Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Back up Your Site

 on  with No comments 
In , ,  
I recently wrote up a quick and dirty guide on backing up your blog on Blogger, as the documentation available from Google and other sources is dated and doesn't line up well with Blogger today.  That's the price we pay for Google constantly updating their platforms in hopes of improving the experience.  I'll let you decide whether or not the upgrades result in a better platform.

I'm seeing the value of this again after I looked at Twitter today and noticed several posts recently relating to a recent oopsie at 123-reg.  Here, Ars Technica UK covers the story of the UK based hosting company recently losing all of the data on 67 of it's 115,000 virtual private servers (VPS).  The company declined to reveal how many of their reported 800,000 customers were affected by this, only that they believe it to be a "small portion."  Those that were have been offered 6 months of free hosting.  It's not clear what they'll be hosting for free though, as the sites are gone.

123-reg is still working to restore as much of the data as they can, but as of Friday, April 22, they only have 39% back online, and the rest have been informed that their data may be lost permanently.   The data loss has been attributed to a clean-up script error.  A coding error in this script "effectively deleted" customers entire websites.  They are now working with a data recovery specialist as they do not have a backup copy of anything that has not already been restored.  In a disturbing followup, "Customers who had purchased 123-reg backups can be online now."  I wouldn't be surprised if the 39% back online exist exclusively of those who purchased this additional service.

The bottom line is that no matter who hosts your website(s), you cannot expect that this will never happen to you.  Backup your data.  Back it up to more than one location.  I don't believe that Google Drive (where my first backup resides) is hosted on the same server as Blogger, but I also have a copy of everything on Dropbox as well.  With a total of 90 posts on Firewallninja, the XML file for my backup is only 800KB in size, so you can see how keeping a couple copies of your data in different spots isn't that big of a deal.  Note that this does not include images, which appear to require additional effort to backup.  On that note, I think it's time I looked into that as well as I don't believe that I have a complete backup of all the screenshots that accompany my posts.

I'd like to note that this post isn't aimed at trashing 123-reg as we've all been there. I've written scripts that worked as expected in every single test I could come up with, but has horrific results in production.  We're human.  Instead, my point is to note that you, the owner of the data, ultimately needs to take responsibility for it's backup.

Backup your blog content.  Backup the images.   Backup the blog's template.  Keep multiple copies in multiple locations.  Someday, you'll thank yourself for doing so.


Post a Comment

Discuss this post!