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Stupid Mistakes...
You're supposed to laugh afterwards, right?
mivox

WebmasterWorld Senior Member mivox us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 504 posted 11:40 pm on May 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

I have multiple .htacess files for my employer's site... the main one (we'll call it htaccess-A) controls the custom error message, a long list of 303 redirects & robot bans, and my SSI navigation menus. htaccess-B (which I added last week) keeps Googlebot out of a duplicate site directory within my online store... wouldn't want to get banned for duplicate content, now that Google is following dynamic links! htaccess-C controls the password access to our email newletter archives. I never mess with htaccess-C anymore.

Can you see what's coming yet?

I added a new redirect line to htaccess-A. Then, I uploaded the updated file to the correct directory, right? Suddenly, all my SSI navigation menus were gone. I freaked. I opened htaccess-A again, to make sure I hadn't altered the AddHandler line that controls the SSI. Nope... the line was still there. So I uploaded the .htaccess file to the correct directory again... Still no navigation menus.

My web host must have changed their server configuration somehow! My AddHandler line must not work anymore! I called my webhost (who's also an ISP) and got one of their regular tech support guys... who knows a lot about configuring a home dialup internet account, but knows nothing about servers and SSI or anything.

I demanded to speak to someone who had access to their server configuration. Nobody was available. I was pretty darn irate. Mr. Tech Support promised to have one of their server admins call me back at home after 7:30 (I was about to go home at the end of a nice long day at work when the menus disappeared). Nobody ever called. I assumed they had fixed the problem.

I checked the site at home in the morning. Still no menus. I called the host again. Got another tech support guy. I remained relatively calm this time. He called an admin, and called me back. I downloaded htaccess-A from the server (since I don't keep a backup copy of the site at home), at Mr. Tech Support #2's request. Ooops.

Somehow, two or three times in a row yesterday, I'd edited htaccess-A and then uploaded htaccess-B in its place. Thereby losing my custom 404 page and my navigation menus, AND simultaneously banning Googlebot from my entire site, AND blaming the poor blameless tech support guys at my host for not being able to help.

I apologised profusely. The tech support guy said he understood, no problem. I said I feel really bad for the guy I spoke to yesterday though... I was really upset then... We figured out who it was I spoke to yesterday. I apologized again. The tech support guy said, sympathetically "I'd never want to be a webadmin."

LOL... yeah, tough job I have! Oh the weight of the virtual world upon my shoulders, eh? :)

Anyone else care to share any stupid oversights, mistakes or other webmastering blunders? It would make me feel better! :)

 

Froggyman



 
Msg#: 504 posted 11:56 pm on May 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

I've had my fair shair of stupid mistakes. Mostly simple stuff like not setting file permissions correctly etc. It's bound to happen and keep happening from time to time. If we don't make mistakes we won't learn from them. ;)

My former host once was having problems with their email server and fowarded all of my emails to somebody else (God knows who). Now that's a real stupid mistake!

startup

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 504 posted 2:10 am on May 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

I don't make stupid mistakes, when it comes to messing up, major tactical blunders are my specialty.

At one time I had a bad habit of using "capitals" at the beginning of all "Keywords" when searching and doing Keyword research. This was when AV was a real SE and no one had heard of Goto. I built a site that was mainly targeting AV, so this is where I did most of my research.

Yep, you guessed it!! The whole site was built and submitted before I realized what happened. I blamed AV for changing their algo, it couldn't possibly had been me, after all my careful rearch :).

minnapple

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 504 posted 3:42 am on May 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

Using a subdirectory of my site for a customers work in progress site.

I loaded their index.html in my main directory and overwrote my main index.html.

I became aware of it after I had no inquires after several days!

Yikes . .

mivox

WebmasterWorld Senior Member mivox us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 504 posted 4:18 am on May 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

fowarded all of my emails to somebody else (God knows who)

Yipe! Nothing personal, I hope...

Kinda reminds me of the person who kept calling my house leaving important sounding messages for someone else. After the third message, I returned their call to tell them they had the wrong number...

it couldn't possibly had been me, after all my careful rearch

Oh, heavens no! Us [big]Webmasters[/big] (sound reverent trumpets here) NEVER make stupid mistakes. LOL

I'm just glad I'm not a surgeon... "What, you mean I re-attached the diseased liver, and threw the perfectly good transplant organ away? Oopsie."

Using a subdirectory of my site...

Ooh. I do the same thing. I'll have to watch for that one next time I'm working on a client's site... ;) After yesterday, I wouldn't put any file-swapping errors past myself.

nicebloke

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 504 posted 9:06 am on May 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

>Anyone else care to share any stupid oversights, mistakes or other webmastering blunders? It would make me feel better!

Yeah check Foo. I managed to start TWO posts, not just one, which is pretty embarrasing.

>I loaded their index.html in my main directory and overwrote my main index.html.

Also my speciality! ;)

Gorufu

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 504 posted 10:48 am on May 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

> I loaded their index.html in my main directory and overwrote my main index.html.

I overwrote all my newly translated Japanese webpages with the English versions.

The neighbour's two year old daughter decided to give our pet c o c k a t o o (parrot) the floppy disk containing the Japanese translations.

My server's daily backup files didn't help either. They were already overwritten with the wrong pages. After this stuff-up I setup cron jobs for daily, weekly and monthly backups to different directories to recover from other stuff-ups.

My Japanese staff member and translator was on a plane travelling to Japan to do sales and marketing for me. Fortuantely he had the Japanese translations and website on his notebook computer.

Edited by: Gorufu

mivox

WebmasterWorld Senior Member mivox us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 504 posted 6:11 pm on May 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

Fortuantely he had the Japanese translations and website on his notebook computer

Oh, lucky, lucky! I've got another good goof-up in the "Importance of Customer Service" thread... During our big update, I overwrote the "View your Shopping Cart/Check Out" page with the "Print This Page As Your Receipt" page... leaving no-one any way of actually checking out.

A customer emailed to tell me about that one, and of course, I had no back-up of the original Check Out page handy, so I had to rebuild it.

sugarkane

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 504 posted 6:29 pm on May 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

>leaving no-one any way of actually checking out

Similar thing here... once when working on my shopping cart, I set it to print orders to a file rather than send the actual order. Of course, when I uploaded, I forgot to switch back to sending the orders, so each order was printed to the test file, overwriting the previous order.

This was on a Friday afternoon and I lost a full weekend of orders...

Needless to say, I've learnt from that error - I now avoid doing anything of note on a Friday :)

mivox

WebmasterWorld Senior Member mivox us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 504 posted 6:44 pm on May 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

I now avoid doing anything of note on a Friday

I think I'll make a note of that one... the shopping cart error happened on a Monday, but the .htaccess screw up was an uploaded-the-file-five-minutes-before-leaving-work-on-Friday incident. :)

rcjordan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rcjordan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 504 posted 7:41 pm on May 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

One of the first heavy-duty javascripts I ran across that had commercial use was a variation of what was later refined (reduced by several K) to be the Perspicacity Headliner [infohiway.com]. At the time, I had a standing offer from an advertiser for a position at the top of my best pages. Soooo, I sold the space, loaded the script high on the pages, and everyone was happy. Happy, that is, until the first indexing by AV -the SE that generated the majority of my traffic. I blew the bottom out of a top 3 ranking, not just on one page either. (This was before external js, or at least before I knew of it, btw.)

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