Backup, backup, backup!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

I was tempted to resort to using only paper
and pen after losing three years of blogging.
Instead, I'll start from scratch and backup,
backup, backup! Photo | EKHumphrey

As I look back on my year in writing, I have one regret. Consider this post is a small public service announcement for you to learn from my mistake. 

In September, I put my plans in action to upgrade to my blog. I’ve had a blog since at least 2008, but had rarely changed it up. (The last time was in 2011, which, yes, I know is ancient in terms of a blog!) I like to do these things myself. I learned how to make some tweaks to a WordPress theme and had been troubleshooting my site for years with very few problems. But because things were running so well, I was complacent.

In my upgrade plans, I was going to finally start the email list I had mapped out. I was finally going to follow an editorial plan I have been working on since the spring. But when I went into upgrade my site to a new theme, I did something wrong and wiped out my content.

Every. Post. Is. Gone.

Yes, I had a backup running. But as a DIYer, I had it backing up the technical elements of my blog, not my content. To me, it was the technical elements of the blog that I feared losing as it was (at the time) the part of my blog I feared losing most. Well, until I actually lost the content the same week that I decided I didn’t need the guts of my blog anymore.

I’ve spent several months cursing myself and rebuilding the site. Needless to say, but I’ve learned a valuable lesson: No matter what platform you are using, you should be backing up your content as well as your blog’s database.

Moving forward I will make sure I do both and here’s what I’ve been looking adding into my blogging process:

  1. Create each post in Word before adding it to my blog. (I do this for The Muffin posts, but never thought to use the same system for my personal blog.) In this way, I’d also have all my posts in Word, which is an added bonus.
  2.  Use an Internet service to automatically save my content. 
  3.  Export my blog by hand each time I update the blog (which sounds painful, but I’m sure less painful than losing everything).
  4. Continue to automate the backup of the guts, especially with my newly created theme and design I’m still tweaking.
  5. Every couple weeks (to a month) schedule maintenance on my blogand my writingto make sure that I have all the systems in place so I don’t lose a word.

Did you have any painful writing lesson you learned from 2013? If so, what did you learn that you can share with others moving into 2014?

Elizabeth King Humphrey writes and edits in coastal North Carolina. She wishes you a very Happy New Year filled with your writing dreamsall backed up!


Sioux Roslawski said...

I haven't ever had such a terrible thing happen (knock on wood) but I since I lost my flashdrive, I am either going to find it/buy a new one, so I can update my saving of the NaNo I've been working on...

Rosie's Cottage said...

Only just started my blog so I'm very grateful for your advice and will certainly take it onboard.

Worst thing to happen to me last year was, in my efforts to declutter at home we bought a new scanner & I set about scanning documents, letters, paid bills etc and shredding the originals (identity theft being a very real fear these days) I spent several months on this project and had been storing my scans in folders onto a flash drive. My brand new flash drive failed and I lost all of my documents! so I now have a 1TB external drive which I'm saving to and also when I have enough data, burning folders onto a disc, just in case :/ All of that work (and data)lost! Hope you have a much better 2014, sending hugs x

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