My wordpress got hacked

Last week while doing some Google searching, I notice my SEO meta data on this site had been hacked. Oh joy… A little poking around quickly confirmed the issue/problem. Oh joy, again… Time for a little cleanup. Thought I’d share the process in case any of you find yourselves in this predicament.

The process:

  1. Make a backup, just in case things go horribly wrong. For me, since I knew what I wanted to preserve, I just grabbed a copy of my database and uploads folder.  If you’re not familiar with WordPress, you might just want to grab everything.
  2. Quick assessment/documentation of the site – plugins, theme, site configurations – anything you’ll need to put back.
  3. Decision time: to clean it up or blow away and start fresh.  For me, I decided it’d be easier to blow everything away and start fresh – I only have about 500-ish posts and only about a 100 or so uploads.  And this site has been through various themes, conversions, etc., so the database, along with the hack had grown way beyond anything I wanted to try and clean up.  Miss something and all that effort could go down the drain, so it’s was just easier to start fresh.  Your mileage may vary.
  4. Next I disabled any plugins I wasn’t interest in keeping – an attempt to make the export process as clean and simple as possible.
  5. Export “all content” using the export feature of WordPress.  You want to be sure you’re exporting from the most current version of wordpress.  More precisely, you want to make sure whatever version you export from will be the same version you’ll reimport into.
  6. Now that you have your content (the XML file WordPress just exported for you) and other important files you snagged from the backup process, you’re ready to blow away your existing WordPress install. For me: I simply created a new database, along with a new database users and password for safety.  I then blew away all the WordPress files except for my /wp-content/uploads folder.  Now, you need to systematically go through your uploads folder and verify everything in there belongs and is clean – don’t just assume – verify or all this work could be for nothing.
  7. Now go download new/clean copy of WordPress – don’t use your existing files since they could have been compromised.  Again, it’s important that your versions remain consistent, so be sure to use the same version you exported with earlier. Upload your new files and configure WordPress to use your new database.  The configuration/install process is triggered by simply accessing your website URL after you’ve finished uploading WordPress.  Be sue you use a new admin password, you old one is compromised – it’s also a good idea to steer clear of the “admin” username period.
  8. Now that WordPress is functional, but empty, go download plugins and themes you may need.  Again, these should be fresh downloads, being sure you keep the versions consistent.
  9. Ready for import.  Simply click on tools import – WordPress. You’ll have to download and install the WordPress import plugin, but if you made it this far, you’ll make it through that.  Once the plugin in installed, you simply import the content.  You’ll have the option to reattribute post to existing or other users.  You can also decide wether or not you wan to download/import files.

A couple of things about about the import process.  At the time I’m writing this it’s WordPress is 3.7.1 and the importer is 0.6.1, things do change.  The first time I ran the importer I didn’t check the “download and import file attachment” option.  Remember, I left my “cleaned” wp-content/uploads directory in place.  This preserved all my image links and such, but didn’t populate the media library – it was empty.  Not exactly what I wanted, so I dropped all the table in the database and went through the WordPress configuration and import process again, this time checking the “download and import file attachment” option.  That populated the media library, but create a couple new problems:

  1. It duplicated, and in couple of cases tripled all of my files.  I assume this was because the import process was acquiring/downloading and writing the files to the same directory and simply append the file names with a 1, 2 or 3.  Oh well – no biggie.
  2. But on some posts it also didn’t edit the img link correctly to reflect the new file name it just created during the import process.
  3. Most, if not all, relationships between the media library files and the posts they were used in were broken – not attached.

Not to worry, all isn’t lost. I simply examined all the post that had image links. Using the Search Regex plugin I searched all posts for  img tags.  That’ll help you identify the posts, then basically you just have to examine and repair any posts where the image link got fouled up.  During this process I also relinked these posts to the media library file so those relationships would exist. Finally I went back through my uploads folder and deleted all the duplicate files the importer plugin had created.

All-in-all, it sounds a lot worse that what it was.  If the importer plugin had worked correctly, this would have been a piece of cake, even so, it just took a little extra effort to clean up from the import process.  My almost 50MB database had been reduced to just over 1MB, the site nice and speedy again and my Google searches where no longer polluted with a bunched of hacked up meat data after a few days.

This time I’ll do a better job of keeping my WordPress, plugins and themes updated.

