Why Would Products Suddenly Disappear from my Homepage in Magento?

Paul Simon listed 50 ways to leave your lover. I am about to list at least 50 ways for Magento to give you a heart attack. The most recent one resulted in an urgent text message from my client: He added a new category – and – magic! Next thing he knows: the home page is empty.

I have already written about troubleshooting products not displayed in Magento’s front. However this case is a bit different: while there – the products where never displayed on the site – neither on new products page nor on category’s page, here – right at creation, they were displayed as expected. However, for some mysterious reason, they suddenly disapeared!

So I run again for help from Mr.Google. Go through the check list again. Here’s something I haven’t tried yet: re-indexing.

System => Manage Indices. All items are green as in ‘updated’. I decide to give them a shake anyway: I hit select all, then selected Reindex Data on the actions menu, then hit Submit. Tada! More magic! The products are back!

Here’s also a detailed explanation of what may cause this behavior and how to ‘ghostbust’ it