As some of you already know, I had a website disaster last week, when a very nice man in the web host customer support told me to do something which turned out to delete the entire account, and thus every file on the site.

“OK, now you upload the saved files,” he said. Long pause.website disaster averted - 20000 days on earth

“What saved files?”

Disaster

No site, no recent back-up. Now, this was a salutary lesson, as I’m generally obsessive when it comes to backing up. My writing gets backed up every day, to a local hard drive, a flash-drive and the Cloud. But I’d forgotten about the website.

In fact, not totally forgotten. The web hosts offered a service which was supposed to back up the whole site every night, but with the account deleted, the nightly back-ups went too.

“OK,” he said in one of those calm voices that airline pilots do so well as they’re about to crash-land. We should be able to get you up and running in 24 to 48 hours.

Sleepless Nights

Four days went by. To make things worse, I’d just put aside five days to completely overhaul the site, and sort out pages I’d been meaning to address for months. All gone.

The lesson is, you tend to rely on your strengths – and if you’re not careful you get careless and they become weaknesses. Because I knew I was paranoid about back-ups – it comes from my film editor background – I took the back-ups for granted.

After four days, someone in Phoenix, Arizona resurrected the site – but as it had been before the overhaul. I wasn’t even sure I could remember what I’d done. I’ve not had sleepless nights for years, but I had two last week. It was almost more depressing than losing the entire site in the first place.

Google saved me

Google actually saved me. Somewhere, deep in Google’s cache, it had archived the new pages I’d lost. Just a few pages needed polishing. I never thought I’d be so thankful to Google. Sleepless nights over. Lesson learned.

Back-up everything – the one thing you forget to back-up is the one thing you’ll wish you had.

I’m off now on hols for two weeks. My son’s going to be here keeping an eye on the cats, and the flat, but not my blog – so it’ll be radio silence while I sit on a beach, read a hundred books and gorge on pasta (not necessarily at the same time).

See you when I’m back.