What would happen if your blog disappeared one day? All of your posts, photos, everything…gone.
My husband got to find out the answer to that question this past weekend, and it was my fault. Fortunately, there is a happy ending. I was doing some file maintenance on my servers and deleted the test version of his site. What I didn’t realize was that the live version used the same data base the test version had used. Oops. When hubby went to access his site it wasn’t there.
Here is where the good news comes in: Both my husband and the hosting company had recent backups, so we were able to restore the site in minutes and he was back online. Whew!
So what would happen if your blog got wiped out? It can happen because of hosting problems, because your blog service decides to terminate your blog or because you screw up like I did and damage or delete your files.
Make regular backups to avoid losing all of your hard work. Most hosting companies do automatic backups on a regular schedule. Online backups are great, but also store backups offline or on a server other than where your blog is hosted, so that if your account is terminated or something happens at the server level you still have your files.
There are lots of ways to do backups, including plugins that will automatically back up your files. Automatic backups are great because you don’t have to remember—your blog remembers for you. However, even if your site is being backed up automatically, it is wise to do a manual backup after any major changes or updates. For example, if you change the design of your site or you add a lot of content, do a manual backup.
Blogs such as WordPress require that you back up two sets of files: The theme, plugins and related files, and the data base. Make sure you back up both. You need to back up the WordPress files (e.g., themes and plugins) and the images to have your blog look as it does. However, without the data base there will be no posts. The data base stores the posts, pages and comments that appear on your blog.
There is a free plugin that will backup your entire file (including the data) and send the file to you via email or store it in your choice of online places, including Dropbox.
Want more step-by-step help or advice for other blog platforms? Here are a few resources:
For other blog platforms, do a search for the name of your blogging software and “backup” or “automatic backups.”
The blog you save may be your own!
P.S. Don’t forget to save copies of content you have posted elsewhere on the web, such as your guest posts, EzineArticles, Squidoo lenses, Hubpages, etc. That content can disappear in a heartbeat, and you don’t want to lose it.