Backing Up

I had a bit of a moment last night.  I was just going to hop onto my blog to see if there were any comments from my morning post and the screen seemed to stall waiting for WordPress to respond.  That was odd.  Even with my rather slow internet connection at home, WordPress generally responds immediately.  This was truly out of the ordinary.

I tried the things that any rational person would do.

  • reload the page with a CTRL-R – no luck;
  • reload the page clicking on the reload button – shouldn’t make a difference but hey;
  • reload the page clicking on the reload button even harder – this is really dumb but I’m starting to panic;
  • double-clicking on the reload button – I know, I know;
  • checked my email to make sure that I had an internet connect – rational thought is starting to kick in;
  • load a different browser to repeat all of the above – maybe Bill Gates’ old company will have better luck.
    None of the above worked and I start to feel kind of foolish because the first step is all that is truly needed.
    Then, one of my open tabs stops spinning.  I check it to see the message that “ will be back in a minute.”
    OK, that makes sense.  Probably a planned backup for the middle of the evening.  About this time, this message is posted to Twitter by our friends at Mashable.  While it doesn’t offer a solution, there is some consolation knowing that I’m in the same situation as thousands of other bloggers.
    And, if worse comes to worse, there will be backups that WordPress can restore, right?  That’s if they’re following the best of procedures and I have no doubt that they wouldn’t.  Then, I remember the lecture that I’ve given my kids thousands of times.  Take charge and control over your own data.
    Let’s see.  When was the last time I did a backup of my WordPress content.  Gulp!
    Fortunately, this morning, WordPress is back and running.  I’m not seeing a reason why…it could have been a hard drive problem; OS crashing; software crashing; overload; storm in the area of the data centre; who knows?  All that I know is that I’m back in business and the first order of business is to make a backup of my content.
    That’s easily done.   WordPress will generate an XML file of your content for you to do the export and they indicate this will let you move your blog to another service.  That’s not me; I really like the speed, service, and analytics that they provide.  But, I can download that file and save it for a rainy day.  It’s a big file – something in the order of 13MB in size.
    It’s actually a good read if you’re a computer scientist.  Lots of properly formatted XML that displays nicely in Dreamweaver.  It would serve as a great lesson for students.  But, I digress.
    Now that I have that perfectly formed XML tucked away on the ol’ hard drive, it’s safe and sound.  I remember the BlogBooker service that will take the exported XML from WordPress and turn it into a PDF book.  I might as well go the distance.  The resulting book is over 45MB but it’s mine, all mine.
    There’s nothing like the peace of mind that going into a weekend well backed up brings.

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