If you pay any attention to my little corner of the web, then you probably noticed that it's been a bit dark for a few days, and not just because of a lack in posting. You probably stopped by and got a glaring error message, or a weird-looking version of the blog, or perhaps just nothing.
My blog had it's best traffic to date last week. Beginning on January 28 and ending on February 1st, my blog tripled, maybe even quadrupled, in traffic due to one of my posts being shared on StumbleUpon.
February 1st took the cake though. We're talking like 1,300 visitors. (I've been averaging about 40, and around 200 when the post was first shared.)
Image: Global X via Flickr
I was thrilled. I couldn't wait to check my stats the next morning as a new week started. And then the worst thing possible happened.
Yep. The blog went down. And I'm talking like full out, they weren't sure if they were going to be recover it, down.
So what happened?
Last week, after finally reaching my breaking point with my blog going down with GoDaddy at least once a day, I decided to make a change and move hosting companies. I made the switch to BlueHost (where my photography blog is hosted) knowing how much I've enjoyed working with them.
I followed the steps, got the confirmations, and all was well. This was last Tuesday.
I sat down Monday morning to write my #MicroblogMonday post. I opened my laptop and typed in my admin address. And my website was not there. Just gone.
I jumped on the phone to chat with BlueHost. They explained to me that I didn't purchase the website migration, so without it, I basically migrated the hosting and domain, but not any of my files. WHAT?! That's a thing?!
Maybe this is all because I'm newish to the world of blogging. But it never crossed my mind that I would have to migrate my website. Not only that, it was not even provided as an option when I went through the steps. Had it been I probably would have questioned it.
The support guy tells me they could probably restore it if GoDaddy had any backups, or if I had any backups (which I didn't – lesson learned there). I immediately called GoDaddy. I was on the phone with them over nearly 2 hours.
They worked with me, they understood my frustrations, they were trying to figure it out. They said they would be able to do a restore, but it would cost $150 with no guarantees that it would even work.
I hemmed and hawed. I actually considered just saying screw it and starting over. Letting this be my chance to rebrand. I was trying to face that I might not have any other choice. I was in tears. I had lost all of my writing for the past three years.
I decided to take a chance and ask a question that I assumed I would be a resound 'no'.
"If I am willing to sign up for a 3 year hosting with GoDaddy, can you waive the restore fee?"
The answer was yes.
Before I knew it, my support guy was working with his co-workers to determine the restore of my website. After finding out it was a wordpress site, they realized they should have no problem restoring everything. Yes, EVERYTHING.
You have no idea how elated I was. He created the database and then escalated the incident up so it would take more like 2-3 days as opposed to 7-10. I could handle 2-3 days.
The biggest hurdle was going to be when GoDaddy did their last backup (not the same kind that would have been needed for BlueHost... don't worry, I asked.) And I lucked out, they did their last one on 1/30. The last time I had posted was on 1/29.
Before I knew it, I was back to hosting with GoDaddy, working with BlueHost to get a full refund, and trying to stop panicking because it was all going to be okay.
So here we are. 2 days later. My blog is back. It's functioning just as it should. I didn't lose anything and have already backed it up, just in case!
I'm so happy it's all over. That was something I never want to go through again. Lesson learned – always keep your blog backed up. I won't lie though – I'm bummed it happened just as I had a post going viral for the first time. But, all that matters is that my little corner of the web is working again.
And is being backed up ALL.THE.TIME.
Have you ever had something horrible happen to your blog? If so, what happened? How did you handle it?
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