3.4 Winter 2021-2022

December 31, Bye bye WordPress

A day or two after my last blog post, I logged onto my free WordPress blog, as I had done for more than two years, only to find my precious blog inaccessible.

Understandably, I panicked.

“Your site has been suspended due to violation of terms of service.” I read with a quickly shortening field of vision.

What? What in the world could I violate? My last blog post was gossip about my coworker!

I sent off an email in desperation and combed through my inbox. I had received no warning, no explanation of why WordPress.com had suddenly and silently removed my website from its platform.

A few hours later I received an email stating that I had specifically violated their spam policy. I read that, mouth agape. Spam? Did they mean literal food spam because in no way could any of my blogs be spam!

My posts with the highest hits were about visa transference and had links to the Korean immigration website. Is this what WordPress considered “solicitation”? Good luck trying to get anything for free from immigration.

I sent off another desperate email, asking them to explain which post was spam and how my blog, which had been running steadily for two years, was now considered a threat.

I got a final email stating that my website was officially removed from WordPress.

Your site has been suspended for containing content that we consider to be spam or machine-generated content. We define this as content created with the primary purpose of mass solicitation, directing traffic to third-party sites, or excessive automated posting. Content that falls into these categories includes, but is not limited to, advertising and promotional content, duplicate content, and content written primarily for gaming search engines. This is a violation of our User Guidelines and Terms of Service, and as such, your site will not be restored.

“Your site will not be restored.”

I sat for a moment in the empty science room office. My site had been taken down, all the photos and videos removed. In its infinite grace, WordPress did allow me to export the text posts, and nothing else. All the formatting and media from my site had vanished. All the traffic I had built naturally over the last two years disappeared. There was no way to export my followers as my WordPress dashboard had been scrubbed clean.

There was no warning, and no time to prepare. Instead, I had to repair.

The to-do list I had made to keep myself occupied during the week of office hours was shoved aside and I threw myself into research about domain names and hosting. Whole days passed where I watched video after video about building your own site, with short breaks to eat snacks from the admin office.

Slowly absabroad took shape. There were unexpected snags like unsaved nameservers, faulty plugins, and missing security certificates but in the end it finally came together, with the help of small creators on YouTube, and support staff at the hosting site and domain site who answered my frantic questions with calm and speed.

So here we are, my very own website. WordPress.com no longer has control over my content and can no longer delete my blog in its entirety because someone had a bad day, or maybe hates Korea.

Because I wrote nearly 500 posts, I do not plan to put the missing media back. Frankly, I’m not sure what the photos were and have decided that the past is past. As such, if you see any old blogs with broken photo links, curse at WordPress.com.

Now, though, I am ready to reveal my new creation! For all the pain, I’m grateful to have complete ownership over my own site, and I hope to expand it one day when I have business opportunities to offer.

For now, let’s read!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: