Don’t Go Forward Until You Backup

I’m a fanatic about backing up my writing.

  • Each time I take a break, I make a backup copy.
  • Each time I finish working on a piece for the day, I make a backup copy on my local hard drive and a backup copy on a networked computer. Both those computers automatically backup to file cloud-based storage services (one to Carbonite and the other to Dropbox). At this point, I have five current versions of my work, saved in four places.
  • As an added precaution, once a week I backup all my files to an external hard drive, where I keep historic versions until I run out of space. Presently, I can go back as far as thirty months.
  • On those occasions when I work remotely, I save a copy on my laptop, which also backs up to the cloud. I put another copy on a thumb drive. Then I email the file to my Gmail account. Of course, once I return home, the file is added to my desktop computer, where it’s subjected to my normal backup procedures.

I never want to lose my work, and my backup compulsions prove that.

I feel the same way about backing up my blogs and posts. First, it would be overwhelming to recreate an entire blog if something happened to it. Second, every post I write is with an eye towards future reuse, be it in a book compilation, an anthology, another blog site, or turned into an article.

Here, then, is my backup process for my blogs and posts:

  • A copy of each post is automatically emailed to me when it’s posted. I keep the email for one year.
  • I also maintain a text copy of the post on my computer, where I add it to a Word document, which is a chronological record of every post for that blog for the year. This document is also backed up to cloud-based storage and my external hard drive.
  • Before I make a change to my blog or do a WordPress or widget update, I export all my posts, pages, and comments just in case something goes wrong.
  • I automatically make a weekly backup of the entire blog, which is stored off site.
  • My hosting company makes periodic copies of the blog database. Though I can’t access these files, they can if needed – and once they needed to.
  • Once a month I make a manual copy of the entire database to save on my host’s system and another that I save on my desktop, which is then backed up to the cloud and to external hard drive.

While you may think my backup fanaticism is foolish, I think it’s even more foolish to not do any backups. Pick a backup method that works for you, and then follow it faithfully. Start today.

How do you backup your blog, posts, and writing? Have you ever needed to revert to a backup?

Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!

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