How I Turned Adversity into Opportunity

Are you looking for opportunities? What kind of opportunity are you looking for? It may be that you are looking for job opportunity or business opportunities. I will suggest that you don’t look too far anymore because opportunities abound around us.  Many people think that opportunities are as far as the distance between Minnesota and Mississippi. This may not be true. In most cases, what you are looking for resides in your pocket. What an irony! A lot of us miss opportunities because of the way or manner opportunities come to us. The reason is quite simple. “Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” – Napoleon Hill.  Henry Dodd said it in another way, “The reason most people do not recognize an opportunity when they meet it is because it usually goes around wearing overalls and looking like hard work.” Out of two or three witnesses, the truth shall be established. If these two great men could say the same thing about opportunity, you better believe them. They must have said it out of their experiences. In my own little life, I have encountered few difficulties that later turned into opportunities for me.

It is on this note I want to share this last experience of mine with you. I believe it will benefit people especially my fellow personal finance bloggers. It happened on Saturday, 30 December 2017. In the morning, I logged into backend of this my website. According to my custom, I quickly checked the website traffic statistics. I realised that the traffic for the day so far was unusually too low compared to the previous days. Well, I concluded in my mind that it was holiday period. Perhaps the readers of the site behaved the same way and chose not to be online. Unfortunately, I didn’t bother to view the website to see how the website appeared to the visitors. I just quickly settled down and stated my writing. I was so engrossed in writing that I didn’t know that it was already 3.00pm. At that time, I quickly returned to check the statistics again. Behold, the traffic report remained at the same level it was when I first checked it in the morning. At that point, I knew that something was wrong.

So, I quickly type my domain name in my browser. The browser would not even allow me to type more that the first two letters before the website name popped up. But instead of seeing the pages of the website, the following were displayed.

“Fatal error: Unknown: Cannot use output buffering in output buffering display handlers in Unknown on line 0”

For people that visited the website yesterday, you must have experienced the same. I sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this might have caused you. Something like this happens at times. Even though I was not done with the article I was writing, I needed to suspend everything in order to ensure that the error is quickly resolved. I don’t want to bore you with the details of what I did before I was able to resolve it. But unfortunately, what I thought would just take maximum of one hour made me stay clued to my laptop late into the night till around few minutes after 10.00pm. I only had a one hour break in between. Nevertheless, I was fulfilled at the end that I was able to resolve it. It was actually an adversity for me as far as my website is concerned but it turned out to be an opportunity for me as I learnt some valuable lessons in the process. If I should pay for what I learnt, it would run into thousands of dollars. It made me see the reason why experienced consultants charge high fee for their consultancy services. It is not just about the number of hours they spend with you or how long it takes them to resolve an issue. They actually charge clients for the level of expertise they are able to put to bear in proffering solutions to the problems facing their clients.

For the sake of my fellow bloggers who may likely experience this type of situation in the future, I will highlight how I resolved the error. My first call was to search the internet for the phrase as displayed on my website. Truly, I was able to find useful posts. Some of the things mentioned that one needs to do is to deactivate some plugins which are not WordPress plugins. I deactivated just about two but it made no difference. I didn’t go further on this when I read about what somebody posted. He said that his website was restored after deactivating some plugins but the problem resurfaced again few days after. Another person wrote about the need to increase memory. This was somehow complex for me to do. I tried reaching my website hosting company but I didn’t get the required help. My temperature had started rising at this point. I was so concerned about the visitors to my website.

At this point, I increased my search for solution until I stumbled on an article that mentioned that W3 Total Cache usually causes such type of error. He said that there might be conflict between W3 Total Cache and one or two other plugins. So, I decided to deactivate the W3 Total Cache. This worsened the situation as the backend of my website became totally blank. I couldn’t see anything on the website again. However, all the menus both at the top and the left side still appeared. However, if you clicked on any of the menus, nothing came up.  I visited the frontend of the website, the initial error  “Fatal error: Unknown: Cannot use output buffering in output buffering display handlers in Unknown on line 0” has changed to “fatal error: allowed memory size of 67108864 bytes exhausted”. The error was more specific this time around as it made reference to the WP-Statistics. I wanted to deactivate the plugin but the problem is that I couldn’t access it again as the backend was totally blank. Would this be the end of all my efforts? “No”, I said to myself. There must be a way out. I searched about issues relating to the deactivation of W3 Total Cache, I learnt that the deactivation might not be complete without deleting some files in the CPanel. I actually deleted the files but it made no difference. Then I concluded that W3 Total Cache might not be the problem and I decided to restore it.

The challenge now was how to restore/reactivate the W3 Total Cache that made it to become blank. I quickly went back to my CPanel. I remember that I had another website which I had not updated for a long time. What I did was to copy the W3 Total Cache folder and the .htccess from the document file root into the same directory of my website to replace the one I had deleted. At this stage, I began to feel as a webmaster. This may not look like anything to some people. But you should remember that I am an accountant with no such background training. After I did this, the backend began working normally but the front end is still showing “fatal error: allowed memory size of 67108864 bytes exhausted” with reference to WP-Statistics plugin. So, I decided to deactivate the WP-Statistics plugin. This was what resolved the whole issue as my website was fully restored. It was long hours of intense work for me. I will not like my fellow bloggers to experience what I went through. It is better imagined especially if you truly care for your website visitors. That is why I decided to write this article so that many people can learn from my experience. I said to myself, if I had known, I would have continued with the deactivation of the plugins one after the other. This would have resolved the whole issue. But I was not patient enough.

Lessons Learnt

  • There is no problem without a solution. If you don’t give up, you will soon hit the mark.
  • I should not depend totally on my website hosting company for solution because they may not be there when you need them.
  • It is important to maintain a backup for your website.
  • Adversity can be an opportunity. If not for the problem, I would not have written this article which has turned into an opportunity for me to assist my fellow bloggers.

Please, if this is helpful to you, don’t keep it to yourself. Endeavour to share it among your fellow bloggers. It may safe someone from unnecessary stress. Let’s be our brother’s keeper. Everyone should be on the lookout for the article I was writing which I needed to suspend because of the error that caused my website to be temporarily down. I have decided to work more on the article so as to compensate my visitors. I will publish the article in the first week of the New Year. I wish all of you a Happy New Year in advance.

2 thoughts on “How I Turned Adversity into Opportunity

  1. Congrats on being able to solve the issue yourself and for sharing. We’ve been getting better at figuring out technical problems but sometimes I don’t know where to begin. That’s when I reach out to someone in the community.

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