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The other day, while I was working on this Blog, I suffered quite a scare. As I was working in the Admin section of the blog, I suddenly received a surprising response from the server. I received a dreaded “Internal Server Error” message.

I tried every other URL I can think of on this site. They all produced the same error message. I just could not get into my site and also the back end admin site.

I was worried. Have I just lost everything on the site?

The first thing I did after that was to go check on my backups. Following is what I discovered.

WordPress Automated Backup Email

I was under the assumption that I’ve got my WordPress Automated Backup running. I’ve slacked and have never checked my backup email since.. I don’t even know when was the last time I checked on my backups. My last backup was in June!

Since I can’t rely on my automated backup, which was not running for some unknown reason. I had to make sure that I don’t really need the backup.

I removed all my plugins. Still cannot access the website. I removed all my themes. Same result. What else is there to check besides going down into the database?

I then checked the .htaccess file. I saw that the .htaccess file has got two WordPress configuration entries. So, I removed one of them and saved the file. Tried to access the site again, and ..

Voila! Everything is back to normal. Phewww!

Following is the default WordPress htaccess. This is normally autogenerated for you when you define your site’s custom perma link settings. So if yours look different or don’t have any and everything is working just fine then you are okay.

# BEGIN WordPress
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
# END WordPress

Now, my first task is to perform a complete backup of this site. Then I will have to reconfigure my Automated Backup.

I still find it strange though. Why did the system actually fail? Was it really caused by the duplicate WordPress entries in the .htaccess file? If so, how did the duplicate entry came about in the file? If I remembered correctly, everything was fine. I was working on the Post area of the Admin.

Should I try to recreate the problem? Perhaps, but certainly not now.

So, my question to you now is.. Have you got a backup system in place for your website? It doesn’t matter if the site is for personal, business, production or development. If you value the work and data you have put into your site, I recommend that you configure a backup system for your site.

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