A Cautionary Note

“Blessed are the Pessimists, for they hath made backups.”
— Spotted years ago on the bulletin board of an IT guy at a company I worked for

We hear it all the time: “Back up your data.” It’s not something most folks think about until that fatal moment when you go to find something – and it’s not there. I had that lovely experience recently; I we doing work on the blog after not looking at it for, well, we won’t go into that, and discovered that five years of posts had disappeared.

Cue panic.

Now, much of it was recoverable thanks to the Wayback Machine, which crawls the web and takes snapshots of publically accessible sites that allows such robots, but a good deal wasn’t. Nor could I find the backup files I’d made and downloaded to my computer (I moved this summer and many things are not where they should be, including computer files following the set up of the new network). There was a backup file on the host server – but it also omitted the last five years worth of information.

I was lucky; a phone call to my host’s tech support solved the problem. Seems my site was moved to a different server early in August and somehow the database got pointed to the wrong copy of the file. Since I was able to tell them that a week before the move, the site had still been correct (thanks again to the Wayback Machine), they were able to find a correct copy, restore that and point my site there. Yes, I lost the flailing post I made when I discovered the problem, but I can live with that. You’d better believe I made backups and loaded them down to the hard drive (where they’ll be backed up onto my Time Capsule as well). Reminder on the calendar now to make backups, as well as when to delete all but the last one from each month.

Do you have your website backed up?