Take A Backup Of Your Site. Right Now!!

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Nov 18, 2016
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#1
Hey guys ,

This is not a motivational , journal or help request thread. It is just a reminder for us to always have a backup of our websites , especially the ones we truly care about.

As webmasters , we get carried away by our obsession with SEO , Content & Traffic that we ignore little things like backing up our websites. These little yet seemingly unimportant details could be our life saver down the road , as i've learnt the hard way.

10 months ago (Jan 2018) , i started a new content website that has experienced month-over-month growth in traffic and $$ since July.

I always had it in my mind to have a backup but kept postponing and instead , spent my time chasing content and links. The urge came strongly last week and was at the verge of purchasing a Vaultpress subscription , only for my Paypal to fail and i ended up postponing (yet again).

Then , disaster struck!

2 days ago (30th of October 2018) , My hosting provider mistakingly terminated my service which lead to an automatic deletion of all my files. I had 5 websites on that server and all were wiped out at just a click!

I was livid!

The day before (29th October 2018) , i made a request to the customer service concerning the renewal of a domain i recently sold and transferred to another registrar. I asked her to cancel the invoice since i am no longer in possession of the domain. I don't know how , but she ended up terminating my whole account and deleting all my files from their server.

You know what's worse?

I had no back up of any of the sites. ZERO

They had no backup either since they wiped everything after terminating my service.

So there i was. Back to zero. Months of hardwork wiped out with no backup no whatever.

I cried.

Of all the sites on the server , only one (the one is started 10 months ago) is making money. The rest are either early starters of just empty domains i added to the server.

Luckily for me , i was able to recover the content from google cache (thanks a million times!!). So I spent the last 48 hours rebuilding that site from scratch.

Here's what i did :

- Purchased server at a new host
- Re-issue SSL certificate
- Did a fresh Wordpress installation
- Manually re-build all my pages from google cache while ensuring permalink is same as before.
- Re-write all my Css code for page styling and formatting
- Re-design my theme to be as before while maintaining the same SILO structure.

Imagine doing 10 months worth of work in 48 hours. I had zero sleep. Getting the site back was the only thing on my mind.

Fellas , i'm glad to say that i made 98% recovery with just 2% loss.

The only thing i wasn't able to recover were the 2 new articles i published mid-october as google hadn't cached them yet. I still have them saved in my computer so its not a loss per se. I'll re-publish tomorrow.

In the end , i'm glad everything worked out fine. It could have been worse and i would be seriously depressed right now. I'm thankful to Google Cache!!

The site is back online. Traffic is back to normal. I've made a full backup with Vaultpress (daily backup) and will add Updraftplus (for monthly backups) tomorrow.

I'm glad!!
 

Ryuzaki

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#2
Who was the host? Seems like an honest mistake, but I think we'd still like to know.

The way I do it is take rolling daily backups using Updraftplus (free) and sending off-site to Dropbox (free). It saves 5 copies and deletes the oldest one. And I make sure to save the files and the database. I also save one backup per month for a rolling 3 months so in case there's a problem within 5 days I don't notice, I can roll back one month or three. It'd suck to have to recover content like you're saying, in those cases, but better than losing the whole thing.

My host also takes daily backups as well and can restore them in an instant, but don't rely on that alone, as you saw in the opening post.

Don't save backups to the same server the site is on. That makes no sense, won't help you if the server goes down, and will bloat your storage usage and often gets rolled into backups, exponentially exploding their size.

As important as backing up daily is taking a look at your site every few days, trying to make sure you're not compromised in any way. At least be visiting your sites daily. You may not find a link injection or something subtle, but you'll make sure your money makers haven't been defaced or something that'll hurt your cash flow.
 
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#5
I’ve heard stories from people who had backups, but there were issues they didn’t know about.
Healthy reminder... GitLab.com melts down after wrong directory deleted, backups fail - Upstart said it had outgrown the cloud – now five out of five restore tools have failed
For someone who isn't into DEV - GitLab is no small WordPress site. It's a well-known software project for managing GIT code repositories... which is a kind of a way to store your site code, track changes... maintain backups. The incident speaks something about having a healthy backup procedure.

