After checking what Google Analytics had to tell me, I realised that the blog must have been down since the 29th of October. Which means that it remained dead for almost a month (I found this in late November). A further look into the statistics showed that now most of my traffic was for my landing page (makes sense, since it’s unrelated to the WordPress install and didn’t suffer the same tragic fate). But there was also some traffic for some other pages. After more investigation I found out that some posts were still active, after all. This must have been because of the heavy caching that I was doing, which allowed cached pages to be displayed instead of hitting a failing CMS. I saved what I could, used my RSS feed to save some others, and the rest just got lost.
My lack of participation was obviously resulting in a low number of visitors. Still enough to be able to easily tell when the database issue started just by looking at the graphs, but clearly not enough to form an audience that would alert me of these kind of issues. The fact that some of the most popular posts were still cached, and were typically accessed through Google searches, not by browsing within the blog, also contributed to this situation remaining undetected.
About how it happened… I still have no clue. I hear how WordPress might be insecure if not always up-to-date or if you installed the wrong plugin, so I decided I should just assume the worst and go ahead and delete the whole installation and think of what to do next.
So that’s my story: I maintained my personal blog for around 4 years, although it wasn’t really getting the love it deserved, and at some point it just died without me noticing it for almost a month. Now with this second one I’m expecting things to get more manageable and new content to show up more frequently. Time will tell.