The Totally Incorrect blog is only a few months old, but I’ve already built up quite a lot of posts and done a fair bit of customization on the template itself.
I’d be very upset if I were to lose all of this and the other evening I was narrowly saved from the disaster of having just that happen.
I’d been to the Mass Innovation Nights event and had some video and pics that I wanted to post.
Slight problem – I wasn’t able to post the video. My thought was that there must be something wrong with my video format, even though I’d happlily posted similar files from both my YouTube and SmugMug accounts before.
After playing with the video files for ages, I made the discovery that I was unable to post anything at all – if I posted anything to the blog, the entire site would no longer resolve. Not good!
A quick search with Google showed that this kind of thing is most likely caused either by a malicious attack or a plugin compatibility problem. While I hadn’t added any new plugins for a while, I had actually updated several just the previous day – this seemed to me to be the likely cause of the problem. My Google search showed me that I needed to disable all the plugins, then go into my MySQL database and remove some entries from one of the tables.
I’m not going to bore you with all the details, but somehow I messed up this process and my database was no longer functioning. Now I really could have been facing the distaster of losing all the work I’d put into the blog.
My backside was saved by one thing – the fact I have a plugin called WordPress Database Backup. Once a week, this plugin sends me a backup of the MySQL database as an attachment to an email. Because I use my Gmail for this, my backup file was sitting on Google’s server waiting for me. As luck would have it, the backup was produced the day before I updated the plugins – doesn’t get any better than that!
I’d never used a backup like this before so I was wondering whether it wouldf even work. Yes, after getting to the MySQL admin for my hosting account, I was able to import the file and everything worked PERFECTLY!!
Until this week, I’d never paid much attention to the weekly WordPress email with the backup file. Now I’m giving this the respect it deserves. When the message arrives, I’m going to leave the original on Google, save a copy to one of my hard drives and also archive a copy on my LiveDrive account. I also save a copy of my template folder folder with all my customizations, both locally and at LiveDrive.
So my message to you is Please Please back up both you template files and your database. If you don’t you risk losing everything. Don’t think it can’t happen – it’s just a matter of time!!
How do you handle backups for your blog? Do you have a better strategy than mine?