If you compose your blog posts directly in WordPress, watch out for session timeouts. I recently got burnt by this for the third time. I hope I’ve finally learned my lesson.
Here’s what happens. I start writing a post, or continue from a saved draft. Then I get interrupted by something (like having to do my real job 8^), but I leave it open in my browser. Later (sometimes hours later), I come back to it and start writing again. Most of the time everything is okay. But sometimes my session has timed out while I was away.
The problem is that WordPress doesn’t tell me that it timed out. If I leave my online banking session and come back later, I’m greeted with a screen that says my session has expired and I have to login again to continue. But no such notification from WordPress.
The only clue is that, when I start writing again, if my session is still active, it will auto-save my changes periodically, updating the saved time at the bottom. If it’s not auto-saving, it means my session is toast.
If I don’t notice this, I go along merrily writing my post. Then, when I hit “Save Draft” or “Preview” (or “Publish”, but I never do that without previewing first), I’m taken to a screen that says something like “Are you sure you want to do that?”. At that point all my writing and edits since the last successful save are gone. There is no way to recover them.
Avoiding this is simple: when I come back from an interruption, before I do anything else, press “Save Draft”. If this succeeds, I’m okay. If not, I can login again, bring up the draft post, and continue.
Has anyone else run into this?
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