So yesterday I posted that my recent FreeNAS rebuild had affected the site, and discouraged or stopped the traffic to the site. From my testing, I was receiving 404 (not found) errors on all links, and the pictures and attachments were broken. This was resulting in web crawlers being unable to find and catalog content, which in turn meant no traffic.
After digging into it, I found out that fundamentally I just didn’t finish the migration of the site. There were two pieces I was unaware of, that were causing the impact.
The first was a default module within Apache (mod_rewrite) which is disabled with a default Ubuntu LAMP installation. I needed to activate this module, and restart Apache, before the various links could resume. As basic of a function as mod_rewrite would be, I honestly would have expected it to be turned on by default, but I am sure the Apache coders have a better knowledge of why this is than I do.
The second fix was a problem with the UpdraftPlus backup plugin I was using for the actual migration itself. The backup files were intact, but my process to run the restore got a bit impatient and I closed it before it ended up completing. As a result, the images and attachments simply didnt get re-uploaded to the site. Instead, I grabbed the backup files, and manually uploaded the files into the WordPress site, which immediately then began working again. A simple lesson learned for future efforts.