For years my home page, on this site, has displayed its upload date. Then, I noticed that it was displaying the current, ie. today's date. I had done nothing to change it and as it did not sort itself out, I decided to try and get the upload date displayed again. I have succeeded, but completely lost track of the hours spent doing it.
There are several lessons to be learned! Diagnosis was the problem and I spent a lot of time exploring blind alleys. I was assured that nothing had changed at the server and it was suggested that I should change my script. Well, with hindsight, I should not have paid so much attention to these comments. My opinion was that there had been a change at the server so I focused on working out how to accommodate it and, perhaps, identify it.
I set about creating test pages with various dating scripts. Everything worked perfectly locally and when hosted on both my sites. However, although the index.html file always worked properly locally it always displayed the date and time of local display (download), regardless of the scripts I had added to it, from my web host.
Not being very experienced in the ways of computers and programming it took me a long time to realise the implications. There could be no doubt that the problem lay at the host. But what was it?
What could be the difference between an entirely new file and the updates of the index file?
Eventually I had a flash of understanding. It is the new file name. An update is not entirely new. My index.html file worked perfectly when uploaded as 'index2.html'. I had found the answer.
At first I thought that I could not change the name of the index file, but then I realised that I could use 'default.html' instead. I uploaded index2.html renamed as default.html and deleted the index file. THE PROBLEM IS SOLVED. Perhaps if I had deleted the original index file and then uploaded another that would have had the same effect. Who knows (or cares!)?
This reminds me of troubles have I had with a failing hard drive. 'Nothing changed.' Really? Not knowingly, anyway!