Here’s a topic that’s got nothing to do with gardening but is still very relevant. It starts a few weeks ago; I was writing a post for my site, I had finished and went to save it when suddenly my web site appeared to drop off the internet. My entire site became completely unavailable. It wasn’t like just a few pages missing, the whole thing was gone. I checked my internet connection and it was fine, other web sites were fine, but mine definitely wasn’t. This happened late at night and after a long day at work, suddenly having my website disappear sent my heart rate sky rocketing and the panic lights flashing.
By day I’m an IT Administrator so I was able to spend a bit of time methodically troubleshooting the problem. Meanwhile, horrible scenarios of the entire site being lost by an IT error, bad weather or something else were whirling around in my head. After about an hour of this, I finally determined that there was a configuration error by the web site hosting company that caused the site to seemingly vanish. I wrote a Support Ticket, described the problem then went to bed, unable to do anything more. I still had visions of data loss that made for a bad night’s sleep but by morning, the error had been fixed and my site had been restored and it was all back online. It was as if the whole episode had never happened.
It was a wake up call because I had no backups of my web site. If my site really had been forever lost by the error, there was no backup I could pull it all back from. I would have to start all over again. It was the thought of loosing all the work I had put in that made me panic. Of course this is completely different to work, where I make sure there are multiple levels of redundancy and backup so we can always pull things back if the worst does happen, but I completely neglected to do this for my own site. It’s odd that I totally failed to apply the same rules I use to protect data at work to my own web site at home.
Well that’s all changed now. In these last few days I finally got round to setting up a backup system that I can just set and leave to do its thing. The next time my site drops offline, either from a configuration error or worse, I won’t be in such a panic. I know I’ll be able to restore the entire site from a backup. If you have a web site or blog that you’ve put a lot of work into, then you may want to think about how you can protect that. It may be that your own site is already backed up by your hosting company so you don’t need to worry, but when it comes to IT, you should never assume.