The last time I posted was July 11. That night a lighting storm traveled through the Klamath National Forest setting off dozens of fires. We had over 1000 lightning strikes and started the next day with about 35 fires.


Many of them are still burning.

One fire was less than a mile from my home. The Little Grider Fire was a mass of bright flames at night, and an angry brown cloud of smoke during the daytime hours. It was on the hill right next to the wooded hill I live on. I thought I would be evacuated, and had to pack all my valuables. My computer was one of the valuable things I wanted to save, so out of the house it went. I sure missed it.

Packing up made me think of backing up important data. Fortunately I had a lot of my great stuff already backed up, and plenty of time to find a safer place for the computer itself. But what if I hadn’t? What if my evacuation had to be done within ten minutes after waking up in the middle of the night? The local deputy kept giving us this possible scenario – I didn’t make it up. What then?

When writing novels, I got into the habit of sending them to myself at my Gmail account. There’s plenty of storage space and Google seems like a very trusty, reliable place to deposit information. There are other options of course, and emailing them to several similar sites might be better. For a while I uploaded all my novels to a Yahoo Briefcase account.

But sites sometimes fail or go out of business – for example, the impending demise of personal Yahoo photo galleries. I recently got a notification to get all my pictures out before they closed the doors forever. That surprised me because I’d completely forgotten I had anything there.

Some sites are created to serve as backup portals. For a while I had the software for using Mozy.Com on my computer here. I never got to use it, however, because I’m on dial-up and you need a better connection to make use of the site. There are other similar online services. A Google search will help you find them.

A lot of people would take umbrage at having all their data on someone else’s site anyhow.

My best solution is an external hard drive. I recently purchased a small 160-gig Maxtor 3200. It was easy to install. In fact, I simply connected the cords, and it installed itself on my computer. I transferred all my web design files there. Now if I have to leave suddenly, I can easily unplug the external hard drive and carry it with me. It stores all my client records, client sites, my personal sites, financial records, and everything else connected with my web design business, plus hundreds of digital photographs and my collection of novels and other things I wrote.

I still think it is best to have all these things backed up elsewhere, stored on a remote site. You could create zip files and upload them to your web design site, or could email them to yourself at Gmail like I’ve done. Or use one of the online backup services.

Another option is to burn vital information to a CD which could be stored in a fireproof safe, in your car, or even in a bank safe deposit box downtown. I find that to be too time consuming, but you might like it best.

This is all to say that if you don’t have a back-up strategy, perhaps you should have one. It could save your business from an information blackout that would be very difficult to recover from.



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10 Responses to Backups Can Save Your Web Design Business

  1. Jenny says:

    Hi Linda,

    Yet another good posting!

    I have been reading about the online backup industry for a while now.

    Online backup is maturing and slowly getting the attention of the general consumer.

    One website worth mentioning is the backup review site:

    http://www.BackupReview.info

    This very informative site, not only posts up to date news and articles from the industry, but also lists about 400 online backup companies and ranks the top 25 on a monthly basis and features a CEO Spotlight page, where senior management people from the industry are interviewed.

    May be you could review this site so that your readers will be aware of its services.

    I enjoy reading your posts. Keep it up!

  2. Linda, is there anyway to do backup files for our blog articles? Remember, I am new to blogging.

  3. jen says:

    Linda,

    First of all thanks for participating in this week’s All Women blogging carnival. Hopefully you’ll never need your backup, but it is good to get a reminder to keep a backup, especially an offsite one. I’ve done this for work, but not for my personal stuff.

    In answer to Patricia, most blogging software allows you to export your blog, usually as a text file or similar. I’ve installed a plugin on my WordPress (www.safarisuit.com) blog that allows me to do a database backup which I hope includes all the posts. I email this to myself so it’s effectively an offsite backup.

    As for my Semantically driven Typepad blog, I think all I can do is export it as text.

    Do a search for how to back up your particular blog platform.

  4. I too am visiting here via the All Women Blogging Carnival..so Hello and very pleased to meet you and your blog!

    I must admit that I am notoriously bad at backing up..thank you for the timely reminder..I really must find the time to do it.

  5. dawn says:

    I totally agree. I had a little scare today and it forced me to think about backing up again. While I do back up, I haven’t done it in a while.

    Thanks so much for the reminder.

  6. [...] Design writer, Linda, reminds us about the importance of backing up our databases — information that we should always remember but rarely [...]

  7. Mandy says:

    Hi,

    I’ve also come here through All Women Blog Carnival, great blog.

    And a very good point, you’ve just reminded me to do mine. I have installed the back up plugin for wordpress on my blog, in case that helps anyone!

    Mandy

  8. Linda says:

    Here’s the link to the most recent version of the WordPress Backup Plugin – thanks Mandy, for telling us about it.

    Patricia… your blog is backed up on the Blogger.Com site… I don’t know if there’s a way to download the whole database there.

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