The Importance of Backups

March 14, 2019

Time to read: 2 min

One day, a previous client of mine who I had developed a website for contacted me in a panic. She lost the website, and since it had been a few years, reaching out to me was a shot in the dark to see if I still had any of the files. Of course I did, and had her back up and running in a couple of hours.

Sent me an email 15 years ago? I've got it. Need to reference a text message from 10 years ago? Yup, I've got that too. Spreadsheets on every diet I've been on, and budget Ive kept over nearly 20 years...I've got it all. Keeping records and backups is incredibly important to me, which makes what just happened so upsetting and embarrassing.

I lost my blog

So, what happened was... I still had an expensive reseller account from my freelance days. I decided not to renew it and revamp my site to host it on Surge but between my apprenticeship and then the job hunt it was on the backburner until a couple days ago when my hosting was suspended. After I redid my site and was ready to get my blog done I realized I have no backups! The last one was just before I came to Seattle, but its on my desktop which is in storage in Miami. Clever!

I salavaged a couple posts using Wayback Machine but the most recent ones about the LEAP application and interview process are gone. Really sucks because of how many people have found it helpful. I'll re-write them, but man...what a loss. I don't like having to admit I messed up, but I'm not afraid to own my mistakes, fix it and move forward. I'm backing everything up to the cloud from now on because I so do not want to deal with this again!

WordPress to Gatsby

Originally, I chose to do my website with WordPress because I know it well and wanted to get up and running with a blog as quickly as possible. I did at least design a custom theme, but really wanted to develop something on my own.

After doing some research, I decided Gatsby is the way to go. So far I've been paying almost $300/yr on hosting and I'm over it. Being able develop my site and blog using a static site solution and host it for free is kind of a huge deal. Gatsby is based on React, which I'm very comfortable with, and renders incredibly fast. It uses theming which is flexible, and GraphQL to render the data for my blog posts. This was my first taste of using GraphQL, and was very easy to pick up on.

It took less than a day to recreate my site in React/Gatsby and get it live, then one more day to get the blog up and running. I gave myself til Sunday to get this done...not sure what to do for the next 4 days. I think I'll relax for a bit, play Sims and visit MoPop tomorrow. :)

Featured image by Tookapic from Pexels