Garden Blog - Blog Post

Technical Issues


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.

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Sunil Patel

I'm Sunil Patel, this is me. I created the Garden at 13 Broom Acres and I open it to visitors. I also bake and write blog posts giving a "behind the scenes" look into what it's like to maintain such a garden.

Visit the blog, then come and visit the garden. We can have a good sit-down, a jolly chinwag and a relaxing cup of tea with a sinfully generous slice of home made cake.

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gardeninacity 22/07/2012 - 9:06 pm

OK, how can us technical morons do what you did?

Sunil 22/07/2012 - 9:16 pm

Well, for you and everyone else who has a blog on, then you don’t need to worry according to this Support article. One of the listed benefits is “All of the technical maintenance work is taken care of — Setup, upgrades, spam, backups, security, etc”. So it seems you’re already sorted.


Jean 22/07/2012 - 10:58 pm

For WordPress users who don’t want to rely on the vague promise of backups, you can go to your WordPress dashboard, click on “Tools,” and then choose “export.” You can download a file with all the content of your blog and save it on your hard drive (or on portable media, if you prefer). I try to remember to back mine up once a month. Thanks for the reminder, Sunil, that it’s time to do this.

Jason 24/07/2012 - 4:24 am

Sunil, I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. If you’re interested in accepting, see my post at to see what’s involved. I really do enjoy your blog.

Sunil 25/07/2012 - 7:56 pm

Hello Jason, thank you, that’s very kind. I’ll take a look.


Sunil 29/07/2012 - 8:10 pm

Hi Jason, thank you, that’s very kind. Since I only started blogging recently, I only follow a small handful of blogs so I can’t fulfil the acceptance conditions. When I do, I’ll come back to this and complete it. Meanwhile, I hope you continue to read and enjoy my posts.


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