A few days ago, there was a electrical fire at The Planet that knocked out 9,000 servers, including the one belonging to Entrecard. Luckily, the fire only knocked out power and three walls. None of the customer servers were damaged. However, their sites were offline while The Planet worked to restore power.
This is a good time to remind ourself that disaster can strike at anytime and we should have a recovery plan in place in case it hits. This is doubly important if you depend on your site for income. If the site goes down, so does your income. One of my friends recently experienced a disaster when the drive on his server went bad. He lost all the data and wasn’t able to recover it. Five years of blog history wiped out forever because he didn’t have a backup plan.
Have a Backup Plan
You should at the very least have a weekly backup of your blog. The easiest way to backup your blog is with the WordPress Database Backup Plugin by Skippy.net. The Plugin allows you to download the backup file, or have it emailed to the address of your choice. I like to keep multiply copies of my backups in different locations just to be on the safe side. Best time to do a backup is late at night and one the weekend because traffic is at its lowest point.
Some web hosts, like BlueFur, have automatic file backups of their customer sites. Should disaster strike, they can generally get you back online within a few hours. You may lose a post or two but that’s a lot better than losing the entire site. Check with your web hosts to make sure your plan has this feature. Even if it does, I would still make manual backups.
RAID Kills Bugs Dead, Not Data
If you’re site is big enough that it needs its own server, then you should spend the extra money to set up a RAID system. The server that host John Chow dot Com has RAID 1 drives. Files are saved to two drives that mirror each other. Should one drive go bad, the other drive will take over. In the extremely rare case that both drives would go bad at the same time, then you’ll be thankful that you made regular backups of your data.
At TTZ Media, we go one step further by mirroring entire servers. The front end is handle by four servers. This help spread the load and provide redundancy and security in case one or more server goes down. All servers run RAID 1 drives so there’s eight copies of the data. And just to be extra safe, there’s a backup server as well.
Better Safe Than Sorry
If you have no backup plan in place for your blog, then now would be a good time to make one. We like to think our sites will always be up and making us money. However, disaster can strike when you least expect it.