text overlap the photo a little.

Then I thought I should identify the photo. I Googled for the name of the town and did a little research just in case anybody asked me any questions about it.

Oh, and the dumbest move of them all: I was Twittering as I went. My hostility against CSS inspired snarky, 140-character comments, and on ongoing dialogue with my 35,000 Followers.

But hey, it’s back up now, and…

(let me just check one more time…)

Yes, the invisible spam links have vanished. So either I’ve eliminated the redundant PHP scripts that the hack deposited in my WordPress directory, or it’s A Whole ‘Nother Thing and it’ll take a day or two for some bit of code to realize “Hey…Ihnatko.com doesn’t contain spam links” and do that thing that it does to inject the code into the site again.

(Which shouldn’t happen, because I’ve changed all of the passwords.)

Welcome to Stage One of the cleanup. I’ve fixed…


…I’ve fixed the site at my end. It’ll take about a month before Google’s spiders are convinced that my blog is no longer trying to game the ranking system, and ihnatko.com resumes its rightful place in search results.

In the meantime, if any of your office or home NetNanny-type apps are blocking Ihnatko.com because it’s a spamlink farm…please click whatever link the app provides and tell the service to reconsider its position.


Ok. Good. I don’t need to keep checking. Whatever happens now, happens.


15 thoughts on “Ihnatko.com is back up! Aren’t you LUCKY!

  1. Mark

    I almost Twitter-snarked about how you shouldn’t be centering text anyway — unless you were designing a tombstone. But I didn’t. Wait a minute — I just did.

  2. Blake Helms

    Glad you got it back up and working! Now you get to upgrade to 3.0 in just a few days! The good news is it brings a TON (TONNE for our friends across the pond) of cool features.

  3. DDA

    Nice picture; I was there earlier this year and took a picture that looks very similar. Of course, *everyone* takes that picture. :-)

  4. Marcus Hamaker

    What is completely nuts is that picture. I am from Montreal but since I was a kid we have been vacationing in Wells Beach Maine. I can’t remember a trip that we have taken that hasn’t included family pictures in from of old Nubble, an ice cream at Brown’s and a visit to Goldenrod.

    (said with Leo’s nerd voice) I believe in retrospect that I have missed the point of this article and so I will read it again.

  5. Sam

    Hi Andy,

    Glad to hear you have everything up and running. Here’s hoping the SPAM-bots die a horrible yet spectacular death, preferably after being made to click and read each and every one of the links they post.

    One question for you – I wonder why you didn’t move the blog off of WP.org and onto another platform? Perhaps SquareSpace, Tumblr, WP.com, or other?

    Was there some technical issue, like importing comments? Or is it personal preference in favor of WP.org?

    Just interested.

  6. Prairie Dog

    Congrats on getting the site back up in spam-free condition! We missed your wisdom while you were dealing with unwanted and unreasonable technical issues. Spammers are the lowest form of bottom-feeding scum.

  7. Simon

    Dear Mr Ihnatko

    You sir are a gentleman and a scholar. A writer of wise words and speaker of true thoughts. A photographer of note who can even hold a show tune as envisaged by your occasional video offerings. You hold us in your thrall every weeks as you regale us from your internet throne and when it comes to comic book and flea market lore you have no equal.

    Having said all that and even though I speak to you from bent knee and with bowed head I choose to risk the honour of being your humble servant by venturing to suggest that when it comes to managing your website you, sir, for lack of a better word, are totally and utterly…crap.

    …As my head still rests on my shoulders I will attempt to explain myself.

    It is shameful to your reputation to arrive at your residence to find that you serve your fare in what is often nothing more than a weather-beaten sea-side hot dog concession stand.

    Even though the menu is truly wonderful the experiance is diminished by the salt air, the driving wind and rain and the real threat that an internet vandal will at any moment raze the place to the ground.

    You sully your reputation and ruin our appetites.

    Please. We will think no less of you to know you may not be truly omnipotent. Great chefs are not meant to be handy with bricks and mortar. Let the tradesmen build a temple for your produce.

    I beg of you to venture forth into the world of commerce and find someone worthy to build the palace you deserve. Somewhere where we may venture to partake of your offerings knowing that we will remain safe from crumbling walls of css and html.

    I remain your humble servant etc. etc.

    Simon Clement

  8. Devin Reams

    (not necessarily meant to be public, just reaching out)

    Hey Andy, good to see you back and sorry about your WordPress woes. Feel free to reach out to our team at WordPress HelpCenter, they can take care of any hacks, fixes, tweaks, etc.

    Oh, and our Carrington Text theme seems to suit your site well. Nice choice. ;)

    Let me know if we can help with anything in the near future.

  9. EricE

    WordPress? Really?

    I hear this TWIT podcast thing has has discount codes for SquareSpace :)

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