Always backup your work

If you’re a frequent reader to my blog, you’ll notice it’s been on a bit of a hiatus – my previous post was almost three weeks ago, on October 10th. But it’s not due to the fact that I’ve been neglecting it, but more to the fact that I practically lost everything on here and practically had to start from scratch. This post is basically an explanation of my absence, how we got it back up and running again and what I learnt from it all: always backup your work.

From the title you would think this post would be pretty simple and self-explanatory – back up your work. End of. They tell you to do it at school, at college, university and they tell you to do it at work – and in these cases I do (I don’t want you to think I’m neglectful / not responsible for my work). But when it comes to writing my blog, I’ve always had a completely different work ethic.

I carry an old notebook around with me, so when I have ideas or want to make notes, I’ve instantly got somewhere to jot them down. But when it comes to actually writing a post, perhaps I rely on WordPress too much? Let me explain.

Why the hiatus?

My boyfriend (Oli) is a Web Developer and very kindly sorts out all my hosting and blog technicalities for me. After recently having a bit of a dispute with his VPS provider, he asked for his account to canceled. However, the company took that as something else and instead canceled his account, losing everything he had associated with that account (including this blog). The VPS company didn’t store backup’s and nor did we have any other backup methods in place. My blog went back to an empty shell and I lost all my posts from the past year and all my drafts I’d built up along the way, which were raring to go – all in WordPress.

However, after dedicating an entire weekend, Oli managed to manually retrieve them all from Google and brought my blog back to some state of life. The couple of weeks since then have basically consisted of me getting everything back up to scratch – recreating categories, tags, pages and ensuring all the posts were formatted correctly. So I apologise for my leave of absence, but I have at least been doing something productive, if not writing. However, this possibly could have been avoided if I hadn’t relied so heavily on WordPress in the first place.

Always backup your work

As I mentioned earlier, I do carry my notebook around with me, but the most that houses is ideas, thoughts and bullet points. No content. I leave that to WordPress, where I write¬†all my posts, whether I’m publishing them straight away, scheduling them in or just saving them as a draft. Which I’m sure in most cases is fine, I always figured it would have to be something pretty dire to take WordPress down and get it into a state where I lose everything, but I never considered there could be other possibilities outside of my control. Perhaps that was naive of me, but either way, I still should have known better and backed up all my posts. I do it at work, so why didn’t I transfer that work ethic to my blog?

Anyway, I learnt from it and thankfully I can retrieve some of my drafts, ideas and thoughts from my notebook, but the thing that annoys me most is that I had already written these posts before this happened – they were good to go! And I almost resent having to rewrite them. So to avoid this in future, my new work process is quite simply to have a backup version of all my posts saved somewhere like Google Docs, or written in Word and saved in my own documents folder. It’s far from ground breaking, but it’s something I never considered for a blog. If not just pointing out the obvious (always backup your work) at least this post highlights why I’ve been slacking over the past few weeks and what I’ve been doing. Let’s hope for a more active month in November!

Have you been in a similar situation as me, or do you have a honed work ethic you abide by? I’d love to hear what you have to say, either leave a comment below, or find me on Twitter, thanks!