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Webmaster Packratitis...

 4:16 am on Mar 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

How many copies of your website do you maintain? Squirreld away. Inserted here and there on USB, removable hard drives, egads, even 1.44mb floppies?

I keep three. The Site, The Local, and a rotating DVD (fixed by date).

Just experienced a horror story which paid s few bucks to do the forensics necessary to help a fellow webslinger who, over the years, managed to create nine (9) different backups in odd places of his site, with different snapshots of "half directory here, half directory there" and had a stroke. While he worked on getting better (he is!) he nearly lost his site to expired domain (his wife asked me what that email meant). Saved, but he got hacked (a few poor js forms) and needed to be restored with hardened js.

A bit of a nightmare as his backups made no sense. So, while this tale has a happy ending, it was a nightmare to accomplish. So, just asking, what are your back up practices?



 5:07 am on Mar 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

<hangs head in shame>

I'm not nearly as disciplined about backups as I should be.


 10:48 am on Mar 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Nor me.


 3:37 pm on Mar 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Okay... a slightly different question on the same topic:

How outdated are your backups?


 10:01 pm on Mar 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Main web site - static html, one copy on the web one on my laptop.

Photo site - some pages and images on web site only after old laptop crashed

Photos - I keep old cards as backup rather than reusing them

Other files - if I remember I copy important files to OneDrive every couple of edits. All within this week.


 10:35 pm on Mar 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

I remember a similar question came up on my ebooks forum. The hands-down winner was the guy who kept off-site backups of every project he had ever worked on, including all raw source material.

What I wonder about is archival backups. I can't save a copy every time I change a word, or my HD would burst. But I do tend to accumulate folders with labels like "OLD includes" or "headers OLD". They sit around for a while until it's time to clean house. And who knows whether I've deleted something that I'll later have to figure out all over again for a different purpose.


 11:00 pm on Mar 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

I learned the hard way! I had only 2 copies of a site. The web and my HDD. My system turned to toast so had to do a rebuild. So I was then left with only the online version. Got my system re-built and got everything running nicely. Opened my FTP client to download the site from the remote host...

It's amazing just how similar "Download" and "Delete" look when youíre a little tired...

I had to do some recovery work on the old disk to get it back. Thankfully that story had a happy ending, but it could have been very bad.

I how have the live site, a development version on a Linux system at home. A 2nd HDD on that system where I do nightly backups of the "home" folder and 2 usb backups of important files, folders. Iím fairly confident that if disaster struck tomorrow I would be back up within a day with no loss.. Although , I donít really want to try that! :-)



 11:17 pm on Mar 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Okay... a slightly different question on the same topic:

How outdated are your backups?

And the next step... How often do you verify your backups actually work by doing a test restore?


 11:24 pm on Mar 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

What I wonder about is archival backups.

That's what my fixed date rotating DVD is about. I keep all of them, but off site and do them once a month (this site does not change all that much).

As for client sites, backups are done with every change, ie, there's live, there's the dev machine, there's the dvd (which they get charged for each change, and THEY keep it, not me). Minor benefit: they don't change all that much, but when they do, there's other bucks involved/

You would think that I, as it appears above, have a good plan for backups and would do that for his personal machines: NOT! Had a little media server for the house for the girls and myself... and it went toast a few months back. Lost nearly 200 hours of video and 12,000 tunes. Believe me, those girls gave me an a$$ kickin' from here to Sunday.

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