Some notes for people who understand this stuff better than me and care to comment about what I might have done wrong or right:
- The problem we had was that the site was using too many resources at Hostgator. Consequently, Hostgator hobbled the site without informing me in a way I could understand.
- The hobbling disallowed access by Google to site pages. Hence, the badness and much woe.
- The fix was to deactivate all unnecessary plug-ins, which I’ve done. Hostgator was satisfied and lifted the restrictions it had imposed.
- Over the last day, I had received notification from Hostgator and some kind readers that we had no robots.txt or sitemap.xml files. Weird, because we used to! I recreated them. I presume they’re OK now. But if you’re savvy, please check and let me know.
- I don’t know what else to do to speed up the Google re-indexing process. Got ideas? Lemme hear them.
- The only plug-in not running that I think readers will want is the one that allows you to subscribe to comments. I’ll probably flip that on after it is clear to me Google has re-indexed the site.
- Hostgator claims that the All in One SEO Pack plug-in isn’t necessary. I’m not really sure what definition of “necessary” they use. I have no idea if we’d be better off running it or not. I certainly won’t run it if it causes too much resource use. Right now it is off.
- We’ve considered upgrading to an account at Hostgator or elsewhere that permits more resources, but it would cost well over $1,000 per year. Maybe that’d save the few hours of headache we have, but that’s not actually clear. At the moment, we’ll stay put. But, I must say, I do not enjoy these types of problems.
I am very grateful for the comments and suggestions from knowledgeable readers about this stuff. A few of you agreed to correspond by email for additional troubleshooting. You’re awesome! Were it not for you, the site would stay crippled for way longer than it has been.