I’m the kind of person who always likes to be prepared. I know that makes me sound like a Boy scout or something, but it’s still true.
If you were to dump out my purse right now, you’d find a small emergency kit filled with band-aids, a bottle of lotion, and about 4 different types of chap stick – 1 for me, 1 for emergencies, and 2 to loan to friends. But that’s not all! You’d also find notebooks, pens, pencils, two sets of ear buds (in case one stops working), a usb wall charger, charger cable, and battery, as well as mace and a flashlight.
When it comes to guests staying at my house, I’m more than willing to let close friends and family crash for the night – but I’d prefer to have at least several days of warning so I can clean, buy groceries, and prepare for any potential catastrophe that could come up. The same applies to staying at someone else’s home: I pack more games, clothing, and random objects than I could possibly ever need in a week, let alone a night or two.
So, you’d think that when it came to blogging, I’d have at least several backups of my site.
Unfortunately, I don’t – but I’ve learned my lesson, and I’m backing it up as we speak.
Last night, while I was scrambling to form a few coherent sentences about The Sign of Four, my husband gasped and had this complete look of shock on his face.
“Shoot. Sweetie, I’m so sorry. I’m so so sorry.”
“I was uploading my site, and I think I deleted everything.”
Normally, this wouldn’t have been a problem.
Chris has his whole site on his tablet and uses a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) program that uploads his changes to his site directly to the appropriate folder. While we have the same host server, we have separate folders for our sites. He works in his folder, and I work in mine, and whatever we do to one doesn’t affect the other.
Since I had my review open and didn’t see any immediate changes, I wasn’t particularly worried.
“So upload it again.”
“Not my site – YOURS!” He was scrambling around, clicking on anything that could possibly restore my site. I clicked update on the post I was working on, to see what he meant, and rather than directing me to my finished post, it lead me to a blank page.
I was horrified at the idea of losing an entire month’s work of writing, drawing, designing, and debugging – so I started looking for my own backups of the site. I had installed a WordPress plugin that backed up my site in zip files to Dropbox, but that was several days ago, and I didn’t know how to use those files to restore an entire site. Even if I managed to figure out the process (which would have taken hours, if not days, of trial and error), I would have lost at least several days’ worth of work.
“Sweetie – I don’t know what happened! All that work! You worked so hard! I feel horrible!”
Chris was genuinely sorry about the mistake – seeing him look so sad about my site made me realize that my blog wasn’t worth that much compared to him. I could always write more, and I had learned a lot in the last month or so about setting up my blog, so I wouldn’t have to relearn how to do everything again. I was a little bummed at the thought of starting over, but at the same time, I think I was more concerned at comforting him than repairing a broken blog.
Fortunately, Chris is a wizard when it comes to talking with customer service. He chatted with Namecheap (our host site) customer service and begged them for any help they could provide.
Turns out, they had made a backup, and they used it to restore both sites in a few minutes.
I didn’t lose anything, except for maybe half a sentence in my most recent Sherlock post. And of course, the customer service rep advised backing up the site regularly from now on.
So there you go – you should all learn from my mistake and pray you have excellent customer service as a backup to your backup. Otherwise, you might lose a lot more than a sentence or two.
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