So I get an alert from WordPress along the lines of Hey, your site is blowin’ up, dog, which was weird for a couple of reasons. First, that kind of language is not very professional, and second, my site never blows up. After a little research, I discovered the extra traffic was because I had installed a new WordPress theme. Why did I do that? Because it had been 24 hours since I last installed a new WordPress theme.
You may have noticed I moved my blog to a /blog subdirectory of my website. I did this so I could have more control over the front page, which is now just a page full of book covers. And honestly, why else would anyone be visiting? With that change, I decided I would like a blog theme that had a sidebar, so that every time someone googled through to a blog post, I could immediately spam them with my books.
Well, I got the spam part right.
For this new design, I chose Johannes – Multi-concept Personal Blog & Magazine WordPress theme by Meks. I was already using their Typology theme, so I happy to see them offer a more traditional 2-column design. Anyway, that was fine, except the Meks themes are crazy customizable, so it takes a while to get them looking just right (I’m still not done). Where things went horribly wrong was during the install, when it asked: install demo content?
My mind said no, but my body… my body said yes!
Now, I imagine this isn’t usually a problem for people just starting out with a new blog. Demo content can be great for getting a feel for the theme and configuring it before you really start adding posts and pages. But… what if you already have an established blog?
What if that established blog is configured to automatically share your posts to other social media services?!
Well, now we know. The Johannes installer added 10, 20, or maybe 2,000 sample posts and a dozen pages or so. For each of those demo (read: garbage lorem) posts, an update was made to Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress.
And there it was… a full-on SPAM blitzkrieg!
So like a goober, I had to:
- Delete all the posts from my blog
- Delete all the posts from Twitter (one at a time!)
- Delete all the posts from Facebook (known for its speed and ease of use!)
Luckily, the WordPress Reader updated when I deleted the posts from my blog, so I thought I was good there. As it turns out, anyone subscribed to my blog via email GOT EVERY GARBAGE POST IN THEIR INBOX!
So, from the bottom of my black heart, I apologize. I did not mean to spam you with so much garbage, and I will be much more careful in the future.
And if you, brave WordPress user, ever install a theme on an established blog and it asks if you want to import demo content, just say no.