So in other words, out of 5 backup/replication techniques deployed none are working reliably or set up in the first place.​
The world doesn't contain enough faces and palms to even begin to offer a reaction to that sentence. Or, perhaps, to summarise the mistakes the startup candidly details as follows:

  • LVM snapshots are by default only taken once every 24 hours. YP happened to run one manually about 6 hours prior to the outage
  • Regular backups seem to also only be taken once per 24 hours, though YP has not yet been able to figure out where they are stored. According to JN these don’t appear to be working, producing files only a few bytes in size.
  • SH: It looks like pg_dump may be failing because PostgreSQL 9.2 binaries are being run instead of 9.6 binaries. This happens because omnibus only uses Pg 9.6 if data/PG_VERSION is set to 9.6, but on workers this file does not exist. As a result it defaults to 9.2, failing silently. No SQL dumps were made as a result. Fog gem may have cleaned out older backups.
  • Disk snapshots in Azure are enabled for the NFS server, but not for the DB servers.
  • The synchronisation process removes webhooks once it has synchronised data to staging. Unless we can pull these from a regular backup from the past 24 hours they will be lost
  • The replication procedure is super fragile, prone to error, relies on a handful of random shell scripts, and is badly documented
  • Our backups to S3 apparently don’t work either: the bucket is empty
 
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#6
Here's my backup scheme: My entire server is backed up with my provider, currently thinking about using Rsync and a SSD/Raspberry Pi to back everything up as well.

All of my WordPress sites are backed up locally on the server as well as to at least one 3rd party platform (like Dropbox/GDrive) that is mine or a client's.

I also download all of my WordPress backups (and my flatfile sites) to an encrypted SSD that I keep with me for all of my files. The drive gets cloned (almost) nightly and the clone stays in a fireproof lockbox.

The redundancy is key. I'm safe if my hosting fucks me. I'm safe if any single site gets fucked up. I'm safe if one or both of my SSDs gets fucked up. In order to be wiped out completely, I would need Google Drive, Dropbox, my servers, my laptops, my EDC SSD, and my locked up SSD to all disappear at the same time.

Some people think I'm crazy, but my life's work is safe from pretty much anything short of an apocalypse.
 
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#7
Who was the host? Seems like an honest mistake, but I think we'd still like to know.

The way I do it is take rolling daily backups using Updraftplus (free) and sending off-site to Dropbox (free). It saves 5 copies and deletes the oldest one. And I make sure to save the files and the database. I also save one backup per month for a rolling 3 months so in case there's a problem within 5 days I don't notice, I can roll back one month or three. It'd suck to have to recover content like you're saying, in those cases, but better than losing the whole thing.

My host also takes daily backups as well and can restore them in an instant, but don't rely on that alone, as you saw in the opening post.

Don't save backups to the same server the site is on. That makes no sense, won't help you if the server goes down, and will bloat your storage usage and often gets rolled into backups, exponentially exploding their size.

As important as backing up daily is taking a look at your site every few days, trying to make sure you're not compromised in any way. At least be visiting your sites daily. You may not find a link injection or something subtle, but you'll make sure your money makers haven't been defaced or something that'll hurt your cash flow.
Its gigalayer.com , a Nigerian web hosting company. Here , we're trying to promote our local businesses by patronizing them and that's why i hosted with them for this project.

I have an account with A2 hosting for other websites.

Yes , i agree with not saving backup on the same server and also Occasionally checking your money makes to ensure visitors are seeing the right thing. Its something i've been learning to do.

I found Vaultpress to be crap. I use Updraft Plus now with Amazon S3 and it is AWESOME
Why did you say so? Any bad experience with them?
 
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Nov 6, 2014
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#8
Updraft -> Google drive & Dropbox, daily here.

Happy you recovered your site. Let me just say your site became better and you became wiser & more productive :smile: