DNSstuff.com
Nov
21st

Disaster 1: All My Files Are Gone!

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This is probably one of the scariest scenarios that any website owner can face. You open your browser to your website URL and you get ‘Page Not Found’. Your heart starts pounding and you hit the ‘refresh’ button a few times but there’s no change. It’s right about then that you start to feel ill … all those files … squeeze pages, sales pages, your membership site .. custom graphics…all gone!

After a few minutes you start to think straight again. Surely your hosting provider does regular backups. I mean, it doesn’t say anything about backups in the list of hosting features .. but SURELY they keep a backup! So, you put a support ticket in, mark it URGENT and wait for the reply. The minutes go by as you refresh the ticket status page … then the minutes turn to hours. Finally you get a response from the Host.

“Unfortunately we had a hard drive failure earlier today. Your domain was offline for approximately one hour. We backup all hosting account information and have restored your hosting server. It is the responsibility of the customer to keep a back up of their website and database files.”

Oh s%^t! The database! All my customer information … membership information … gone.

Golden Rule Number 1

Most people will tell you that all ‘good’ hosts back up all of their servers. What I will tell you is never, NEVER assume that your host has your files and databases backed up. Always make a regular backup of all of your website files AND databases. If you use CPanel, you will note that it has a backup feature. I tend not to use it though, because it will either backup to the server hard drive (and possibly get lost in a hard drive crash) or you can ftp it to another server. Unless you download and check those files though, how are you going to know that your backup is working?

See the Tools section for recommended backup software.

Nov
21st

10 Webmaster Disasters (And How To Avoid Them)

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Whilst the focus at Dedicated Server Doc is mainly about the technical and admin side of operating a server. as a sysadmin you need to be an accomplished web master as well. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting about some of the most common problems that webmasters face and how to avoid having a really bad day! This information is for anyone who operates a web site – not just the tech heads.

The fact is that most disasters can be avoided if we take a little time (and I do mean little) to make sure we have everything covered. I’m sure that, like me, you feel a lot better knowing that everything works and you’re not going to wake up one morning to find that half your life’s work has just been lost … or you’ve been losing money for the past 6 months. You know the saying – ‘better safe than sorry!’.