Bloggers are often known to refer to their blog as their “child”, they feel so much attachment to it. So what would you do if your blog disappeared into thin air? Well that’s exactly what happened to blogger Steph from Renovation Bay-bee when the hosting company she used to host her site went out of business.
We’re welcoming Steph to Foodies100 today to share her story and tell us how she got her beloved blog back again.
You know how sometimes in life things are sent to try you? Well I have just had one of those “trying” moments.
So, there I was, happily blogging away one day, re-designing my About Me page and being really creative with my blog. I was really enjoying it, blissfully unaware of the fate that was about to befall my beloved blog. Suddenly, and without warning, the pages of my blog started to time out and wouldn’t load.
“Oh, that’s just typical,” I thought. I assumed the hosting company was having a few issues and pottered off to go and do something less interesting – like housework.
But it turned out that these “few issues” had escalated into something far more serious. The hosting company I was using for my blog (and also my business website) had ceased trading without any notice, leaving a bunch of disgruntled customers.
There was only a brief and less than comforting message on their website thanking everyone for their custom, telling us to contact Nominet to get our domains transferred over to a new hosting company.
Annoying? Yes. Effort required? Yes. In the whole scheme of things you might think it’s not that much of a big deal – just an inconvenience for a couple of days. But, sadly, this was not what happened in my case.
I had everything backed up but ONLY with my hosting company.
My blog, my business website and my local twin clubs website was lost. I had no access to the hosting control panel to get to the all-important database and files, they had quite literally bolted the doors and taken everything with them.
I was heartbroken, I had been working so hard on my blog, my business was slowly building up more products and the twin club website is used often to support families with multiples.
It made me realise how much I have been enjoying blogging and how much it has started to play a larger part in my life.
I asked around in the blogging community to see if anyone had any ideas and if there was any way I was able to gain access to anything of mine. Lots of people came to my aid and offered their advice.
WHAT I DID NEXT:
- I found a wonderful website called Cached Pages which had copies of all my blog posts. When Google crawls your website it takes a copy of it and you can gain access to those pages through this website. It didn’t have the pictures, but all the wording was there. I couldn’t believe my eyes and quickly spent the next few hours copying every single blog post I could get my hands on into Word documents with the web link and title so it could all stay consistent when the rebuild began. It’s not perfect as sometimes pages are not always cached and the pages that are cached won’t stay there forever (anything from 1 day to 2 weeks depending on Google) but there was very little that was missing in my case.
- Once my blog was transferred over to a new hosting company I was able to start to rebuild my blog on WordPress, I had to start from scratch and post every single blog post again. The cached pages had the image file name so I was able to search for the picture on my computer. This highlighted how very disorganised I am with the images on my computer!
- This took me hours, but I didn’t care – I had my blog back! As I said before, cached pages aren’t always spot on, I did lose some of my blog posts as it was unable to find them but I got most of them back and I am so grateful for that. I wouldn’t have known about the cached pages if it wasn’t for the great blogging community that helped me.
- I was then able to go through each post and input all the SEO keyword information that hadn’t been done previously. It also meant I was able to take the time to make sure all my links that needed to be were no-follow links. I have also taken this opportunity with my business website to re-design it and make it easier to use. I now can’t wait to re-launch it!So what have I learned from all this? I am now BACKING UP MY BLOG with Google Cloud Storage, automatically, every day. This is easily available as a plugin through WordPress. I have also subscribed to my own blog so each post gets delivered to my inbox (such a simple but brilliant idea) and stored in a folder and then the hosting back-up.
I do not want to ever go through this again and I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through this either. So please, if you haven’t already: back-up, back-up, BACK-UP!