Friday, 13 June 2014

How-to: Understand WordPress’ Goshdarnit

Goshdarnit - Wordpress throws an error 

Perhaps you've been using the platform for your website or blog and after a long wait for the screen to refresh after an edit, you get the message:

Goshdarnit! Something has gone wrong with our servers. It’s probably Matt’s fault. We’ve just been notified of the problem. Hopefully this should be fixed ASAP, so kindly reload in a minute and things should be back to normal.

I get this frequently when I empty the spam Comments folder. A few hundred spam messages is all it takes for the clear-down process to loose touch with the administration page, so I get this message. It's not a big deal. is a massive platform with 400 million people viewing more than 14.5 billion pages each month, or put another way, 42 million new posts and 54 million new comments each month.

That's a seriously industrial-strength computing platform, with server clusters and everything that Cloud computing technology has to offer. At peak times, the server load is immense. It's no surprise that sometimes, the load is too much and a process gets interrupted, times out or returns an errors code.

What is surprising is that Wordpress hardly ever screws up and loses data. When editing pages and posts, auto-saving and caching mean that almost every work in progress is saved somewhere, so if you are a Wordpress user, keep the faith and within minutes, if not seconds, things are generally back to normal.

On occasion you may have to force-refresh your browser (clear the cache and re-query Wordpress) to get the latest status, clear the error and get back to what you were doing. Of course, regularly saving drafts is a good way to ensure your hard work is permanently saved back to the database.

So you can relax and not get too anxious over this generic message.

One more thing: Matt is Matt Mullenweg, the fellow behind RC

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