The internet can be unpredictable, and it pays to be prepared.
New clients call on me, now and again, to take a look at a problem on their site. Almost 100% of those that I investigate (aside from the problem that initiated my involvement) do not have a WordPress site backup. Some who think they have back-ups — do not have working backups.
This is where picking a host provider who states that back-ups are provided, can be a very good decision. Sometimes for a small fee, a host will include this service. Either way, that is a very good decision and certainly better than no backup plan.
In addition to my host’s backups, I run them for my own site through the host’s c-panel, and also run WordPress backups through my WordPress Dashboard via a plugin. Ok, that may be overkill, but you at least want to do the latter. Any backup you create and download off the host server is your property, and a bit of insurance that your content will not be destroyed by cyber gremlins.
I talked about WP-DBmanager in another post and some simple advice for getting an error message to clear. This plug-in also does some cool database repair and database optimization. The plug-in states that database optimization should be run once a month. (Database optimization can speed up a site considerably, especially if it has been neglected for any length of time).
The backup created by WP-DBmanager resides in a folder on the server where your blog is located. If electronic or physical disaster strikes that server, and you don’t have a copy somewhere else, you will not have a backup…. Be sure to download a copy of the latest backup to the device of your choice (cyber vault, external drive, PC hard-drive, etc.) on a regular schedule.
Even an irregular schedule is better than none ;)
Another cool plug-in — cool because I can get a back-up before I start looking into working on a site — is Online Backup for WordPress. It appears that you have to have a vault to run the plug-in, but you can configure to just run a manual backup and then download that to your own space, which is some assurance that you are not working on the website without a safety net.
The thing about backup plugins is that they have to be configured. Installing them and thinking you are done, is not going to work. (This is a misconception that I have run across a time or two in my web-fix travels).
More commonly I ask, “Do you have a recent backup?” And the answer is, “I have no idea…”.
If you haven’t addressed the backup question for your website, please make it a priority on your to-do list, — so that if you ever need to call on the Way-Back Machine, it will be extant — and functional :)
Last year about this time, I started a V.A. (Virtual Assistant) business. Let me give a little insight into what I’ve learned.
First off, this business is great for those of us who just like to make the "boss" look good. We like to poke around in the background and straighten up the furniture so that when the visitors come everything flows. This is a perfect business for a detail oriented person and someone who likes to help other people.
I might also go so far as to say it’s good for those who enjoy "rescuing" others, or fixing things for other people.
On or off. A computer is a series of switches that are either on or off. As un-romantic as that sounds, it is the true nature of computer hardware and software.
Consider what a switch is: In the elementary state, a switch, for example in your garage, turns the overhead light on or off. That is a simple switch.
A computer processing unit is made up of a conglomeration of switches that are either on or off at any given time. Any single switch within this collection may turn on and off quite quickly (with every machine cycle), but the fact is,– it is never half-off or half-on. Continue reading →
In 1947, engineers working on the Mark II computer at Harvard University found a moth stuck in one of the components. They taped the insect in their logbook and labeled it “first actual case of bug being found.” The words “bug” and “debug” soon became a standard part of the language of computer programmers. National Museum of American History
Attempting to make a living on the internet for my clients and myself, I was very frustrated when the satellite signal strength plummeted (from an average in the high 70s) way low to 13 last week. I have a backup plan, but in a rural area this entails driving to the library and hooking up to a public system. After a few hours there, I had so many “bots”, I had to run scans just to navigate to my own website.