Stumped

I have been running a WordPress blog since early 2004. Aside from the occasional issue with hosting providers, I have never encountered any major technical issues. Until yesterday.

I generally update the blog during the evening at home or sometimes during lunch at work if I have a few minutes and the post is brief. Yesterday I intended to post a birthday greeting for my youngest son. But, when I tried to upload an image for the post, the admin panel hung.

Fine, I’ll restart the browser and try again.

No joy.

I could not get to richardcleaver.com. I could ping the site and I could trace the site. Neither http or ftp would access the site. But only from the Internet connection at work. The hosting provider could see the site. Friends outside could see the site. My mobile devices could see the site.

Odd. Very odd.

I thought that something might have changed with the network at work so I waited until I got home to post the birthday greeting for Matthew.

The exact same thing happened at home. Once I hit the upload image button on the WordPress admin panel the browser hung and richardcleaver.com was inaccessible. But only on the home network.

Today, the site is accessible from both locations. This suggests a DNS issue. As the DNS servers refreshed both locations, the site was once more accessible.

I can bring up the WordPress admin panel and I can publish a post without images.

I will try to post an image when I get home tonight.

I do not know the root cause. I suspect that the DNS caches were somehow impacted on the downstream DNS servers that reside with the respective Internet Service Providers. Last night, at home, I flushed the local DNS cache on my computer, cleared the cache on the browser and reset the router. No effect. I even pointed the browser to another DNS service. No effect. I could not get the site to resolve. All I received was a “server taking too long to respond” error message. Hence my suspicion that the downstream DNS servers were having trouble resolving the domain address.

All is current with the WordPress install. No changes were made over the past several months. I upload images all the time. I even checked the permission settings on the server-side folders just in case my hosting service had inadvertently reset file permissions. They are fine.

It is a mystery. And frankly, life is too short to be chasing phantoms.

I will make sure that the site is fully backed up and I will do a fresh WordPress install. Hopefully that will chase out any potential gremlins in the site.

Or, to put it another way, I have no idea what I am doing or what I should be doing.

Sigh. Technology can have its moments.

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