Oh **** my blog has just gone off line!! 4 lessons in backup
So What Happened?
Hopefully when you started your blog you decided to implement a backup solution? I thought I would share my learnings from seeing my blog (livingthetech.com) go off line and return 500 errors. Initially there was mild panic as there was over 60 articles and 12 months of work that had gone into the blog. But being a good IT professional I had made sure my site was backed up, but I had never tested it (first rookie error).
Test your backup
So how did I backup my site?
WordPress admin portal:
As I could not access my site’s WordPress admin portal, I would not use the backup I had saved for the site, so in this case it was pretty much useless. I was using a backup product called Backup Guard and religiously backing up my site whenever I published a new article or changed my blog layout.
Make sure you save an offline copy of your backup, so that if your WordPress admin portal is not accessible you still have a copy of your blog to import.
Hosting provider’s solution
Luckily (well not really, as I made sure I had another backup solution) for me I also had a copy of all my sites files in my hosting provider’s backup solution, in this case Site Backup Pro. I actually paid an extra $2.99 per month for this service, money well spent as it turned out. Here I could restore any file or database as required.
When selecting a hosting provider make sure they have a backup solution and pay for it if necessary
So how did I recover my site?
I first used Site Backup Pro to recover all my files and databases, as I was unsure what had caused my site to crash and return 500 errors. I also then had to update the WordPress version and some plugins. I still don’t know what caused my site to crash in the first place, so am being extra vigilant to back up my site and ensure that all plugins I use have been tested with my version of WordPress.
A valuable Lesson
This experience was a really valuable lesson for me as a blogger and website owner, to protect my content and site by ensuring I have multiple backup solutions, on multiple platforms available. So, that if one platform is unavailable it is still possible to restore your site from an alternative one.
I have also now decided to take an offline copy of my backup file (from Backup Guard) and save to Google Drive, that way I can import the offline file as and when required.
For more blogging tips and tricks, click here. If you have any blogging restoration stories, please share in the comments below.