Data Backup Day

I am in the midst of a website crisis. I run my blogs, including this one, and my business website using WordPress. They are all easy to back up, and all are easy to upgrade WordPress except for the business one, which requires a manual upgrade. I won’t go into the reasons for this, but I moved it a couple of times and the server can’t find it to upgrade it any more.

I’ve done this upgrade before and it works fine. The last one appears to have been in September. When I tried it yesterday i followed the instructions: I backed up the files using FTP, I checked that some of the folders could be opened in the backup, I deleted the files off the server, I copied the new files onto the server, I went to run the upgrade program, and it couldn’t find it. My website wouldn’t display, I couldn’t get into the admin. It was stuffed.

You have probably spotted the problem by now. I went to replace the files with my backup and a great deal of it wasn’t there. Horrors. I’d checked that the folders had been created but I didn’t check enough of them to see that many of them were empty. No backup. This is what they mean when they say “my heart sank”. You can feel it hit bottom.

This was yesterday, at about 7pm, when I realised that my website was completely stuffed. It’s now nearly 4pm the next day and I have only just got the pages back, but not all the plugins – contact forms, e-commerce and all that stuff. I’ve tried all sorts of things, not helped by my imperfect knowledge of how the thing works.

I don’t know what I did wrong with the original upgrade. Maybe it was too big a jump between the version I was on and the current version. But I do know that if I’d been able to restore everything from my backup I wouldn’t have had the heart-hit-the-floor experience and I wouldn’t have been up til midnight trying to find out how to fix it.

The lesson here is:

Don’t just run the backup – check it.

Check it properly.

Check that everything you need is there in case you need to use it.

One comment on “Data Backup Day

  1. tmacentee 25 February 2009 5:12 pm

    Great post Carole – I have had the same problem with GoDaddy which hosts many of my WordPress blogs. Your post have given me some ideas for a new DBD post with some tricks I use to get back up and running when I have a website meltdown like this.


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