Widgets Lab is back!

September 23rd, 2009 by Derek Anderson Leave a reply »


First of all, I want to say Thanks to Ming!

When all else had failed and I had pretty much given up hope, Ming stepped in to save the day.

Back story:
For the last three plus months you may have noticed some intermittent server issues with Widgets Lab. These were due in large part to the ceaseless efforts of the spammers of the world. See, I felt confident that I had a handle on the spam comments because I was using the Askimet plug-in for Word Press.
Askimet is the cats meow…except for one small aspect that I had overlooked. Askimet saved every spam comment that it had ever blocked. This is just shy of 3 years worth of comment spam totalling 1,784,437 actual spam comments.

In mid to late August my web host told me that I needed to find a new hosting company. This is fine. So I looked around, asked a few people and settled on HostMonster.com . I set up the account, viewed some tutorials for transferring/migrating a Word Press blog to a new host and jumped in.


The fun starts.
I went ahead and created the Word Press Export file that they tell you to create. Then I went to the new “Vanilla” Word Press installation I had created on the new host and tried to import my Word Press (.xml) file that I had just created. I noticed that there was a 2mb limit on the upload. I thought this was strange because there was no displayed limit on the creation of the export file. I found out that there is a limit. (at least for me there was) The file terminated at 23mb (ouch!)
I obviously could not upload a 23mb file when there is a 2mb upload limit. So I used the HostMonster Live Chat feature. The tech was kind enough to edit a .ini file to allow for the 23mb file…thank you!
When uploading was done and I could log into the Word Press dashboard…I discovered I was missing almost an entire year’s posts. (Nov. 08 to present) time to freak out!


Most of what happened the next 24 hours is a blur. I tried every idea that came to me to fix this issue. Nothing worked out. I even decided to pick up with what I had left and just start posting again. So the first thing I did was to verify which plug-ins were operating that I absolutely needed and then I went and deleted all them pesky spam comments…something broke.

Widgets Lab is “Jailed”
Whether it was activating a plugin or deleting the spam comments or something I’ll never know…Widgets Lab was put into whats called “Jailed” by the server/host. Jailed means the website is eating way more computer resources (from the server) that its fair share. So it is then restricted to only consume its fair share which slows down the site to an absolute crawl. This of course, was unacceptable. So…I opted to just start from the very beginning. Zero posts…only the Widgets Lab theme was available.

Ming to the rescue

Ming, the author of Stickiwidgets.com noticed something was up with Widgets Lab and emailed me about it. I told him the story of the failed export/import and suspected quantity of spam hosing up the works. He offered to see if he could help in some way. I of course agreed.  (remember…all hope was lost at this point)

Ming required access to the various backups, new and old servers etc… and to my absolute and utter amazement, he restored Widgets Lab to its former glory. In fact, I believe it has never been faster. All posts, pages, comments (minus 1.7 million spam) images, themes, etc. What really blew me away was that it only took him a couple of hours tops to get it all done.

WOW! Thank You Ming

Visit Ming over at Stickiwidgets.com , I’m sure he would like to see you.


  1. Ming says:

    When I saw your post I just couldn’t let it happen. 3 years of content and hard work gone!!! Something had to be done…

  2. I can’t thank you enough! Now…what is the next step?

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