Housecleaning on the Server

I have a site or two or three that have over the years had pages, resources, and other items deleted from the site. While the sites are running okay there are a decent number of items that have been deleted still residing on the server. My question is: Does it serve a purpose to totally delete the site from the server and reload it?

It depends. But I’ve definitely deleted everything and then republished. And it works fine … in most cases.

You may need to be careful with some files/folders depending on other stuff you are using (e.g. Armadillo or Easy CMS as examples). It’s possible you may need to set these things up again at the website. I’m not sure about that … so I’m not claiming it will happen. But … in a general way you should be fine.

Another approach, if you know what pages you have deleted is to go in and simply delete those folders and their contents.

Thanks for your advice. As far as deleting “dead” folders is concerned I did that once before and it really screwed things up so I now err on the side of caution when deleting folders from the server.

Well that tells you the folders weren’t really dead!

There are some very good FTP sync programs wherein you export RW to your hard drive then have the FTP software (e.g. Yummy) sync with online.

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This can be dangerous unless you fully understand what is on your server. This shows the advantage of outputting (publishing) to local folder and then ftp files to your server. It is my belief that every RW user should do that at least until they get a basic knowledge of what RW is doing as far as file creation and output (publishing).

Wiping the server can be dangerous if you have created custom files outside of RW. Some examples: php.ini files, htaccess file, keys (google analytics, etc), manually installed scripts, etc…

I use an ftp program to backup my server to my Mac, thus I always have a backup of these “non RW” files. I also use version numbers in my footers. I can then always do searches on my local backups to find “old” files (anything “pre” “xyz” by doing specific searches against version numbers on my html and php pages locally.

Yes, Greg is providing great advice. With my hosting service (@barchard ChilliDog) it is super simple in Cpanel to download a zipped backup. Always safest to do.

Also, depending on your service they will have backups of “states” before the latest change. For example with ChilliDog getting the backup from 24 hours is super simple. I think if I want something from even earlier (back to 30 days) is also easy but needs me to mail @barchard first. I don’t know if all hosting services offer such good service in terms of backups, but it’s been invaluable 2-or-3 times when I made truly bonehead mistakes.

Yep… I’m old fashioned… I believe every website creator should be made to find and then install a simple raw php script (date and time perhaps?) on their server outside of RW. (injecting the call to the script in RW of course.) This would aid so much to understanding what RW and Stacks is doing, etc. But I do understand that goes against everything RW is designed to be (a simple drop and drag site creator.)

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Greg - That is excellent advice. I was very careful and checked for
custom files. Did wipe the server and re-uploaded the site with fingers
crossed. Worked like a charm. Don’t know if it’s my imagination but I
believe the site now loads faster. Anyway, thanks again.

Yes, blindly deleting files on the server can be very very dangerous. You can easily corrupt your account to a point that it is unrecoverable. When this happens, I’m forced to delete the user’s account, create a fresh copy, and then restore from the last backup (if available). :slight_smile:

@Mathew glad the backups came in handy


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I should have read this three first - BUT- I did not, and deleted everything from my server. I republished and now only the text is displaying, with everything else not formatted or not displaying. What do I do to get it back?

With help from many others here, I Republished All Files instead of marking pages as changed, and it brought it all back. Thank you to everyone here wiling to share their knowledge.