Miss You Pete


It’s been over a week (Sept 4th) since we lost our beloved pet of 10+ years – Pete.  It’s truly amazing how large of an impact these little guys have on a family, creeping their way into every facet of your life and the hole the leave behind is just as big.  Every morning I get up, I still look for him to meet me in the kitchen for his morning plate of veggies.  In the evenings, I expect to see him sitting under a chair and at bedtime – well, that was treat time and he’d come running.

Pete lived a long life, as I mentioned earlier, 10+ years.  That’s an awfully long time for a rabbit and our vet was amazed by his age and health, which I took to mean, we did a good job with him.  Earlier this year it was discover Pete had cancer – he had an operation to remove a growth in his chest, but the vet wasn’t very optimistic.  It took a long time for him to recover from the surgery and in truth, there were days where I worried a lot.  But thankfully after 6 weeks, he was back to his-self , running around, getting into things and even developed a fascination for going outside and lying down on the front porch.  We had a great couple of months together and are so thankful for that extra time he spent with us.

We love you Pete and we miss you terribly.

It’s been a long time

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything about baseball or youth sports in general. Several years ago I made a promise to myself to stand aside and keep my mouth shut as my kids entered their high school programs. That was four years ago and for the most part I stopped posting much of anything, instead I focused on supporting their teams using what I know about photography and video production.

For those of you who know me or read much of anything on this site – none of this should come as a surprise. I think parents get way too involved in youth sports, and when it comes to high school – how do I put this politely? Well, it’s time for the kids to learn how to do it “without” you.

I think for the most part I kept my promise. Admittedly I got involved a couple of times when I saw my son’s catching skills going down hill, I don’t mind telling you that was a struggle for me. I watch and waited for his technique to be corrected, but when that wasn’t happening, I knew it was time to offer some advice and point out a few things. I did that by showing him some video I had shot of him and pointing out a few things. Occasionally, offering a bit of advice on his swing, but generally trying to keep it very low key. After that he pretty much knew what to do to fix things.

All-in-all I know it was the right decision. Yes, I missed actively coaching them the way I did when they were younger, but I’m not going to college with them. For me it was more important for them to develop their own style, their own ability to correct themselves, and their own mentors who can help carry them forward. Sorta like the mother bird kicking baby out of the nest so it can learn to fly. I’m happy to say, both my kids are flying on their own these days. They no longer rely on me like they did when they were younger – which is both wonderfully fulfilling and sad at the same time.

2013 Jays Baseball Highlight Video

Some seasons seemed to go on forever, while others vanished in the blink of an eye.  And suddenly, it’s over… What started so many years ago comes to an end, which in turn, gives birth to another beginning. It’s been a ride with a group of people and kids that I wouldn’t trade for anything. And it’s been an absolute privilege to watch these kids grow and develop from a very different perspective than most – my camera.

The camera allowed me to watch intently and closely as these boys played the game.  I could see their excitement, their disappointments and their accomplishments through those long lenses and slow motion captures.  At times their expressions were obvious, occasionally quite subtle, but always honest.  What an amazing way to watch your kids grow up!

Congratulations to the 2013 team and your amazing run.  I’m so proud and thrilled for all you guys have accomplished.

Making of a music video

Chase Jarvis shows us some behind the scenes action in making a music video. As a bit of a hobbyist, both video and stills, I’ve wondered about these scene panning moves (5:01), you see them a lot these days. I figured they were a bit of CGI and perhaps some are, but it seemed overly complicated to layer that together to me. I never really thought of simply building a bunch of sets and panning and pushing through. I say “simply” given you have the skills and resources (gear and space). Found it fascinating.

You can view the final product on YouTube:

Good Times Video

This year we opted for something a little different than the dramatic and tried to capture a bit of the softball vibe in Jefferson City.  The girls as always we’re a blast to work with. And it’s been an amazing four years full of “Good Times”.

2011 Lady Jays Softball Photos

OK kids – I know you’ve been waiting awhile, but now that the season is done, videos completed, awards celebration complete – the photos are posted.  You’ll find them in the gallery as usual.

Now folks – the photos are provided for the girls and their families – in no way shape or form should you feel entitled to use these images on your website or for commercial purposes without getting my written permission.

Questions or comments? Feel free to contact me.

2011 Lady Jays Softball

Just finished another video project. Pretty simple edit, but lots of fun never-the-less. Shot on the Canon 7d and Sony Nxcam, assembled with Adobe Premiere. Huge thanks to the coaches and girls for allowing me into their world for a bit. I had a blast with you all. All the best and GO LADY JAYS!