A Shiny Rebuild Update

597 7

By Annabel

Just under a month ago, we experienced an absolute ‘dis-ah-ster’ (as Craig Revel Horwood would say) at Shiny – which just goes to prove how a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. The Shiny Admins found themselves locked out of the website. Turns out this was because we were using ‘managed WordPress’ (controlled by the web hosting co) and our sector was full. The solution: change to ‘non-managed WP’ said the chap on chat at our hosting company. I just did it without taking further advice, not realising that it would wipe the website.

Thankfully, my co-editor Harriet, who had nothing at all to do with this problem other than being locked out too, has been extremely understanding, as have all of the regular contributors to Shiny. A huge thank you to all of them. I’ve learned a big IT lesson, and we will back-up and archive everything regularly now too.

We may never have backed up Shiny as we ought to have, but luckily we have >90% of the source content files over our six years. So I am working on the mammoth task of rebuilding Shiny from scratch (getting it restored professionally was not an option financially). It’s going well, we’re about 500 posts in, from about 1500 in total. We have a lovely new look too, and I’m updating broken links, spotting typos we missed first time around and generally tidying the whole thing up as I go.

A huge apology to those of you who were unaware of this!

While we communicated all of this via email to most of our contributors and posted about it and our progress on twitter and facebook, in my desire to get on with the rebuild, I forgot those of you who only get Shiny via visiting here or subscribing via email. And, it turns out that when we repost even to a date way in the past, it still emails it to subscribers, so you’ll have been bombarded by nearly 500 ‘new post’ emails for mostly old posts.

Please accept my sincere apologies! If this is as annoying to you as it would be to me, could I ask you to unsubscribe from emails until the end of the summer when we should be done. We’re just over a third of the way through the reposting now. There doesn’t appear to be any way of turning this off from our end in WP that I’ve found (if anyone knows of a way to do this, do let me know).

You can, of course, follow us on twitter @shinynewbooks or our Facebook page, and we will continue to post proper new reviews and articles every Tuesday and Thursday.

Shiny New Books Logo

Annabel is one of the Shiny Editors, and likes a summer project!


  1. You’re doing a fabulous job. I can’t imagine what your reaction was when you found out what had happened. Tears? Screams? Both?

    1. Thanks Karen. Sheer panic at first, then ‘what will I tell Harriet and all our contributors whose work I’ve lost?’, then resignation, then positivity – I can rebuild it better. And you have to admit, it’s a great lockdown project! 😀 (Annabel)

  2. What a terrible thing to have happened! I did wonder why I had so many reviews arriving and thought that unlike me, all your contributors were reading like mad and writing reviews non-stop during lockdown! I am happy to continue receiving them as I am a fairly new subscriber and haven’t read them before.

  3. I haven’t received any new reviews since May. How do I re-subscribe to your website ?

    1. Hi Victoria, as we’re still rebuilding and adding in swathes of old content most days, we turned off various features to avoid overfilling people’s inboxes, although if you subscribe by e-mail you should still be getting them.

      Meanwhile, once we’re nearly done, we’ll turn all the subscription features back on – you may need to add us in again. However, we still publish new material every Tuesday and Thursday and publicise that on Twitter and FB if you follow us on either of those avenues.

Comments are closed.