The keywords here are “websites” because all of my websites hosted by my hosting company were deleted/lost/kaput/hasta-la-vista-baby, but one got rescued. And also “accidentally” because it was a bloody accident, albeit a very stupid/out of character one. In fact, it was not that out of character, but super crazy shit happens!
I won’t cry over spilt milk (although, believe me, I felt like crying [screaming at the top of my lungs, but I had neighbours], and strangling the laptop), but what was the point? In fact, I was too focused on trying to sort out the problem by harassing the hosting company with emails, than to express any form of emotion. And considering the situation I was in, I was quite polite and controlled in the conversation with them. My partner said, “just got to get on with it”, which I did, but pffft, it’s easier said than done, and here’s a non-food post, although relevant to food bloggers (all bloggers) that I want to share with you so that you don’t have to go through the same hellhole/headache as me.
The morning of Tuesday 20th Jan, 2015, was pretty much a normal morning. It was muggy and overcast, but bearable, and there was just a regular amount of commotion going on around the place, and probably on TV too, but I didn’t turn it on because there’s so much crap on atm. It was just a regular morning, but I felt a little special, because the night before, into the early hours of the morning, I was working on/editing my artist website with new content and a gallery page. I was rather excited about this turning over a new leaf for the new year thing!
Anyhow, I had an issue with a plugin. It was the most ridiculous/pedantic/unnecessary issue, and after contacting the plugin’s support (which they replied promptly) and trying to unsuccessfully fix the problem, I decided that it would be easier for me to just delete the website and start again. You know, a new year, a new website, a clean slate, why not? What a great idea Padaek!
Wrong! Because, as I was confidently mousing around the hosting company’s file manager (which I’ve worked on before), in my half-awake/half-focused state (and as I was heading to the aforementioned website folder to delete it), I’m not too sure why, but instead of double clicking on the public_html folder (which holds all of my website folders) to open it, I decided to right click on the public_html folder and then selected delete. I did this as coolly/calmly as could be, like I was leisurely jogging on the beach without a worry in the world, not knowing that I was about to trip over and land on dog poop. Can you believe it?!
The moment I lifted my finger from the mouse and selected delete, I realized the stupid and irreversible mistake that I had done! I quickly tried to find the undo/reverse/cancel button which does not exist. And while the action/command was loading/processing, I could hear the computer thinking, “you bloody fool, why on earth did you do that for?! Stupid with a capital S!” I tried clicking on the back arrow on the internet browser, but to no avail. It was all too late. My careless/thoughtless/mindless action (something as simple as clicking a mouse button) had already taken effect, and no matter what I tried to do, I could not stop nor change nor reverse/undo it! The dice had been rolled, and the wheels had been set in motion. And before I knew it, my public_html folder (including all of my site folders, including Padaek) had been deleted into oblivion.
For a moment, I thought it was just a bad dream. It wasn’t. I wanted to undo my error, turn back time and just return to before. All ineffective. My mind was filled with disbelief and curses, and I quietly snickered at myself in denial and at the unfathomable stupidity that had just happened. Silently and in a surprisingly calm manner, I freaked out a little for just a moment. I visited the url of my websites, and the blank white pages that appeared confirmed what I had done was real. Holy!!
I immediately contacted the hosting company, who confirmed that my action was undo-able. Furthermore, they could not help me because they did not have backups for my websites, because I had surpassed the inode usage (what ever that means!) of my account. Anyhow, to cut the long story short, luckily (although bittersweet) I had a backup for one of websites, and that was Padaek. Unfortunately, two of my other important websites were lost without backups, which is sad and a shame, especially for one of them because it’s a helpful plant website/forum that had been running for 3 years, and was filled with advice, photos and contribution from its members. I have to muster the courage to let the members of the site know what has happened to their beloved community/forum, and that it needs to be rebuilt from scratch. All the other sites that I lost were less important, and were essentially ideas/works in progress and did not contain too much content so I wasn’t too upset to lose them.
And so, yesterday’s afternoon was filled with anxious emails to and from the hosting company, who did an excellent job in helping me resurrect the backup Padaek site and dealing with my mood. Some of you might be wondering why the site had a wonderfully white screen yesterday? Now you know. The backup folder that I used to restore Padaek with was 7 days old. I had surprisingly/responsibly installed a WordPress backup plugin to make automatic weekly backups of the site. Thankfully, I didn’t lose any posts, and lost only one comment that I know of. Sorry Julie. Luckily, most of the photos that I use on the posts are embedded from Flickr, so they reappeared easily. But there were some pics that I uploaded to the site, including featured photos, which were lost as a result of the ordeal. I’ll need to to go through the posts and source their images, and then re-upload them to the site in due course. Thus, as you flick through some of the old posts, you’ll see some missing photos, and perhaps other inconsistencies too. If you notice anything odd or missing on the site/posts, please let me know.
There’s obviously a few lessons to be learnt and shared here. The main one is don’t be a fool like me and please backup all of your websites regularly! I think I used the WP-DB-Backup plugin. Two other popular plugins are BackUpWordPress and BackWPup Free – WordPress Backup Plugin. I don’t think I can stress enough just how important this is because when it happens, and it can, to you too perhaps, you’ll be glad to have a backup copy. Believe me on this one! Whether you’re using WordPress, Blogger, Joomla, or whatever your publishing platform of choice is, go and do a backup of your website now! Go on, because it’s a horrible feeling to lose many years of love and hard work that you’ve put into building your website(s). And while you’re there, consider doing a backup of your photos and pc/hard drives as well!
Another lesson is to think twice and very carefully before doing anything, even if you think you’re sure of it, or if you’re familiar with the procedure. Always concentrate and be vigilant, and pay attention to what you’re doing. And just don’t delete anything. Unless you’re 1000% certain of it! This incident/lesson reminded me of the shows about people with hoarding problems. Yes, I too sometimes have a tendency to collect and hoard things, but it’s not necessarily out of control, yet. I thought that perhaps, hoarders are really quite wise to not throw anything way, because once you do, it’s gone forever!! Argh!!!! angry
Needless to say, the whole thing was a humbling experience, and one that I will try to not forget nor repeat again. From now, I’ll be carefully thinking multiple times before deleting anything or making any big/drastic decisions. It’s not the best start to the new year, but it has given me new canvasses/websites to work with. Ironic or just bahaha?!
Oh, regarding that new artist website, I’ll be rebuilding and working on it again, and it will be up and running very soon, and I’ll share it with you when it’s ready. Also, I will start my first painting for the new year asap. It takes a lot more than that to burn this phoenix down! Although, please be kind karma, no more.