Troubleshooting gluBlog’s problems

So gluBlog has been down for a very long time. Technically it was live but no one was using it. There were large number of spam comments, spam subscribers and even permalink was not working. Being a sysadmin it is my responsibility to resolve the issues. But I have been lazy untill couple of days back, I sat down 5 hours straight to resolve all the problem with this wordpress based blog. In this article I will be discussing what were the problems and how I troubleshooted it. It could be helpful to students who would be handling the server in the future

#1 Removing the spam users

As you can see there were 256 Subscribers registered and 88 Pending users. All of them were spam users. I used the Bulk Actions option to delete them all. Done is 5 minutes – EASY.

To avoid more of these spam subscribers getting registered I disabled the option “Anybody can register”. Now users who want to write an article would have to ask the admin to add him on the gluBlog.

Selection_034

Selection_035

 

 

#2 Removing spam comments and trackbacks

The other problem was removing spam comments and not allowing to track pingback/ trackback. So I disabled it from the Settings menu in wordpress. But how to remove more than 32000 pingbacks which were still showing up in the comments section. WordPress Dashboard allows bulk deletion of 200 comments at once. It would take hours just to delete 32k comments. So what did I do ?

Selection_038 Selection_039

So basically what I did is used an SQL query. The entire wordpress data is stored in a MySQL database. So I opened up my phpmyadmin panel and hit this query up in the wordpress database.

 DELETE *FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_type="trackback"  

This was the result.Selection_042

#3 Enabling Permalinks

So if you don’t know what are Permalinks then read about it here.  Permalinks allowed me to create a custom url of a blog post or a page. But it was not working. The problem I found was that the AllowOverride was not enable in httpd.conf file

The main goal of AllowOverride is for the manager of main configuration files of httpd (the one found in /etc/httpd/ mainly) to decide which part of the configuration may be dynamically altered on a per-path basis by applications.

On Linux, in order to relax access to the document root, you should edit the following file:

/etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

And depending on what directory level you want to relax access to, you have to change the directive

AllowOverride None

to

AllowOverride All

So, assuming you want to allow access to files on the /var/www/html directory, you should change the following lines from:

 <Directory "/var/www/html" AllowOverride None /Directory>

to

<Directory "var/www/html" AllowOverride All /Directory>

#4 Enabling DISQUS comments

This took a long time to resolve. The DISQUS comments were not showing up. They used to when I first installed them. I searched this issue on google and found that a plugin installed on this blog was conflicting with DISQUS plugin. I disabled it and DISQUS was working again.

Finally I changed the theme to Casper, which is a ghost clone theme and entirely open source. Anybody is free to write article and share their knowledge among the others. If you want your exclusive account here on gluBlog just ask for it in the comments.

Happy blogging!

 

 

 

Sagar Karira

Sagar is currently studying Computer Sc. and Engg. in NIT HAMIRPUR . He is passionate about technology , blogging and learning . He is a follower of open source , technology and linux enthusiast.